Glastonbury Saturday: The King Blues, Eric Prydz and more
Easy Star All Stars, Metric and glorious sunshine in Somerset
Photographer: John Bownas27 June 2009
Reggae collective Easy Star All Stars are getting quite a following for their covers of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ by
Pink Floyd and Radiohead’s ‘Ok Computer’. It is the latter that gets the largest cheer during their Park
Stage set as they kick off with ‘Airbag’ before slipping into ‘Paranoid Android’ with the brass backing
sounding particularly effective. A thoughtful rendition of ‘Lucky’ is propelled by its throbbing bassline, while
‘Let Down’ gets a ska make over.
The Script, arguably the next greatest musical thing to emerge from Ireland, have definitely used a line or two of their more illustrious cousins U2. There are remarkable similarities between the two as the likes of ‘The Man That Can’t Be Moved’ is played with an overly pollished finish on the Other Stage. They do have that same uncanny capacity to hold a crowd though with ‘Rusty Halo’ and a cover Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ bringing their stadium pop set to a thunderous end.
On the Avalon Stage The King Blues drew a large afternoon crowd as they ran through tracks like ’Landlord’ and ‘My Boulder’ getting their feelings known about the BNP through to the crowd. “After three I want you to shout a big fuck off to the BNP. One…two…three!” shouted singer Itch and, of course, the crowd duly obliged.
Eric Prydz amassed a frenetic crowd in Dance East, which was generating even more heat than the sun outside. Across the way in Dance West, a programming delay meant that Hudson Mowhawke arrived much later than billed, preceded by an energetic set by NAPT. When he did start, the crowd and Hudson himself demanded more volume from the production unit, and eventually his broken beats and random cymbal samples started to fill the tent - but it was competing with the volume from Prydz and the tent is barely a 10th full.
As the remains of Friday’s downpours finally dry up Metric took to the main stage in front of a sea of bodies lying down and enjoying the sunshine. “The theme of Metric is to keep on going even when you’re told you’re shit,” singer Emily Haines admitted. They are far from shit though as they run through synth filled hits like ‘I Fought The War’ with raw punky panache. They may not be shit but with a hint of Dire Straights and a little of Arcade Fire, you’d think they’d be a little more memorable.
The Low Anthem on the Park Stage performed a set of whisky-soaked folk, which included some delightful musicianship on ‘Cage The Songbird’. A cover of gospel staple ‘Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around’ was edgy and gravely as the band switched between organs, horns and harmonics.
The deck chairs were out in droves for Jason Mraz’s Other Stage set early in the afternoon. The post lunchtime slot proved the perfect setting for his cheesy reggae sounds as punters basked and digested in the sun. He had plenty of screaming fans who sang along to tracks like ‘I’m Yours’, while an unassuming and graceful Lisa Hannigan joined the star for ‘Lucky’.
Following youngsters First Aid Kit, another band only just out of short trousers, quite literally – they’re all in shorts, were Bombay Bicycle Club on The Park Stage. The whirligig rhythm of ‘Lamplight’ gets the attention, but venomous vocals on ‘Always Like This’ were the highlights. Their short-lived brass section is pretty pointless, but a ‘Happy Birthday’ to somebody called Tanya breeds enthusiasm. Despite looking around 10 years old, the band outperform most of their older peers.
Slow burning Swedish duo First Aid Kit greeted the earlier riser in The Park Stage with a set of shimmering tunes, which includes a cover of Fleet Foxes’ ‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’. The cover may’ve received the loudest cheer of the set but ‘Tangerine’ and ‘You’re Not Coming Home Tonight’ both proved superior.
Glastonbury Festival 2009 continues with Bruce Springsteen, Kasabian and Peter Doherty.
Click here to watch BBC Glastonbury Festival highlights on Virtual Festivals.