Snuffy nose and dreary hangovers are routinely met by the early afternoon fanfare of Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and this year isn’t any different. It’s the kind of family entertainment that makes us wish we paid attention during music lessons, but Jools’ effortless whiskey cool and overawing skill are as delightful and the weather. It’s magnificent.
The Polyphonic Spree’s cloaked cult happiness is a well welcomed visitor too. They trade in their KKK coats for straight red gowns, and though they still sound like Beach Boys singing peak period R.E.M., for the first time they actually have enough space on stage for their twenty-two piece strong ensemble of musicians, including a string section, harpist and backing choir. Frontman Tim DeLaughter resembles a Sideshow Bob-esque string-puppet, dallying around with the kind of dangling happiness you’d be hard pressed to chemically induce.
Belters like ‘Soldier Girl’ and the irrepressible ‘Sun’ draw a huge crowd. They are Glasto’s most enjoyable one trick pony. It’s addictive stuff and as they infect everyone with smiles, it’s a shame the chubbyy acoustics of Turin Brakes have to slow things down.
Still, although Turin Brakes’ last LP may have sunk like two fat blokes playing acoustic guitars at sea (badly), the cherished melodies behind many of their tunes are surprisingly effective in front of a field of Glastonians, and far be it from us to put an unneeded dampner on proceedings, because despite not exactly being Lennon and McCartney, the Brakes have a lotta love to give.
And we’ve all still gotta lotta time for Supergrass. The cheeky-chirpy-chappies of indie yesteryear may be a bit more grown up, but their teeth are still clean and their Bowie-Stones fixation still prevails in unyielding brilliance. Always an essential festival band, The ‘Grass are well up for it and with the cherished pop of ‘Sun Hits The Sky’ and ‘Richard III’ filling the green hills, so it would seem, are the Glasto massive.
The Flaming Lips then, finally seem to have come in from a lifetime in the Leftfield, bringing a bunch of lifesized furry creatures with them. With all the talk of robot battles and tunes that relive the famous Boyzone cover, ‘Father And Son’; beauty and the beards hold a crowd for monumental evening performance. It’s a wonderful mass eye-opener for their sweetly layered acoustics and dreamy experimental pop.
Spending the opening songs playing with the huge plastic suns on the front of the stage, singer Wayne Coyne could barely contain his mile wide smiles. Playing songs mostly taken from ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ and their career defining ‘The Soft Bulletin’ they also dedicated a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Breathe’ to Radiohead.