Glastonbury Review: London Grammar

July 1, 2024

The stagings have been a bit of a nightmare this year. Barry Can’t Swim packed out the Park Stage to the point where things got nervier than England playing Slovakia, while Avril Lavigne performed to quite possibly the largest crowd ever amassed at the Other Stage.

And then there was SZA, whose main stage headline slot seemed to pull less punters than a yard sale on an empty street. Mindbogglingly, London Grammar were similarly placed on the wrong stage, with schedulers failing their due diligence in assessing the group’s draw.

Relegated to the Park Stage, the Notts’ trio played to a simple but effective light show. The tasteful dynamics of ‘Hey Now’ set the tone. Hannah Reid’s torch singer voice created intimacy in a sprawling space — it’s a vocal of such rare power that you could use it as a Green Party-approved alternative to wind energy.

Her sidekicks were no bit-part players either. They neatly and tastefully complemented her delivery, bringing to life the rich textures found across the band’s four albums. This was a set of pulsing, late night drama infused by reflection and emboldened by the lessons learnt, summed up by beautiful songs such as ‘Wasting My Young Years’ and ‘How Does It Feel’.

The popularity of their slow burn, brooding indie was the perfect drug as the dark skies enveloped festival goers and Glastonbury 2024 drew to a halt. This was irrefutable once the throbbing electronica of ‘Lose Your Head’ and the goosebump chill of ‘Metal and Dust’ and the closer, ‘Strong’.

If London Grammar’s music were an emoji, it would be the sad face with a single tear dripping from its forehead. Why? Because this music is pensive and portentous, a sound that hints at tragedy, and hopes for better days beyond. It’s music ripe for TV dramas and personal lows. These are sounds you can bathe and seek sanctuary in. No wonder they have remained so beloved. What a perfect end to Glastonbury 2024.

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