The opening of the world's greatest music festival is as an appropriate time as any to bring a troupe of scantily clad bikini babes from Manumission, especially when you are Sean Tillman, aka Har Mar Superstar. Calling out "Ladies, get ready to grind!", he pushes his sleazy r & b funk jams while attempting to breakdance to the accompaniment of a small boom box, before stripping off to his thong. Incredibly, this bloke has written songs for Jennifer Lopez!
Next up, it's time for some transatlantic singer-songwriter action. Pete Yorn is in the unfortunate position of being known for soundtracking Dawson's Creek (aaaarrrgghhh!), but with his come-to-bed eyes and just-got-out-of-bed drawl, he'll probably go far. We’re not sure if former single 'For Nancy' is about Nancy Reagan or Nancy Spungeon (probably neither), but as FM rock goes it's half-decent.
Nada Surf are one gloriously great understatement. Coldplay meets Weezer, it’s the kind of Cali-tanned sunpop that makes millionaires out of indie-heroes. Hawking out the many hits off ‘Let Go’, the ‘Surf warm a few thousand hearts and convert a few thousand more. Continuing that, next on the Other Stage are south-east London's finest - not that there's much competition - in the form of Athlete. It's not exactly digital hardcore, and if TFI Friday was still going they'd probably be the house band, but they're just too damn inoffensive to hate. Jangly to the point of ridiculousness, they inevitably wheel out 'El Salvador' for the full sing-along treatment.
Before you know it it's Tom McRae, and time to go shopping. And see De La Soul.
Bursting onstage fresh from the arms of their stylists, The Cooper Temple Clause and their Mansun fringes are here to give Glasto's first day a bit of zing. And so they do, hurtling through new single 'Promises Promises' with peerless energy, and turning 'Who Needs Enemies' into the perfect stadium anthem it always promised to be. The Coopers' live shows always outshine their albums, and with an especially head-messing run through of 'Let's Kill Music' they've finally shown that it's possible to join the dots between Stereophonics and Squarepusher. Photographing their set from the stage, VF witnesses some large scale crowd participation in the pit, and though new material still needs further honing, the smell of some more touring should fix that.
We’ve never quite been able to believe that
Electric Six aren't just a re-packaged version of quirky indie kids David Devant and His Spirit Wife, but since VF has no dodgy dossier to back up these suspicions, it's best just to join in with the drunken revelry. The crazyheads have obviously been practising their showmanship, and the electro-shock theatrics of 'Gay Bar' and 'Danger! High Voltage' bring a warm glow of silliness to the early evening lull. The fact that Dick Valentine's entire backing band are shiny new does not seem to detract in any way from the rip-roaring rock n' roll jamboree.