Home Alternative Music Glastonbury 2023: Saturday – Competition Overview

Glastonbury 2023: Saturday – Competition Overview

Glastonbury 2023: Saturday – Competition Overview


Glastonbury 2023: Saturday – Festival Review
Rick Astley

Glastonbury Competition 2023
Worthy Farm, Somerset
twenty fourth June 2023

It’s Saturday at Worthy Farm and with the solar nonetheless shining, David Edwards enjoys one thing previous and one thing new, some pop music and a few soukous jams. Richard Thompson brings the tears and Weapons N’ Roses tackle the doubters in epic type… (Examine Weds-Fri right here)

It’s an early begin on Saturday as we head right down to one of many buzz bands of the competition – The Final Dinner Occasion at Woodsies. There’s a big crowd there in expectation on condition that solely considered one of their songs has been formally launched. A lot has been mentioned concerning the band in current weeks, together with some pretty sneering feedback about them being an “business plant” and a few utterly pointless abuse delivered on-line to journalists interviewing them. However it’s utterly clear from their excellent efficiency that they’re completely the actual deal. Lead singer Abigail Morris has the vocal stylings of Siouxsie Sioux and the theatrical exuberance of Morrissey, while the band’s music skirts between Arcade Hearth, Florence + The Machine, The Dresden Dolls and even Britpop stylings. However the important thing factor is that it really works – the songs are robust, the efficiency (regardless of some unlucky technical hiccoughs) is convincing and highly effective, and the band look genuinely overwhelmed on the big turnout. They definitely don’t want to fret about any critics in the event that they proceed on this trajectory.

Glastonbury 2023: Saturday – Festival Review
The Final Dinner Occasion

One other eyebrow-raising addition to the ultimate Glastonbury line-up is ’80s pop sensation Rick Astley. Now, everyone seems to be a fan of a little bit of ’80s pop (nicely, I’m anyway) however many big artists with solely a few main hits have appeared misplaced within the vastness of the Pyramid Stage and so heading over, I’m genuinely a bit trepidatious as as to whether he’ll have the ability to dwell as much as the billing.

Effectively? He completely smashes it.

This can be a present of pure enjoyable and whole pleasure. Astley himself nonetheless retains that soulful, smoky and easy voice that characterised his hits, however he’s additionally a totally participating and likeable determine. He manages to skirt the road between being self-deprecating and completely charming – stuffed with vitality, thankfulness and witty attraction. And he even manages to deliver the home down by giving us one of the vital sudden covers of the weekend – sitting in behind the drums to ship a superb cowl of AC/DC’s Freeway to Hell (“I wore this file out as a child”). It’s precisely the type of smile-tugging efficiency that you simply want at such a time and by the point we get to By no means Gonna Give You Up, he has utterly ensnared the gang. Although we don’t get to see it later, apparently his Smiths cowl set with Blossoms is equally momentous and it’s onerous to begrudge such a pleasant and humble man changing into the sudden hero of Glastonbury 2023.

It’s over to the West Holts stage for a half hour of Kanda Bongo Man, taking part in an excellent set of Congolese soukous music with a terrific, well-honed and fluidly funky band. It’s unlucky this yr that attributable to clashes and timescales, we don’t get to spend as a lot time right here as regular, as it’s such a vibrant and numerous a part of the competition. As quickly as that is completed (and fancying a little bit of mid-’00s nostalgia) we make a journey to the Acoustic stage – positioned excessive within the far nook of the competition – for The Magic Numbers. The place is completely packed out for them, and it’s a beautiful reminder of simply how joyful and melodically satisfying their songs stay in spite of everything this time. Without end Misplaced produces whoops of pleasure, Love Me Like You stays one of many nice underrated mid-’00s singles, and nearer Mornings Eleven prompts a mass wave-along from the gang. As with so many artists right here, what strikes most is their sheer delight that so many individuals have come to see them over different acts, and it’s a beautiful reminder of simply what number of choices there are at Worthy Farm, and the sheer number of experiences that one can have right here.

Badly Drawn Boy has a equally big crowd within the tent, and once more the emotion of the second actually appears to reinforce the efficiency. He’s in usually deadpan mode at time (joking about his monitor All Potentialities being on a Comet advert with Edith Bowman and dedicating it to the corporate) however at different instances he seems genuinely choked up on the crowd response and particularly when he dedicates a stunning closing Silent Sigh to his lately deceased brother. It’s a purely solo present with no different band members, and the sheer power of the songcraft and the efficiency is really mighty to behold. An excellent and touching half hour.

Glastonbury 2023: Saturday – Festival Review
Blossoms and Rick Astley

To say that Richard Thompson is one thing of a dwelling legend is an understatement – that is, in spite of everything, a person who has been behind a lot of the British people explosion and subsequent embedding into the mainstream (one thing he eludes to earlier than Genesis Corridor when he slyly remarks “That is by a little-known band known as Fairport Conference. We solely principally invented people rock”). However nothing can put together you for the sheer magic of watching him shut up. His guitar taking part in is a factor of marvel – skilful, deft and superbly expressive. His voice – even at 74 – sounds good and the songwriting is flawless. If I Might Reside My Life Once more carries a grand gravitas, Phrase Unstated, Sight Unseen rolls and tilts effortlessly and the carnival of Wall Of Demise is sung again by everybody down the entrance.

However it’s the gorgeous, jaw-dropping duo of Beeswing and 1952 Vincent Black Lightning that marks the head of the set – two doomed romances expressed with such aching magnificence that I spend the whole ten minutes in tears. It’s stunning past phrases. Closing with a improbable I Need to See the Shiny Lights Tonight (“I ought to most likely end on a contented track”) this is among the most interesting and most memorable units of the weekend. An absolute nationwide treasure, and one who you shouldn’t miss when you get the possibility.

We make it right down to the Different Stage in time for the Manic Road Preachers’ attribute early night slot (that is now the fourth time they’ve performed this specific time) and you’ll completely see why they select this time. It’s the good hour for them to assemble each devoted and informal followers collectively for a euphoric and eclectic set. The opening Motorbike Vacancy is bellowed again like greeting an previous good friend together with pin-sharp variations of All the things Should Go and You Stole the Solar From My Coronary heart. They even have the depth of high quality to drop their typical closing A Design for Life into the center of the set, ending as an alternative with a poignant and epic If You Tolerate This Your Kids Will Be Subsequent. They’re additionally joined onstage by The Anchoress who gives an ideal foil for Your Love Alone is Not Sufficient and takes full lead vocals on a wonderful and heart-breaking That is Yesterday. Certainly, the band’s rawer early output is brilliantly served in the present day – a scabrous Die within the Summertime, a uncooked Sooner and the glam-inflected stomp of You Love Us. The performances are sensible, the gang are absolutely engaged and the entire thing comes collectively superbly. It’s a near-perfect set from a band who defy age and defy musical gravity to stay splendidly thrilling after over thirty years of regularly defying the chances.

Glastonbury 2023: Saturday – Festival ReviewOf all of the bookings for this yr’s lineup, the inclusion of Weapons N’ Roses as Saturday’s Pyramid headliner is by a way essentially the most controversial. There have been many phrases written by extra certified journalists than myself and I cannot contact on them right here, however purely by way of dimension and scale it’s troublesome to dismiss how influential and iconic the band have been at their late ’80s/early ’90s peak. The query (and it’s a real query) is whether or not they may nonetheless pull it off in 2023. Footage I had seen from reveals on their current tour doesn’t essentially bode nicely, and although we take our place close to the entrance of the stage, there may be each pleasure and trepidation in equal measures.

We needn’t have anxious.

This can be a correct rock present, the type of factor that doesn’t at all times find yourself on the most important stage at Glastonbury however when it does (and with the precise viewers) it brings the home down. Much like Metallica in 2014, this smacks of a band who genuinely really feel they’ve one thing to show and are decided to silence the doubters. Heck, they even come on a minute early which looks like a deliberate nod and wink to their earlier tardiness. And as It’s So Simple slams into the gang to open up proceedings, there’s a real sense of pleasure amongst those that have taken an opportunity.

From a musical perspective, tonight is Slash’s evening. He’s not at all times completely tight dwell (he by no means has been) however from each a stage persona and by way of his skill to wring completely filthy riffs and squawking lead traces from his Les Paul, he will get the rock’n’roll really feel completely spot on. Axel is completely charming and well mannered tonight – once more wanting as if he’s out to show one thing to the doubters. And while it’s completely true that his voice fades in direction of the top of the set (although it additionally appears that his microphone ranges are off the whole present) the very fact stays that he’s singing these 35 yr previous songs that have been in a ridiculously excessive register initially, and the band has not compromised on key modifications. You may forgive it – he’s in his 60s. However his stage persona and power of persona is simple. Duff McKagen and the remainder of the band are tight, and the general sound is that heavy, soiled sound that made Urge for food for Destruction such a bombshell again within the day.

Welcome to the Jungle is intense and darkish, Mr Brownstone swings naughtily, and there’s a welcome inclusion inclusion for the Velvet Revolver monitor Slither and even a shock cowl of UK Subs’ Down On The Farm and The Stooges’ T.V. Eye. You Might Be Mine sounds colossal and unapologetic – Slash completely proudly owning his second within the highlight right here. Reside And Let Die stays one of many most interesting ever Beatles covers, and a stomping Knocking On Heaven’s Door once more reveals that they’d a novel musical sensibility in reinterpreting songs. However it’s the double-tap of Candy Little one O’ Mine and November Rain that actually make this set. The enduring opening riff to the previous, delivered with essentially the most good pause after a Slash solo jam promotes a crowd response that I’ve hardly ever heard on the Pyramid Stage, and the latter is just stunning. A euphoric Paradise Metropolis (full with the inevitable Dave Grohl cameo) brings us to a detailed, and regardless of the doubts and the doubters, this is among the highlights of the whole weekend and proves as soon as once more that arduous rock completely has a spot on the Pyramid Stage.


Phrases by David Edwards. His different Louder than Struggle articles could be discovered right here

Images by Jack Flynn. See extra of his work right here

Fireworks picture by Andrew Allcock

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