One of the joys of Glastonbury Festival is the discovery of secret gigs that, once found, fill you with the feeling that you’ve witnessed a performance that was put on just for you.
Of course, the problem with secret gigs is that news of them encompass the site like the dark clouds that take their annual cue to join the party. Soon thousands have descended on a small stage that had no idea it would be occupied by such great hordes.
The bush telegraph had been rampant on Thursday as festival goers, champing at the bit for some live action, had their palate whetted with a Drenge/Wolf Alice double bill. All very good for those that could get within a million miles of the tent.
Not to worry as the worst kept secret was waiting for early risers on Friday to launch the festival for real.
“Surprise, surprise”, announced Tim Burgess as he led his Charlatans on to stage, after posting none too cryptic clues on Twitter about their impending appearance.
After a couple nights of hard partying, the best cure for that cider and chemical hangover is a peroxide bleached, mop-topped singer with a cannon load of tunes to blow away any cobwebs.
The Charlatans are now seasoned pro’s with 26 years experience under their belts and from opening Wurlitzer whirl of ‘Weirdo’ to the mass dance-a-long of ‘The Only I Know’ there was no looking back.
The Cribs’ Jarman brothers were in equally sparkling form with a great rock ‘n roll demolition of stage equipment as the cherry on the top of their indie-pop cake.
The Districts on the other hand are a fairly intense and passionate gang. The flailing of limbs often left you in wonderment at how the instruments were being played but play they did and it was a glorious sound, with ‘Peaches’ standing out in their debut Glasto set.
Another celebrated debut was that of Lemmy who, at nearly 70, showed no signs of relaxing into retirement. In actual fact, Motorhead were so fierce that they might be the only force capable of stopping the White Walkers in Game of Thrones.
Growling and goading, it is certain that Lemmy and guitarist Phil Campbell would make a great double act in the next series of ‘Grumpy Old Men’ as they joked and riffed their way towards the crowd pleasing ‘Ace of Spades’.
There was still a Florence sized slot to fill in the bill after her promotion to the top slot. Fortunately, flying in from their homes in Albion were The Libertines, bringing tunes old and new to the Pyramid Stage.
The swelling crowd were definitely more enthralled by songs past than the future offerings but, hey, it’s the kind of treat that the Eavis family can offer up on days like these.
As Florence preached to the masses, it was six men dressed as yeti’s accompanied by hatful of dancing fruit that highlighted the diverse back catalogue of Super Furry Animals. As the witching hour passed, they were being lapped up, especially when ‘Golden Retriever’ came bounding out across the field.