Glastonbury Top Tens: The Park Stage

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Justin Madgwick, Steve Jenner, Greg Rose, Alex Fahey, Tom Bentley | 01 July 2009

We’ve picked out our top ten moments from the weekend…

The Dead Weather
Billed as special guests, Jack White and co deliver one of the sets of the day. A rebellious, sexual, feisty performance from The Kills front lady Alison Mosshart is spellbinding and the interplay with White in particular is magic. QOTSA guitarist Dean Fertita completes a perfect group of talent. JM

Horace Andy
The reggae legend was in sublime form on The Park Stage running through his own classics ‘Skylarking’ and ‘Money Money’ dressed in some very fetching orange PJs. Massive Attack collaboration ‘One Love’ is a stand out track and although his voice may be wavering with old age, his back catalogue and great taste in clothes set this shimmering set above many of the others this weekend. AF

The Low Anthem
Fans of The National and Beirut got their fill of multi-instrumental brilliance from The Low Anthem this year. With a dozen instruments used in about half an hour by the trio, the sound was raw but expansive. ‘Don’t Let Anybody Turn You Around’ had some gospel roots, while pristine harmonica on ‘Cage The Songbird’ created a hushed edgy atmosphere. They aren’t likely to make it big, but that is everybody else’s loss. GR
The Hot Rats (Supergrass)
The largest crowd ever turned out to the Park Stage at 4pm on the Friday because they'd heard that it could be Muse or Beyonce taking this 'Special Guest' slot. A communal "Ah that make much more sense actually", greeted the arrival instead of Supergrass duo Danny Goffey and Gaz Coombes who kept the masses thoroughly entertained throughout a stomping feel-good set that included covers of The Beastie Boys' 'You've Gotta Fight For Your Right (To Party)' and Elvis Costello's 'Pump'. It turned out to be a very nice surprise. SJ

Bon Iver
Stunning. Justin Vernon's voice was always destined for the Park Stage and although his band's performance on the Other Stage a day later may have topped it, Bon Iver's headline slot at the Park was the journey of emotions, dynamics and nuances people had come to expect of such intrepid performers. Starter 'Creature Fear' set the tone for the evening whilst 'Flume', 'For Emma' and the epic 'Wolves I/II' brought the set to a magnificent close following an ethereal sing-along of “what might have been lost.” As Park Stage performances always do, this one got people talking. TB

James Hunter

Not too many people were familiar with this seasoned blue-eyed soul singer, but his crisp suit and slick sound crafted him many converts. A Five Royales cover was among the highlights as Hunter gently cajoled the Park Stage onto his bluesy, laidback frame of mind. A would-be Sunday sensation, just without the hits. GR

Cold War Kids
The Californian foursome began their set as the sun came down over the Park Stage but had to contend with the mutiny of a few fans as the Sunday headliners prepared to strut their stuff. The kids weren't deterred though as they put on a typically mercurial performance, swinging between minimalistic diapasons like 'Old St John' and full bodied hits such as 'Hang Me Up To Dry' and 'Hospital Beds'. Their music doesn't put them out to be the happiest chaps in the world but they were delightfully cheerful at Glastonbury. Maybe there was something in the air? TB

First Aid Kit
A Fleet Foxes cover ensured the early gatherers at First Aid Kit’s Park Stage set were satisfied, but subtler treats were also on show. ‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’ aside, ‘Tangerine’ was a woozy acoustic treat, ‘I Met Up With The King’ was driving and the voices of the Swedish teen duo soured throughout. Delicate and passionate, the likes of ‘You’re Not Coming Home Tonight’ slowly curved into the consciousness and remained there all day. GR

One of the revelations of the weekend, Schlomo teamed up with the vocal orchestra and a number of illustrious guests to run through serious demonstrations, honourable tributes, humorous Man Vs Machine exchanges and some plain silly beat box battles. Fun was had all round with Imogen Heap, Jarvis Cocker and DJ Yoda making appearances to cover some of their own tunes vocal style. Markus 'that guy off the radio' Brigstocke also provided a hilarious couple of moments as he challenged the world's reigning beat-boxer champion for her title. He vied remarkably with his sneezing Donald Duck beats but was quickly outmanoeuvred by a drum'n'bass chicken. Cracking banter. TB

Alela Diane
Diane stepped up to perform in front of a lounging crowd, eager to get over the two and a bit days of mayhem they had just been through. What they got was exactly what the doctor had prescribed: a good hour lying in the sun, listening to some dreamy blues sung by a fan of Mark's and Spark's road-side shops. 'The Pirate's Gospel' was personally dedicated to a prancing pirate at the top of the natural amphitheatre, 'Dry Grass And Shadows' prompted one punter to share his own grass with Diane's bassist and definite favourite 'White As Diamonds' capped another memorable Park Stage moment. TB

Click here to see BBC footage from The Park Stage.

By Greg Rose, Tom Bentley, Steve Jenner, Justin Madgwick and Alex Fahey

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