Postcard From Pilton #3: Sitting down and freaking out

Postcard From Pilton #3: Sitting down and freaking out

Wednesday feels like a distant memory, routine sounds a foreign word and Monday morning appears an unreachable target. Don't bother asking where the house keys might be. This is what Sunday morning at Glastonbury is like. Even Ed Sheeran’s approaching headline set and Boy Better Know’s Other Stage performance are small dots on the horizon. 

So, what to do in those intervening hours? The short answer is, find somewhere comfortable to sit down. It’s also a popular answer, as those cross-legged all around the John Peel Stage show when New Jersey’s Real Estate deliver a flawless hour of somnambulant indie-rock at lunchtime. Even the sun comes out. 

It’s still blazing on the walk past a heaving Other Stage, where there’s precious little chance to rest the feet before Rag’N’Bone Man’s show. We knew he was popular, but now it seems that Rory Graham is in fact catnip for fans of big voices and blues.

Onwards, and up to the Park Stage, where Julia Jacklin is tapping into Real Estate’s idea of lulling her audience into a happy stupor. The fact that many doze off contentedly is in no way a disservice to the Australian’s rolling folk - its blurry hold is unrelenting. Lisa Hannigan doesn’t break the spell, following on with a virtuoso vocal display of her own. Yes, that is her singing words backwards.

At this point, Glastonbury’s booking and programming policy takes the spotlight – they’re certainly giving the people what they want on Sunday, even up to the point where Chic hit the Pyramid Stage just as the feeling returns to many tired legs. 

The early evening sun suits Nile Rodgers and his impeccably dressed band, and theirs is one of the sets of the weekend. The right music coming at exactly the right time of day. From Good Times and Freak Out, to Let’s Dance and a ritzy version of Get Lucky, the setlist is a conveyor belt of funk bangers. Rodgers’ passionate dedications to his audience and indeed Britain as a whole land poignantly, as does his recounting of the story that saw him beat cancer, diagnosed exactly six years ago.

It’s impossible to sit down during Chic’s performance, but no one really wants to, not anymore. Look away from the stage as Rodgers commands everyone to “Jump! Jump!” and you’ll see an ocean of bopping bodies.

Around the same time, there’s a secret unfolding at the John Peel Stage. For ‘TBA’ on the line-up read: The Killers. The Las Vegas group are here to launch a new record with a greatest hits set in the tent that hosted them the first time they played Glastonbury, a festival they’ve already headlined. The field is packed full as the clamour to get a glimpse of Brandon Flowers and co intensifies. The crush is so overwhelming that roads are closed. But those jammed on the approach tracks don’t slope off unsatisfied, they stay put, sing and dance. No matter that all they can see is a tall green hedge and the roof of the tent, this is The Killers at Glastonbury. It’s events like this that inject the shot of energy and enthusiasm necessary to navigate this end of the festival.

The spring remains in the crowd’s step until the morning. Maybe it was never in doubt in the first place.

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