This year, the legendary Festival of Glastonbury was full of good surprises. At first, the original line-up didn’t seem that exciting considering the event was headlined by three acts: Foo Fighters, who cancelled at the last minute; Kanye West, whose music has absolutely nothing to do with the festival's identity and philosophy whatsoever, and finally, The Who, an iconic, fifty year old band.
But thankfully, the organisers didn't let the audience down, and managed to offer an event that lived up to the standards of the mythical festival of Glastonbury. The first surprise took place on the "Other Stage" friday morning, when the Charlatans appeared unannounced to play a secret set. The same stage hosted some other great bands throughout the day including The Cribs and The Vaccines, who performed new songs from their last release English Graffiti, including Handsome and Dream Lover.
The greatest moment of the festival took place on the "Pyramid Stage" later that evening, just before the new headliner Florence + The Machine’s set. After their helicopter landed at Worthy Farm, The Libertines appeared on stage a 8:20pm sharp, shutting down the numerous scandalmongers complaining about their unpunctual reputation. They played their greatest hits for over an hour, as well as a sneak peek of their very awaited upcoming album, which included two new songs - Gunga Din and Anthem For Doomed Youth - as well as a rearranged piano and cello version of the previously unreleased You're My Waterloo. Despite the unfortunate bad quality of sound, the band didn't fail to please their audience with a performance worthy of the good old days.
On saturday, Azealia Banks’ set was the second cancellation of the festival. However, once again the organisers managed to make the best out of it by replacing the rapper with the Irish rock band The Strypes, who entertained the small crowd at least as much. Unfortunately, it was not everyone's case. Indeed, Irish folk singer Rainy Boy Sleep who replaced Scottish band Texas at the last minute, saw a considerable part of the audience walk away after the announcement. The singer who opened his set with a cover of Say What You Want, was nonetheless well encouraged by the remaining crowd that sang along.
The best performance of this year’s festival probably happened by the end of the afternoon on the “Other Stage”, when The Maccabees played an hour set that included Latchmere, which they hadn't played in 3 years, as well as Marks To Prove It, for which they invited surprise guest Jamie T; who actually performed on the same stage the next day.
In the evening, while Kanye West attracted the majority of the festival’s attendees at the “Pyramid Stage”, a fair amount of people were enjoying the exceptional performance of The Moody Blues at the “Acoustic Stage”, including 80 years old Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury himself, who joined the band on stage with a tambourine for the final song Question.
The last day of the festival was not the least, it kicked off in the very early afternoon with one of the best discoveries of this year's festival: the American band Mini Mansions from LA offered an impressive show at the “John Peel Stage”, even though unfortunately, the crowd was quite small. Their performance of Mirror Mountain from The Great Pretenders album was astonishing and won them the wide praise it deserved.
Back on the “Other Stage”, Adam Cohen - son of Leonard - performed some romantic pop songs with his band who played half a dozen instruments, including violin and cello. They closed their set with a long version of Love Is, to which they've incorporated a medley of Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Johnny Cash and Craig David.
The same stage saw many other great acts that day, including Palma Violets, Belle & Sebastian, and headliners The Chemical Brothers, who performed while The Who were taking over the “Pyramid Stage”. However, after witnessing an impressive amount of Lionel Richie t-shirts parading around Worthy Farm, it didn’t really come as a surprise that this year’s most attended act was the 80’s emblematic singer... Hello!