Glastonbury Day 3 – Music News
Rick Astley opens the day on the Pyramid Stage. He has seen his kudos elevated in the last decade as artists like Foo Fighters and Blossoms (more later) have given him praise. And why not! When you have that voice, been part of 80s pop history, with let’s be honest, the most singable songs possible, he’s earnt his dues. Rick comes out saying that he had popped his head out 45 minutes before the midday start and saw about 19 people out there and that he absolutely crapped himself. Wel,l no fear, as come midday there is a good solid crowd awaiting for some nostalgia. Looking sharp in a salmon suit and in great voice it’s a winning set and great start to the day. Smiling people everywhere. He plays all his cards right too, engaging and funny. Fulfilling a childhood dream of drumming at Glastonbury to ‘Highway To Hell’ as he said he did as a 15 year old kid, covering Harry Styles ‘As It Was’, and making ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ his closing track, hamming it up all the way.
Wigan indie rockers, The Lathams, now have two albums under their belt, their latest ‘From Nothing To A Little Bit More’ a great LP. Playing The Other Stage it’s hot and sunny and the songs just come alive thanks to the singer Alex Moore whose reaching, powerful voice gives weight and immediacy to their aching love songs. ‘Lucky Bean’, ‘Say My Name’, ‘Sad Face Baby’ are charming and it’s a delight to see a band caught in the moment of incredulity. A great Glastonbury debut.
Tom Grennan at The Other Stage must be a happy dude as his second album ‘What If’s And Maybes’ flew straight to number one yesterday. A huge crowd gathering to dance to his pop anthems some richer in soul than others but who cares. It’s hot and it’s no time to be bothered.
Generation Sex follow on The Other Stage and it’s an occasion not to be missed, considering the weight and pathos of the people onstage. Billy Idol, Steve Jones, Tony James and Paul Cook, for they are Gen Sex. The sound Steve Jones gets out of his Gibson is always a pleasure to hear lending itself well to Generation X songs like ‘Ready Steady Go’ and ‘Dancing With Myself’. Steve Jones comments that the crowd is too polite but that’s an indication of a more civilized Glastonbury nowadays and this awareness for safety and being at peace in the fields is testament to the successful passage of time for the festival.
There’s club music blended with 90’s R&B with Erika De Casier at the Lonely Heart’s stage and it’s a pleasant respite but it’s time to head for the Woodsies Stage for a double biller.
Luckily times have overrun at Woodsies and we manage to catch the second half of Shame. If it was a meal, it would be full of high fibre and protein . No fat on this menu. They mean business and I rather like the murky wall of sound reminiscent of late seventies post punk bands. They pull the ripcord and are flying, an unexpected but welcome kick up the backside.
Rick Astley is back, now with Blossoms and they regale us with Smith’s songs. Well it’s a blast, and just hammers home what an incredible legacy The Smiths left us. Right up there with the very best. The chemistry between Rick and Blossoms is clear to see and the crowd are with them all the way on this one. ‘Ask’ , ‘William It Was Really Nothing’, ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’… I could go on and on. Lyrically and musically The Smiths gave us a gift that keeps on giving and the boys on stage tonight are part of that.
Maneskin, the Italian rockers hailing from Rome, who won the European Song Contest in 2021, are taking on the world. I was rather surprised to see they were to play at the Woodsies stage (ex John Peel Stage) rather than on the main stage but organizers seem to have got it right as the tent is not choc-a-bloc but it’s still pretty packed. Damiano, Victoria, Ethan and Thomas are young beautiful and with their blend of simple riff led danceable rock/pop songs it’s simply engaging, if little bit too predictable, almost too perfect. A mainly young crowd welcome the band’s first Glastonbury appearance with zeal.
Over to the Pyramid for Saturday’s main headlining act, king rockers, Guns N’Roses. There seems to have been some debate of late if the gunners were a worthy headline band but the evening certainly quashes this suggestion with Axl Rose in magnificent form. He runs coast to coast on huge stage, a rejuvenated man, his voice in fine form to boot.
They sound perfectly on form and Slash, as we know, really can play, dazzling one and all with his speed, ability and melodic touch. It’s a well-worked setlist, lasting 135 minutes, almost a tad too long. To end the evening there is a surprise as Dave Grohl joins on rhythm guitar for ‘Paradise City’, singing backing vocals with Duff McKagen. The crowd clearly enjoy the spectacle and the band take their well deserved bows to close another wondrous day of music.