There’s history here. Agrieved, bitter history, and Arctic Monkeys are back on Worthy Farm with more than one point to prove.
Since 2007, and their not entirely faultless Pyramid Stage set, the Sheffield lads have become Sheffield men. The school dancefloor belters have matured with a new suave style – intellectual rock for the 21st century.
Lennon’s ‘Imagine‘ is a grand number to walk out to but there’s a sense of history here that merits it. Current single ‘Do I Wanna Know?‘ opens with matching promo video graphics, full of naughty innuendo and winking wonders.
“Hello everyone, we’re the Arctic Monkeys.” Alex Turner is chipper, and more comfortable than ever commanding the crowd, that tonight stretches out to the top of the Pyramid Stage field.
“Are you in the party mood?” He asks. No need, ‘Dancing Shoes’ holds the answer. Flares spark into life over the throng of the crowd, bodies jumping for the air during this – the first of many reborn ‘classics’ from their back catalogue.
“We’re going to play new shit, we’re going to play old shit, we’re going to play Glastonury special shit.” Turner announces, upfront as ever. In pin-striped suit jacket, he promises to play all night and it’s an offer few tonight would refuse.
‘Teddy Picker‘ cranks up the pace and segues neatly into ‘Crying Lightning‘ before Matt Helders can take his lead turn on a rather clumsily paced rendition of ‘Brick By Brick‘.
Dedicated to all the ladies, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor‘ is the hit they fell out of love with and have now re-embraced, to the relief of the Glastonbury crowd.
New love ballad ‘Mad Sounds‘, from their forthcoming LP ‘AM‘ – due September. is another reminder that like fellow Sheffield icon Richard Hawley these guys can do gutsy love numbers.
‘Fluorescent Adolescent‘ and ‘A Certain Romance‘ then takes Glastonbury back to the summer of 2006 and the debut album that launched it all.
Jokingly opening their encore with a verse from Coldplay’s ‘Yellow‘, Turner laughs it off and starts with ‘Cornerstone‘. The added strings section lovingly crafted on this occasion by fellow Pyramid Stage alumni, Guy Garvey.
Another rare outing, ‘Mardy Bum‘ gets the same string treatment and in an instant turns the new anthem into an old classic.
Turner wishes his mum Penny a happy birthday and gets everyone to sing to her, before Miles Kane can return the favour Turner did for him earlier and join the band, as he did in 2007, to finish on the ‘505‘.
No slip ups, and thankfully the only Rascal in sight this time was Miles; Arctic Monkeys have conquered the Pyramid Stage finally, but more importantly put together a festival set that will be the envy of so many others.
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