Greatest Glastonbury Sets – 2014
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Despite the rain and oceans of unspeakable effluence, despite the contentious inclusion of a “real” Metal band and the scandalous accusations suggesting the presence of a Country & Western ventriloquism act (directed at a real life Dolly) and, despite the rather telling lack of lobster and Prosecco to be found among the more up scale vendors; it seems that Glastonbury 2014 was a resounding, mud-splattered success.
It is no surprise then that all of these minor inconveniences fall by the wayside when we consider why everyone is there in the first place. The music. That heavenly sound that skips like a smooth stone across the gathering, chemical toilet filled lakes, defying gravity to hit you between the ears with enough force to liberate your trusty wellingtons from the bowls of the hungry earth. That is why everyone goes there…..right?
Whatever the reason, here are the top 5 performances (as voted by NME readers) of this years festival. Rock ‘n’ Roll? Maybe.
Coming in at fifth place is the Brighton based two piece who have had a positively regal few months. Formed in the early part of 2013, the overwhelming interest in their garage rock swagger saw the John Peel Stage literally overflowing with fans desperate to get a glimpse of the low-slung bass and designer facial hair. With a raw sound reminiscent of the Black Keys, it looks like things are on the up and up for Royal Blood after a storming set.
The only thing controversial or shocking about this once hell-raising Metal band’s performance was the fact that they were booked to play a gig at what has always been considered a “hippie” festival. Voted in at number four, the ageing rockers certainly haven’t lost any of their edge over the years and, even if the atmosphere was more sandalwood than Satanism, they managed to win over the eager crowd expecting a spectacular headliner.
Lighting up the Pyramid Stage with…well..fire, the pyrotechnically passionate Arcade Fire brought their usual brand of sunshine songs exploding across the grey British summer. Win Butler described the set as among the most “unbelievable” things to have ever happened to the band. Its seems that they enjoyed themselves as much as you did – voting them in at number three.
The archetypal “others”, appearing on the aptly named Other Stage, the Pixies have been among the best live bands in the world for more than 30 years. A festival favourite who never fails to play their seething, skin-crawling “hits” to an expectant crowd. Voted in at number two. Now, where is my mind?
Including a cameo appearance from surrealist comedy legend Noel Fielding dressed as Vlad the Impaler and a well received Gnarls Barkley cover, Kasabian came in at a the number one spot. Impressive as ever, the headliners bowed out in a blinding hail of lasers that sent a truly monumental crowd wild.
If you were (un)lucky enough to miss out this year then don’t worry. There are still enough festivals to fill each and every weekend leading us into autumn. However, it might be worth checking out this festival guide to ensure you’re fully prepared in the event of another washout.