Glastonbury Festival’s first two secret slots reviewed

June 26, 2015

Secret slots are a part of Glastonbury’s rich tapestry and culture. Whether it’s Radiohead at John Peel, Gruff Rhys at the Crow’s Nest or (…) Kaiser Chiefs on the Other Stage, everybody has their stories that they hold close to their hearts, On this, the first full day of music at Glastonbury, the pleasure of opening the new and refurbished Other Stage was left to The Charlatans. over at a jam-packed William’s Green, however, were chart fliers Bastille.

This was a tale of a withering sail and a vessel at full speed ahead, but it wasn’t Tim Burgess and co who lacked the wind behind them. The Charlatans have an idiosyncratic way of controlling the proximity and intimacy of a show. The enigmatic front man orchestrates, drawing the crowd closer with pieces like ‘The Only One I Know’ and fast casting then aside with ‘One to Another’: it is a showcase of the depth on display. Bastille, however, awkwardly group and blast out show tunes like a drunk grandmother in a church, lacking the guile or back catalogue to support or warrant a slot this far from their comfort zone.

There’s very little familiarity about pieces like ‘Pompeii’ when brandished in such an underwhelming manner. Bastille are an appealing group when taken in their natural habitat on a large stage, however, under the microscope they lack the nuance to enthral.

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