Glastonbury Review: Young Fathers

June 23, 2023

We pity the person who has to decide where to put the Young Father’s albums in the record shop, because in their first song alone they crash through about six genres. We know they won the Mercury Prize, but there isn’t normally a section for that for 51 weeks of the year.

It’s been a sunny day, we’ve all got hot and danced, and we’re tiring. It’s 8.30, hearts are slowing, and Edinburgh’s Young Father’s take the stage to give us all a colossal kick up the arse. They are energetic, they are insistent, they are strident and heavy yet still feature a glockenspiel.

Yep, a glockenspiel, because this is the ultimate fusion of sounds, music that defies categorisation because when you pick one the music changes. Heavy rhythms, emotive vocals, a sense that anything and everything could happen.

The sheer power. It’s breathtaking.

You spend the set on the edge of your seat, in a good way. You live a hundred lives at the same miles an hour. You find an energy you thought fading, and are ready to go long into the night. You also want to buy percussion and become part of the team. Their interactions, their endless twisting about, this feels like a collective in the purest way, free of years of snobbery of that word.

Speaking of snobbery, they fire at them too, launching into a powerful chant of refugees are welcome here near the end, adding a fuck the Tories for good measure.

Pictures by David Court

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