“PJ Harvey wearing a choker, Spice Girls merch, and pink stilettos was peak 2004.”
As part of The Glastonbury Experience, a tonne of highlights from over the years have appeared on BBC iPlayer. For those that never quite seem to secure tickets, kicking back and watching the Glasto coverage at home is a yearly British tradition. Too often, I find myself in this category (petition for a ballot-based system, anyone?), but this year, we’re all in the same boat.
Not sure where to start with the Glasto highlights? Here’s what FUZZY is watching.
1. Glass Animals (2017):
Glass Animals are the perfect festival band. The Oxford four-piece brought their pineapples and their peanut butter vibes to the Other Stage in 2017, in full Glass Animals style. The band are known for high energy hits such as ‘Gooey’ and ‘Pork Soda’, but the slower, more tender ‘Agnes’ featuring was a personal highlight.
2. PJ Harvey (2004):
Put simply, PJ Harvey wearing a choker, Spice Girls merch, and pink stilettos was peak 2004. Though the occasional male fan screaming “you’re beautiful” slightly detracts from her status as one of the best alternative artists in the world as separate from her beauty, the sentiment is sweet. Gracing the Pyramid Stage the year the seminal Uh Huh Her was released, this set is a must-watch this Glasto (ish) weekend.
3. Radiohead (1997):
This is a no-brainer. Radiohead, another glorious Oxford band, played Glasto a mere month after the release of OK Computer in 1997. The tale of the sound issues the band faced is infamous, which is perhaps part of the reason why this gig is remembered as one of the greatest Glasto moments in history. Only the likes of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood would be able to pull off a performance like that barely being able to hear. I wonder if they ever forgave the sound guy.
4. FKA Twigs (2015):
In the best of ways, I sometimes wonder whether FKA Twigs is from this planet. She played the set barefoot in 2015 because of course, she did. Gracing Worthy Farm a year after LP1 was released, FKA Twigs’ stage presence is stunning. Returning to this set after the release of multi-award winning album MAGDALENE feels like witnessing the moment a star was born.
5. Christine & The Queens (2016):
Rewinding to the days when Héloïse Letissier had long hair, 2016 feels simultaneously as though it was five minutes and five thousand years ago. Complete with flawless choreography, the moment Chris played ‘Tilted’ to Glasto crowds was a musical watershed. It was a joy to see her return in 2019, though whoever was responsible for her clash with Janelle Monae needs a good talking to.
6. Lady Gaga (2009):
I don’t think 2009 was quite ready for Lady Gaga. Entering the stage effectively wearing a disco ball bodysuit, the set embodies the glam rock influences so heavily prevalent in her early discography. With a myriad of costume changes, she massively succeeded on the outfit change front, that’s for sure. Taking ownership of her sexuality in such a unique, empowering way, it’s simultaneously easy and hard to believe that Gaga delivered all of this at the age of twenty-three. Legend stuff.
7. Dave (2019):
Mere months after the release of Psychodrama, Dave brought his unique sound to the fields of Somerset. Bringing out an audience member to help him rap ‘Thiago Silva’ quickly made headlines. Fifteen-year-old Alex Mann went viral on social media and secured a record deal almost instantaneously. The hard-hitting, overtly political rap Dave brought to the table is an unforgettable moment in Glasto history.
8. IDLES (2019):
Bristol-bred IDLES might just be the most exciting act on the planet right now. The wave of post-punk artists the UK music scene is currently experiencing is a force to be reckoned with, and IDLES are at the forefront of the revolution. This set addresses just about every political issue on the contemporary agenda, from NHS workers’ pay to class to immigration. The heatwave which overcame the UK at the time of Glastonbury in 2019 was so overwhelming that guitarist Mark Bowen played the set in his pants and socks, rock star style. Kudos.
Words by Eleanor Noyce.
25th June 2020.