Glastonbury Festival 2014 – The 10 Best Things We Saw

With 2014’s Glastonbury Festival sadly having been and gone, it’s now time for festivalgoers to revel in the masses of YouTube videos and pictures at their disposal to live out all of the memories. All Things Loud was there the whole weekend bringing you full coverage, and below are the 10 best things we saw.

    With new album Reflektor still proving a storm the world over, Arcade Fire’s Pyramid Stage set was by far the biggest show of the Canadian’s career thus far. Opening with the title track from Reflektor, the 20-song set featured early classics Power Out, Rebellion (Lies) and magnificently dreamy-yet-anthemic set closer Wake Up. Blended in with newer cuts Afterlife, Here Comes the Night Time and Normal Person and you have a career-spanning set which never stepped back from the high mark that was set from the moment the band took to the stage.
    Psychedelic rock quartet Temples are no stranger to the big stages, having slowly played bigger stages in the last year. Friday’s set on the John Peel Stage and Saturday’s on the William’s Green Stage proved exactly why Temples are the best psychedelic rock band around right now without a doubt. Hypnotic set opener Colours to Life sent the crowd into a daze as the James Bagshaw-fronted group played the likes of Sun Structures, Ankh and Mesmerise with perfect precision.
    With Arcade Fire bringing the party and Metallica bringing the metal, it was up to Kasabian to provide Worthy Farm with a healthy dose of anthemic lad-rock, as the Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno-fronted group rocketed through a massive, career-spanning set. Opening with new single Bumblebeee from the album 48:13, their set (which featured four string players, three backing singers and a trumpeter) effortlessly combined the rockier sounds of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum with the electronic elements of Kasabian, as well as the experimental elements on Empire and Velociraptor! Kasabian might not be massive worldwide, but they will be one day soon.
    Playing an early afternoon slot in the tent is always a hard one when you have to pull a largely hungover crowd, but it seemed as if everyone circled Jungle on their planners as one act they couldn’t miss. Having packed the John Peel Stage to the rafters (and with people standing outside), the mysterious group played magical, funk-laden tracks from their upcoming debut album, including singles The Heat and Platoon, as well as instrumental opener Smoking Pixels and funk banger Julia. Jungle is preparing to release the funkiest album of the year, and it will certainly be the album of the year without a single doubt.
    Although originally a slightly controversial choice for headliner, Saturday night was still the night that metal descended on Glastonbury with full force. Opening with a bear hunting-parody video, the James Hetfield-fronted legends played a 15-song, career spanning set featuring the likes of Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman and Seek & Destroy. If this set opens the door for more metal at Glastonbury, Michael Eavis best go find that key because Metallica smashed it with an explosive show.
    Wolf Alice were recently discovered to be the band who was blogged about the most around the world last year, and their John Peel Stage set certainly proved that the hype was indeed true. Set highlight Moaning Lisa Smile showcased all aspects of the quartet’s qualities – Ellie Roswell’s beautiful vocals, Joel Amey’s fierce drumming, Joff Oddie’s brilliant guitar playing and Theo Ellis’ pounding bass. Alongside sound-alikes Speedy Ortiz, Wolf Alice are paving the way for an alternative rock revolution, a pack which they are leading.
    A Friday set on the John Peel Stage wasn’t necessary for Chvrches to prove the hype which has surrounded them the past year, with their 60-minute show being filled with bangers in front of a full tent. Despite sound problems such as a rather high bass, the trio showcased debut album The Bones of What You Believe with perfect precision and almost effortless execution. One day in the near future, Chvrches may be headlining main stages, but for now their sound is best suited to the tents. Chvrches are a band you need to see this summer whilst they are at the top of their game.
    Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are at the top of their game, with Glastonbury being a fantastic place to showcase tracks from new album Turn Blue. Set opener Dead & Gone made way for a selection of tracks from 2011’s El Camino, including early highlight Gold on the Ceiling and the massive Lonely Boy. Closing on Little Black Submarines, the 75-minute show demonstrated a rawer, rockier sound to the blues rock-duo. Perhaps falling slight victim to similar sounding songs, The Black Keys still pulled off a brilliant show.
  9. HAIM
    Haim are no strangers to Glastonbury, having played multiple sets in 2013 and following their 2014 show with a secret one on the Saturday with Mumford & Sons. There’s no stopping this relentlessly touring sister-trio, as they played songs from debut album Days Are Gone to a massive Other Stage crowd on Friday. Playing punchy as always, the band have shed some of the rawness of old times and replaced it with a more polished, refined sound. This is mainly due to the larger crowds they’re now playing too, but it would be nice for them to retain some of the rawness they demonstrated at early shows, and still do on their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well. Having said that, it was a tight and brilliant set nonetheless.
  10. DRENGE
    Garage rock is making a comeback! Alongside the likes of The Wytches, Darlia, Fat White Family and Together PANGEA, Drenge’s headbang-inducing rock raucously combines heartfelt lyrics with heavy treble guitars and fierce drums. Despite the show being very treble heavy (a bassist would be a great addition to the live show), the duo pulled it off well with the likes of Bloodsports and Fuckabout.

Glastonbury 2014 was a great success, so here’s hoping that 2015 can top it! Glastonbury also marks the end of All Things Loud’s summer festival coverage until 21 August, when we bring you Of Mice & Men live from the Tivoli in Utrecht!