Photo courtesy of DrownedinSound.com
For the second part of my Glastonbury review, I”™m focussing on day 2; the acts dotted around the festival on the Friday. This section features live reviews of Miike Snow, Mariachi El Bronx, Bonobo, Rusko and the amazing Thom Yorke.
Miike Snow were not expecting success, but the exposure brought to them through remix-friendly material reworked by hype artists like Mark Ronson, Tiga and Fake Blood, a feature on massive American teen drama Gossip Girl and a bunch of simply great tracks, the success isn”™t a surprise. And this success was in evidence here at Glastonbury. Low down the bill, one of the first acts to play on the John Peel Stage at this years festival, you could be forgiven for thinking they were one of the headliners, such was the size of crowd they attracted.
Photo courtesy ofÂ DrownedinSound.com
The eponymous debut album is a fantastic listen, and tracks like Silvia and Burial all translate to Miike Snow”™s live show with incomparable ease. Unfortunately, the slower tracks, particularly Sans Soleil, which was chosen as the penultimate track to set closer Animal, served only to cede all the energy and momentum built up through the set. Animal was still a fantastic set closer, but you couldn”™t help but wonder how euphoric the set may have been had they not sent things into a lull only a few seconds before. 7/10
Mariachi El Bronx
LA hardcore punk band The Bronx released three eponymous albums before taking on the pseudonym Mariachi El Bronx and quite literally writing a fully-embraced Mariachi record. On a blistering Friday afternoon they walk on in full black Mariachi attire (and LA sun-glasses, but directly facing the sun, we can let them off that as being function-before-style) and took us through a set that took us back to Mexico.
Photo courtesy of Rock Sound
Through their performance, they showed that they”™re enjoying their music, that the record is truly honest, and that their style of mariachi has been perfectly realised. It was truly odd to introduce that a song is about sexual perverts, only for it to break into bouncy, happy-go-lucky 3/4 waltz, but this helped to take the entire affair with the pinch of salt it deserved. Thoroughly recommended. 8/10
Simon Green, otherwise known as Bonobo, has been an underground pioneer of chilled out beat electro for over a decade. Current album Black Sands (Ninja Tune, 2010) is a blissed out mix of trip-hop, soul and electro, but with textures so fleshed and layered that to label it ”˜chill out”™ does the musicianship a disservice. This was emphatically highlighted by the full band setup that took to the West Holts (previously Jazz World) stage on a still-glorious Friday afternoon. Vocalist Andreya Triana is a fantastic front for the band, her voice, pitched somewhere between Lauren Hill and Beth Gibbons, brings focus to an eclectic line-up – live drummer, bassist (Simon Green himself), acoustic guitarist, three-piece brass section and scratch DJ – and together they bring Bonobo”™s records to life in vibrant, stirring fashion. 8.5/10
Rusko is unashamedly a party DJ. Big basslines, big beats, and the most energetic DJ performance you will ever see. Though recent album OMG has a lot of garage influence and pop sensibilities, he chose here, backed by the Bezz-dancing of Skream, to drop a heavy, rave noisy dubstep set, and it took off. Perhaps the most hyped crowd seen all weekend, Glastonbury rocked as Rusko skreamed. 8.5/10
Rumours abounded that Radiohead were to be the special guests on The Park Stage. Arriving at the stage suitable early, I was surprised to find the place less than full but as the time approached, the crowd unsurprisingly swelled. The sound technicians did their best not to give anything away, but even in the half-second of electronic samples we were given, it became increasingly obvious that, at the very least, we were about to get a set from The Eraser.
Photo courtesy of Rock Sound
We were not disappointed, as on stepped Thom Yorke, who treated us to a solo performance of some of the memorable moments of his solo work. A few song in, Johnny Greenwood took to the stage and between them worked on a medley of Radiohead and Eraser classics. Awe-inspiring moments included a guitar duet of Weird Fishes, a spine-tingling rendition of Pyramid Song, and the highlight of the festival: Karma Police. Incredible. 10/10
The headliner on Friday was Gorillaz, catch my review of their set, along with the other headliners and a Glasto review overall, here.