Thankfully, Leicester four-piece, Kasabian (Other Stage, 11.20am), ate the whole lot dancing round the stone circle to Primal Scream. So instant is their bone-breaking yob-rock that they get the biggest opening band crowd to ever grace the Other Stage. Singer, Tom Meighan rubs us up with his wry, rasping Ian Brown-isms, swaggering amid broken synths and baggy, early-nineties inspired industrial ballet. He ’s more Liam than Liam will be later, especially in the pounding crater shifting new single, ‘LSF’, dedicated to the “mushroom heads”. Debut single, ‘Processed Beats’ goes down a storm while the riotous ‘ID’ is without doubt the only soundtrack there is to bottling a few Portuguese policemen. Bootiful.
Back to reality and need of drinkage after all that dancing Hal (Other Stage, 12.00pm) open with ‘Worry About The Wind’ and readily make the sun appear. Sadly, it’s the highlight of an otherwise drab affair by the Irish five-piece who are about as exciting as their clothes (an array of collared shirts and tank tops). Their harmless country pop fits nicely between Ben Folds Five and The Thrills complete with Delays-rivalling harmonies and a guest cellist, but where their Dublin counterparts have a majestical collection of top tunes, this lot fall sadly short of the mark.
Meanwhile, at the Pyramid Stage something mesmerising is going down, and as singer, Conor Oberst, would have it, he couldn’t do it without his motley crew, including trumpet, harp and oboe. Bright Eyes (Pyramid Stage 11.45am) were doing a Polyphonic Spree long before Tim Delaughter first hit upon linen cult robes as the height of fashion. However, no matter whatever mellow soundscapes they craft, the focus is still undeniably on their magnetic frontman. The thinking indie boy/girl’s pin-up Oberst has a remarkable gift in taking the most laid-back, ear-kissing song, and ripping it into a spitting, tension-ridden explosion. See ‘We Are Nowhere And This Is Now’, the kind of tune, which personified, would shiver even in today’s heat. But despite this, there’s still a kind of worn glory to Bright Eyes, even in their darkest moments. Maybe it’s okay even for tortured emo kids to enjoy the sunshine, it certainly dries up the tears for a while.
I Am Kloot (Other Stage, 2.00pm) replicate Bright Eyes’ magnificence, casting spellbinding resonance over the crowd. The rare brilliance of the trio’s acoustic melodies scud seamlessly between light Radio 2 ballads and darker, more haunting rhythmically-driven numbers, nodding eerily towards Echo and The Bunnymen. They tear the sky down into an acoustic tent, and if ever there was an intimate gig on the Other Stage, then this it. It’s just it shame it ends with singer-guitarist John Bramwell throwing his instrument at the crew as the plug’s prematurely pulled.
No such luck for those watching Nelly Furtado (Pyramid Stage 2.35pm). She reels off the hits with all the passion of a dead-leg and apart from one ill-advised reference to the “England Soccer Team” which goes down like James Brown’s wife, it’s about as musically challenging as a visit to Woolworths. You know what they say: fly like a bird, sink like a turd.