Following a super-hot Friday, Saturday at Glastonbury Festival 2019 is shaping up to be the scorcher of the weekend, but we can’t complain as the alternative is so, so much worse! As we sweat profusely, wait patiently in line for drinking water and find ourselves breathing in more and more dust, we’re told that any showers on-site are out of action to conserve water.
That’s fine, you’re not doing it properly if you’re showering anyway, right! Anyway, who could ask for more glorious festival weather?
After a morning coffee at the Greenpeace Café while being treated to a Red Arrows flyby, for me it’s a jaunt over to The Park stage to catch a ‘secret set’ from New York-based rock outfit Vampire Weekend, who have flown in to take the Pyramid stage’s penultimate slot tomorrow but squeeze in a sunlit morning set to a packed out Park stage field.
The Ezra Koenig-led four-piece are in jubilant form, covering Fleetwood Mac classic Everywhere and they even reach out to the crowd for requests which sees them air fan favourite Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa. Meanwhile Scots nostalgia act The Proclaimers take the honour of opening up the Pyramid stage, the duo’s first appearance at Glastonbury since 1987!
Next up on the Pyramid stage is former American Idol winner and Country music star Carrie Underwood (married name Carrie Fisher!), who draws a huge early afternoon crowd. She kicks off with Storyteller cut Church Bells, but it’s 2008 hit single Last Name – journaling a drunken Las Vegas wedding – that has the crowd singing along before she closes out with hit single Before He Cheats.
Following Australian rockers The Cat Empire and contemporary bluesman Fantastic Negrito on the Other stage, it’s the turn of rising star Maggie Rogers to bring her flavour of folk-pop back to Glastonbury following her meteoric rise and incredible debut record Heard It In A Past Life dropping in January. The record is played in full with Rogers dressed in bright white with a flowing red shawl spinning from one side of the sun-soaked grand stage to the other, stirring up the mid-afternoon crowd.
Essex-based rising popstress Anne-Marie – also opting for a sun-reflecting white dress – can be found playing a frenzied set over on the Pyramid Stage in the baking 31 degree heat enveloping Worthy Farm, Ed Sheeran making a surprise video appearance as one of a number of people describing things that are perfect to them on the big screens flanking the Pyramid ahead of Speak Your Mind single Perfect To Me – Sheeran’s are curry, cats and beer if you’re interested!
The hot sun is too much for me, so I head over to the wonderful fields of Avalon for a delicious cheesy crumpet courtesy of Truly Crumptious and refreshing beverage as I settle in to catch the wonderful Jade Bird play to a packed out Avalon Stage, the South Londoner bringing her KT Tunstall-esque riotous acoustic guitar rock to life in fine style. I Get No Joy and Good At It are particular delights.
Oxford rockers Foals are announced for a secret set over at The Park stage following a massive two sold out shows at London’s Alexandra Palace, but pop legend Janet Jackson is about to take up her Pyramid stage slot, so we wonder across with the masses and pitch up a good distance from the stage to take in the atmosphere. Liam Gallagher moves up to the penultimate spot on tonight’s Pyramid stage line-up following on from a well-received Other stage set during the 2017 edition…
…And he’s all attitude. Kicking off with Oasis classic and self-proclamation track Rock ‘N’ Roll Star followed swiftly with Morning Glory, he’s not shying away from his Oasis heritage as he stomps about the stage, facing off with one of the on-stage TV cameras to get his mug magnified on the big screens. Responding to the cooling temperatures he quips “left a parka in my hotel and now I’m freezing my tits off” before storming into As You Were cut Wall Of Glass.
There’s more from his solo debut as well as a couple from his forthcoming follow-up, and while the new material is a (significant) cut above Beady Eye, it’s the plethora of Oasis classics from the group’s first two records tonight’s set is littered with that get the growing crowd signing along in earnest. Brother Noel is referred to as “the little fart” but there is a gentleman in there somewhere.
Slide Away is dedicated to breast cancer survivor Lauren Mahon and nods are also given to festival organiser Emily Eavis as well as the late Keith Flint and Ken Dodd. And as Wonderwall, Supersonic and Champagne Supernova close out Gallagher’s set, they remind us just how iconic a band Oasis were and significant a frontman Liam Gallagher is.
While The Chemical Brothers close out the Other stage and the fabulous Wu-Tang Clan round up today’s West Holts line-up, tonight belongs to Las Vegas rockers The Killers and their return to the Pyramid stage after an issue-fraught 2007 headline slot. They are resplendent. Big records Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town dominate the setlist, the Brandon Flowers-led four-piece tearing straight into Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine and Somebody Told Me from their 2004 debut before Spaceman from 2008’s Day & Age changes things up.
The night is rounded out with not one but two big surprises – don’t worry, neither one was Chris Martin! First up British electronic pop legends Pet Shop Boys join the Las Vegans for a rendition of their 1987 hit single Always On My Mind – my festival highlight bar none! Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe remain for a jubilant outing of Day & Age hit Human. The Smiths’ guitar legend himself Johnny Marr comes out to perform a rendition of This Charming Man alongside Flowers et al. before the night is wound up with The Killers’ biggest hit Mr Brightside.
Photography & words by Kalpesh Patel at Glastonbury Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019