Sons & Daughters play a set full of stompalong folk rock classics. Lead singer Adele Bethel has the vocal ability and poise of Shirley Manson whilst bass player Ailidh Lennon keeps the icy cool of Marcie Von Bondie as her repetitive rhythms glue their songs together.
Crowds of people sit around the tent in the sun bouncing babies on their knees and getting their binoculars out ready to watch Jem, who supposedly sounds like Dido. This is not going to be good. Thankfully her hip-hop inspired ballads blow this association out of the water. She has all the funky cleverness of Nelly Furtado, and the set includes Fatboy Slim covers, double bass (why can’t every band have one of these?), military drums, and quirky Pinky and Perky samples. You can see the producer in her on the ska-tinted ‘Save Me’, and she also adds a bit of backbone to Coldplay’s ‘In My Place’. She chats to the crowd, worries about her dress and generally has a chinwag as the set moves on to ‘Life Has Just Arrived’, which unfortunately is the musical equivalent of warm Bud, saved almost by a funky breakdown of synths and drum fills before it ends.
Nevertheless its just what we need on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Kills however, represent the antithesis of Glastonbury. Just the two of them on guitars and a little sampler for the beat behind their apocalyptic gloom, there’s no room for sunshine, happiness or toddlers here. It’s like a stripped bare Sonic Youth as guitarist Hotel and lead singer VV square up to each other, headbanging in time with the distorted and distressed guitars.
Up next are Client, who are the musical equivalent of wearing bin bags on your feet in the mud; it doesn’t work and it looks silly. Their sparse and monotonous electroclash washes over us like late night TV. They dress like flight attendants and command as much attention; you might be watching but you won't be listening. “Just give me love, just give me sex, just give me money” they sing repetitively and blatantly about the rewards they want for this vapid downpour of piss-poor Ladytron rejects. Whilst one sings and taunts the crowd, and the other plays keys and samples, a fat roadie in the background actually makes all the noises. After four days of mud, drugs and rock n roll we really don’t need this.
We do require LCD Soundsystem though, who kick off a riot, percussion and drums bursting from the full band soundcheck with James Murphy upfront with a tambourine in each hand, shrieking over the top of synths that build on their watertight Rapturesque tunes, notably ‘Daft Punk Is Playing In My House’, an outright orgy of frenetic guitars bursting amid maniac cow bells. ‘Losing My Edge’ seems to have lost its edge and is more of a repetitive track than the others, bit it's the only low point and the crowd continue to watch Murphy run around hitting things like a kid in a percussive candy store. “I wanna see your hands!” he screams, and as thousands do as they’re told, the whole thing turns into a trance love-in and builds to a hyperactive climax.