Review: Glastonbury Festival 2013 – Thursday/Friday

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The Edge were lucky enough to have six contributors go along to Worthy Farm for the one and only, Glastonbury Festival. The six of us all had very different experiences of the expansive festival so for each day we’re going to provide you with a feature compiling all of our experiences. Writers Amy Sandys and Emma Miles along with Live Editor – Grace Pattle, Features Editor – Cat Olley, Head of Design – Claire Joines and Editor – Megan Downing take you through their time at the best festival on earth. Enjoy!

Thursday

Megan Downing – The first proper day of the festival kicked off with all of Glastonbury’s attractions in full flow. A pretty wet day could have dampened some spirits as it poured down with rain in true Glastonbury style, yet this didn’t stop hundreds of people enjoying the grand opening party of the William’s Green tent. The line-up having not been announced hundreds of people gathered in the small new addition to the festival to catch a glimpse of some potentially fantastic special guests. They were definitely not disappointed by Dry The River, Django Django and Alt-J as they all performed wonderful surprise sets.

Claire Joines – Over at the Beat Hotel Joe Goddard kept his DJ set as quiet as he could, but by the time I turned up the crowd had grown so big dancing figures littered the surrounding area. Joe’s endearing bopping and seamless back-to-back mixing with a similarly gruff looking fella (who I can only assume was the second Bear) made for a great start to the festival.

Emma Miles – I was assured that who we were about to see was extremely talented, around twenty years old and the son of a music don at Oxbridge. Despite it being a Dj set, Orlando Higginbottom, aka – Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, put on a great show while trying not to look up at the audience in fear of being distracted by his (totally) enormous crowd in The Beat Hotel.

Friday

gf588_zpse95d9a57Megan – The first big day of music came in the form of a very sunny Friday. With the rain of Thursday long in the past, keen festival goers were up nice and early to see the special guest on The Other Stage at 11am. Glastonbury once again delivering fantastic surprises, this time in the form of Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye.

Cat Olley – A solid performance saw Gallagher produce a more dynamic sound than expected, with notably original riffs. The set included a mixture of Beady Eye and Oasis material, which inevitably pleased fans.

Emma – The three sisters from LA rocked up on stage in T-shirts and jeans and appeared very overwhelmed by their midday crowd on The Pyramid Stage. Haim’s harmonies were on point and you could tell they had a great musical relationship. However, considering their rocky-vibe, most of the audience were swaying rather than head-banging. Pleasant but not mind-blowing.

Amy Sandys – Despite not knowing much about Dog Is Dead, I thoroughly enjoyed their 45 minute set over in the John Peel tent, with their catchy choruses and immense stage energy creating an infectious buzz across the crowd. I’d even go as far as to say they were one of my highlights – my friends and I wasted no time in downloading their album upon our return home.

Emma – Jake Bugg’s talent is undeniable. His performance was pitch perfect and his guitar playing at a very good level on the Pyramid Stage. His hits ‘Lightening Bolt’ and ‘Two Fingers’ went down well with the audience. Yet, I cannot help thinking that he didn’t seem to be enjoying himself very much. Perhaps he was just overwhelmed but he seemed to just play his songs rather than feel them.

Claire – Don’t get me wrong, I love Mount Kimbie on record; their new album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is beautiful and the collaborations are perfectly suited to the sound of the band. Dance music at lunch time is normally pretty hit and miss, but I found Kimbie’s performance to be especially boring and pretentious. The set could’ve been saved by more ‘songy’ songs, rather than an hour of atmospheric music.

Amy – Kodaline delivered a sleek and enjoyable set, well received on the sunny Friday afternoon at the John Peel tent. Their singles, in particular – ‘Love Like This’ and ‘High Hopes’ – provoked a certain, warm cider-fuelled dance by the festival goers. However, I can’t help but think they’d be more suited to a smaller gig venue than a festival stage.

gf697_zps664d4ba7Amy – Putting my partisan views aside for one minute, there’s no denying that pop sensation Rita Ora can sing. I can’t help but feel, however, that she didn’t quite belong to Glastonbury. Yes, diversity is important but it seemed like Friday exhibited a kind of glorified V Festival. That being said, the screaming 15-year old girls around me seemed to know all the words to every single pounding, electronic dance hit, and who am I to begrudge them such fun?

Emma – Steve Aoki was energetic from the start over on the Sonic Stage. Although the mixing itself wasn’t unbelievable, he got the whole crowd pumped. Following Aoki was Julio Bashmore. Apart from his big hit ‘Au Seve’ his tracks were rather samey. For me, he fell flat following the energy of Steve Aoki and I found myself bobbing along rather than getting really involved. Nonetheless, a solid effort.

Grace Pattle – Local Natives did not disappoint. Their voices were stunning and they delivered harmonies with a sweet intensity. They were clearly taken aback with the crowd they managed to attract. This was the first time I’d seen them live and I would definitely see them again.

Amy – The Lumineers were a surprise hit – only because I’d never listened to their album, and knew that one song that EVERYONE knows (HO! HEY!) – I thoroughly enjoyed this Colorado’s quartet’s mid-afternoon slot on The Other Stage. They worked the crowd in a magical way, with lead singer Wesley Schultz even confidently working his way through the crowd to perform two songs standing on a stool in the middle of the mass of sweaty, smelly festival-goers. A highlight of the Friday, and perhaps even the whole weekend.

Cat – Australian rockers Tame Impala, compared endlessly to Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, proved they could hold their own with their unique psychedelic sound. Dreamy, listless guitars sat next to powerful riffs in a set characterised by strong track after strong track. Finishing with ‘Half Glass Full of Wine’, the band cemented themselves as highly relevant to a British audience, even if they are from the other side of the world.  My personal Glastonbury favourite.

Emma – Although I was begging for a live set to be on the Glastonbury line up, SBTKT’s DJ set did not disappoint. They experimented with their classic tracks such as, ‘Wildfire’ with just enough creativity to allow the audience to recognise the song but appreciate the new mix. Very impressed.

Amy – I love alt-J, and the prospect of seeing them live, at a sundown slot on the Other stage, was something I couldn’t resist. I was, unfortunately, disappointed.  Their melancholy, trippy lyrics and whimsical melodies seemed to be a hit with much of the Glastonbury population. However, it was seemingly impossible to gain a decent vantage point from which to really enjoy them. I can’t help but feel they’d suit a smaller, quiter slot; they might be a huge band, but festival-wise their energies would be better concentrated to one of the tents, or perhaps not scheduled before guitar-pounding giants Arctic Monkeys take to the stage.

Megan – Having only an hour’s break from my shift with Oxfam I managed to run over to the John Peel Tent to catch Bastille. Unfortunately I couldn’t get anywhere near the edge of the tent as the band attracted the biggest crowd to date on the John Peel. I caught most of their set as they whizzed through their debut album Bad Blood to the delight of the adoring fans.

Amy – Yannis Phillipakis and co. wasted no time in producing a storming, erthreal effort on The Other Stage. Debuting single ‘Inhaler’, which Phillipakis stated they ‘had been waiting a long time to finally be playing to a festival crowd’, as well as revisiting old favourites such as ‘Spanish Sahara’, Foals always ensure their live sets are technically and orally stunning.

Amy – The Arctic Monkeys were arguably the best headline set from all three day of music, the Sheffield quartet came into their own when faced with thousands and thousands of eager Glastonbury goers. With an impressive back catalogue and impossibly catchy, easily shoutable lyrics echoed back to them across the vast fields of the Pyramid stage Alex Turner and co. cherished this special opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed this two hour dance-a-thon. They delivered a sleek, polished but undoubtedly explosive set…just the kind of thing Glasto needs.

p01c2hrr_640_360Claire – I was torn between Chic and Portishead but I couldn’t possibly have passed the opportunity to see the man who was behind songs like ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘We are Family’. And boy did we dance; a crowd consisting of nearly every age group and I’m almost 100% certain every single one of us were getting our funk on and dancing for the whole 1 & 1/2 hours. Rodgers was charmingly humbled to be doing his first performance at Glastonbury, running out before he started playing and taking photos of the excited audience. The suited and booted band’s excellent performance showed just how honoured they were to be there and, as a result, I felt exceptionally honoured to have been there to witness it.

Look out for our Saturday review coming soon to The Edge.

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About Author

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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Hi I'm Grace I risk sounding disgustingly cliched but I cannot remember a time when music wasn't part of my life. I love going to gigs and have been known to dabble in a bit of gigging and song writing myself.

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1 Comment

  1. avatar

    You kidding me? Beady eye were dull beyond measure, the crowd were barely into it. The only real response from the crowd was with the Oasis songs. Just goes to show that liam is still trying to carry himself on a ship long gone. For those who missed Portishead you missed out! Shame chic were on at the same time though. Also keep an eye out for Peace, they will be big. Otherwise, spot on reviews!

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