Bluegrass rockers Hayseed Dixie turn back the years and make you wish you were slurping a pint with your dad. All banjos and bravado, they blend good honest humour with classic rock covers, including Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and Green Day’s ‘Holiday’.
Taj Mahal are natural successors to the stage. Hip-wiggling blues and wonderfully done, it’s so refreshing to hear songs that tell stories – and you know these guys share a few. Refreshing too that Glastonbury bosses have put some proper blues on the Pyramid. Good call, and the perfect time of day. Clearly having as much fun as Worthy Farm’s holidaying cows, the US trio fit together snugger than a superglued jigsaw.
But you do kind of hope that Taj Mahal don’t stick around for next ‘band’, Goldie Lookin’ Chain, as it’s difficult to imagine the ‘elderly’ yanks getting the joke. And it’s a joke that’s been going on for over a year now, one you expect to suddenly backfire, but yet continues to be hilarious - the reason being that the Welsh rappers keep it fresh and still don’t give a shit. Clearly psyched for the performance, the leisurewear lovers prance about stage, telling us to get your ‘finger in’, smoke soapbar, and most importantly hang around until 4pm because "Bob Marley is going to be here to Make Poverty History". It’s ‘a GLC party’, and boosted by tunes that are actually good, as well as razor witty, like ‘Your Mother’s Got A Penis’ and ‘You Knows I Love You’, they bring the Pyramid to its muddy knees.
That is until Kaiser Chiefs take to the stage and perform a set that’ll be remembered among Glastonbury’s finest. Opening with ‘Saturday Night’, it’s full throttle all the way, frontman Ricky Wilson setting the electric pace, running, yelping, and jumping around stage, reigniting the Britpop flames with sharp and infectious pop songs. A huge blow-up dinosaur bobs over the crowd as ‘I Predict A Riot’ blasts out, before Ricky ushers it on stage next to him and garnishes the green beast with his own tie. And then the highlight of this year’s Glastonbury so far, an air-thumping blow out of ‘Oh My God’, with that chorus chanted so hard by everyone in attendance that we’re left to sing it for ourselves for the final rendition. A classic Glasto moment – better compile another DVD…
After the nu-breed electro pop of the Kaisers, Ash come over dated, but they’re certainly not has-beens and their back catalogue speaks for itself - meaning Tim Wheeler doesn’t have to. However he does take time to offer the entire crowd his hand in marriage up at Lost Vaugueness’ Chapel Of Love later tonight, prompting mass screams of ‘pick me’ from the audience. It would certainly be the same reaction from the beautiful Charlotte Hatherly if she made the same gesture. A moving cover of ‘Teenage Kicks’, dedicated to the late John Peel and Joe Strummer, shows how wonderfully the front two interact together, their guitars and voices harmonising in a marriage of their own, but it’s the classic singalong ‘Girl From Mars’ followed by the rumbling rock of ‘Clones’ that truly show what Ash are made of. ‘Shining Light’ sparks a loved up field frenzy, before ‘Burn Baby Burn’ brings the show to a fitting climax. For a band 11 years old, they look and sound as good as ever, although you sense they’ll need to be a bit more adventurous and inventive from here in.