Friday at Glastonbury – follow it live!

Sinead O’Brien reviewed

Gwilym Mumford

Gwilym Mumford

Sinead O’Brien pictured very much not at Glastonbury but at a recent Gucci party instead.
Sinead O’Brien pictured very much not at Glastonbury but at a recent Gucci party instead. Photograph: James D Kelly/Gucci/Getty Images

The summer of sprechgesang is upon us. You can’t move at Glastonbury this year for bands that half-sing, half-talk, preferably with some brooding post-punk as backing. The William’s Green stage is particularly sprechgesang-ed up, serving as a finishing school for wannabe Mark E Smiths. Joining Yard Act, Folly Group, Sprints and co is Sinead O’Brien, former Vivienne Westwood model turned punk poet and someone for whom the sing bit of sing-speak is very much an alien concept.

Live, O’Brien a magnetic presence, stomping about the stage in a billowing translucent floor length dress. There’s more than a little PJ Harvey about her intense stage presence – Horses-era Patti Smith is another touchstone, too. Yet while many of the current sing-speak pack wear their influences very visibly, O’Brien deserves credit for veering off the well-trodden track and doing her own thing: there are disco stompers and techno bangers amongst the post-punk staples.

The problem for many will be that delivery. Pitched somewhere between friendly flight attendant and carnival barker, it is very much an acquired taste, and there’s very little respite from it. You long for a sunburst of melody to occasionally poke through the relentless chatter. But when it clicks and O’Brien’s chewy lyrics give way to something more direct and primal, things get very exciting indeed.

Wolf Alice reviewed

Kate Hutchinson

Kate Hutchinson

Pyramid stage, 16.45

Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice.
Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice. Photograph: Samir Hussein/WireImage

It’s fitting that Nirvana should be thundering over the sound system not long before Wolf Alice take the stage: frontwoman Ellie Rowsell looks every inch the grunge queen as she strides onstage and yells “Glastonbury!” in a white silk slip and combat boots, eyes kohl-ed, echoing the babydoll look of Gen-Xers Hole and Babes in Toyland. “You have no idea,” she says, trailing off but referencing the lengths her band has gone to to get to the festival on time, after getting stranded in Los Angeles, unsure if they would make it. Coming after winning a Brit and topping the charts with their last album, 2021’s Blue Weekend, this was not a performance for them to miss.

But make it they did. That stress and adrenaline – not to mention what must be impending jetlag – imbues the snarling rock songs at the start of their set with a thrilling urgency. Rowsell gives it the best she’s got, taunting the crowd with her seductive sing-speak one minute and howling like a rock god the next, especially during Formidable Cool. Then it’s into diamond-sharp falsetto on songs like Lipstick on the Glass, reaching notes that echo Kate Bush by way of Stevie Nicks. Surely, she has to be one of greatest vocalists in this country at the moment.

This is a rare rock band that has real range. Not sooner are they tearing it up but they’re into soft ballads with triple-pronged harmonies (Safe from Heartbreak, a proper fairytale moment). When the stage goes sepia-toned for their Lana Del Rey-ish (and given their recent travel delays somewhat ironic) ode to LA, Delicious Things, complete with string section, it promises to be a big festival moment. But instead it’s Bros, with its emphatic build ups and candid visuals of band life – and friendship – behind the scenes that has couples swooning. Their sad Sex on Fire, perhaps.

Ellie Rowsell and Theo Ellis.
Ellie Rowsell and Theo Ellis. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Occasionally you’re left wanting for a proper screech-along festival chorus – despite lots of intimate moments, like when Ellie sits at the front of the stage to deliver an emotional The Last Man on Earth, wind in her hair, they don’t yet have the big-welly singalong that stretches to the edges of the audience, a song that has truly cut through and become anthemic. Occasionally the band seem like separate entities, staying in their zones and lacking interaction; you wish they’d say something between songs that hinted at their personality.

Give them time. Finally, they settle into it and look like they’re genuinely having fun – a smile shared between Ellie and bassist Theo Ellis, drummer Joel Amey putting his stick theatrically up in the air, guitarist Joff Oddie getting a chance to crank up the rock riffage of one of their earliest songs, Giant Peach. They end with Don’t Delete the Kisses – a song that’s “about telling your crush that you fancy them,” says Ellie. You can only imagine that they’re going to have one hell of a celebration tonight.

Some more picture highlights from today’s action.

The Popes from Woking. Left to right Jake Tufts, Jamie Bamber and Steven Grace, mates since primary school.
The Popes from Woking. Left to right Jake Tufts, Jamie Bamber and Steven Grace, mates since primary school. Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observer
Denise Chaila performs on the BBC Music Introducing stage.
Denise Chaila performs on the BBC Music Introducing stage. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Glastonbury 2022
Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Glastonbury 2022
Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
Glastonbury 2022
Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Potter Payper reviewed

Lonely Heart Club, 17.30pm

Before Potter Payper arrives on stage, DJ and presenter Kenny Allstar is on stage hyping up the crowd in spite of the rain, shouting out the exquisite health that UK rap is in right now – and Potter Payper’s set ends up a decent testament to that.

She arrives in an orange and white co-ord, and there’s a contented ease to how the East London MC works the stage, like he could do this in his sleep (though maybe that is in part due to the zoot he briefly appears to light up, before being asked not to do that on stage). The bass is so hard it vibrates through the sizeable crowd (largely comprised of young men in bucket hats), and his voice gets hoarse as he weaves the slickly told rap tales he’s best known for. He’s not reinventing the wheel but there’s something especially compelling about his delivery style that makes you listen to every bar. There are warm, soulful pianos and a big singalong for fan favourite Gangsteritus which he claims is an exclusive – as in, he didn’t perform it at his Glastonbury set yesterday. He makes it feel like a moment all the same, nicely rounding off a solid set. Tara Joshi

The tactical power nap is what will get you through Glasto unscathed and psychologically in order. Credit to all those pictured here.

Glastonbury 2022
Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Guardian
Glastonbury 2022
Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Guardian
Glastonbury 2022
Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Guardian
Glastonbury 2022
Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Guardian
Paul McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell.
Paul McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell. Photograph: APEX/MARK PASSMORE

Macca’s here! Well, he’s in Somerset at least, doing a warmup gig tonight at the Cheese and Grain arts venue in the nearby town of Frome. “What an amazing treat… we are told this won’t be his normal set either so should be an afternoon full of wonderful surprises,” the 800-capacity venue said yesterday. The £25 tickets unsurprisingly sold out in less than an hour.

Fans are now gathering outside the venue too.

Cheese and Grain, Frome
Photograph: Connie Evans/PA
The Cheese and Grain in Frome, Somerset.
The Cheese and Grain in Frome, Somerset. Photograph: Connie Evans/PA

The couple that swaps jumpsuits together, stays together. More great looks from out in the field, with Will and Cally speaking to Laura Snapes.

Will and Cally
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Cally: I bought this [jumpsuit] for myself but we decided it looked better on him. These are part of my Abba outfit – I went to a night in Hackney that was Abba-themed, I think it’s vintage. We really like the 70s anyway and we dress like this quite a lot.

Will: I’m wearing my wife’s clothes! I’m very happy in this outfit. I’ve never worn a jumpsuit before and going to the bathroom is a fucking nightmare.

Cally: You’re now learning the ways of women. Or men!

Sleaford Mods giving good pose here, as ever.

Jason Williamson.
Jason Williamson. Photograph: James Veysey/REX/Shutterstock
Jason Williamson.
Photograph: James Veysey/REX/Shutterstock
Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn, left.
Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn, left. Photograph: James Veysey/REX/Shutterstock
Jason Williamson and the crowd at West Holts.
Jason Williamson and the crowd at West Holts. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

In case you missed them earlier, here are the highlights from my on-stage interview with them this morning.

While the strains of Supergrass’s Mansize Rooster waft over from the Other stage, Wolf Alice are playing the Pyramid triumphantly against the odds.

Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice.
Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice. Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice.
Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice
Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Denise Chaila reviewed

Laura Snapes

Laura Snapes

BBC Introducing, 16.15

Denise Chaila performing at Glastonbury 2022
Dream come true … Denise Chaila. Photograph: Laura Snapes/The Guardian

Denise Chaila walks on to the BBC Introducing stage and raises an eyebrow. “There are mic stands?! You know what, I don’t do that,” she says, picking it up and taking it to the side. “But shout out to whoever did that for me, that was amazing.”

The idea that the Irish rapper would keep still for long enough to use it quickly becomes ludicrous: for the entirety of her 25-minute set, she pings around the stage in a fabulous glittery lilac two-piece, bringing the drama of her songs to life with two hype men who act as foils playing crooner, shy boys and pinball flippers to the 27-year-old artist. She’s pure charisma, all withering looks at weak men, playful braggadocio and endearing gratitude to be here. “Hi,” she says cutely early on. “Welcome to a dream of mine coming true.”

In just shy of half an hour, she leaves us in no uncertain terms about who she is: fiercely proud of her hometown; the “Black James Bond”; a young woman whose parents didn’t let her go to festivals, “but we have to break the mould, don’t we”. She makes us spell her name on Chaila, and cocks a snook at stereotypes. “You ain’t ever seen a man like me / Big girl ting make a little man cry!” she raps joyfully while swinging a sunflower around. “It’s not ’cos I’m a man but because gender is a construct!” she explains. Her sound is thick and bassy, a catalyst for her exuberant delivery, which brings to mind Stormzy at his most playful.

After leading us in various call-and-responses over her set, the last song, she explains, is just for her. “You came to the 061!” she exclaims, shouting out her neighbourhood. “We’ll show you how to have some fun / We’ll show you how to get things done.” At this point, absolutely no one in the boisterous, utterly charmed crowd is left standing on ceremony.

Crowded House reviewed

Pyramid stage, 15.15

Neil Finn of Crowded House.
Family man … Neil Finn of Crowded House. Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Three generations of the Finn family grace Glastonbury this afternoon, when New Zealand rockers Crowded House take to the Pyramid stage for a short, hit-packed afternoon set.

Opening with 1993’s Distant Sun and running through a set that includes Fall at Your Feet, Don’t Dream It’s Over and Weather With You, the band – featuring Neil Finn as well as his sons Liam and Elroy on guitar and drums, respectively – are in fine form, displaying their self-effacing Antipodean sense of humour. At one point the elder Finn, clad in a crisp cream suit, bemoans the fact that he can’t run further towards the crowd along the ego ramp because his microphone lead isn’t long enough. (He gets there eventually.) It seems that every New Zealander and Australian present at Glastonbury has congregated for the set: “Laser Kiwi” flags abound, and Neil spends the early portion of the set namechecking the Antipodean locations he sees represented in the crowd.

Around three-quarters of the way through the band’s set, another Finn emerges: Buddy, Liam’s young son. Clad in a purple Amoeba Music T-shirt and wearing gigantic earmuffs to protect his ears, he proceeds to steal the show from his father and grandfather, dancing with the band throughout the set and, during closer I Got You (a hit by Neil’s earlier band, Split Enz), screaming at random intervals. It’s a sweet, funny moment in a set full of them, including at one point a mass singalong of Happy Birthday to send to Neil’s brother, former Crowded House member Tim Finn.

Best of all, though, is seeing the even more multi-generational crowd enraptured, as Finn, Finn, Finn, Finn and company perform their timeless catalogue. Shaad D’Souza

John and Catia from Brighton, enjoying Blossoms on the Other stage, opine on where to take Macca for his 80th birthday.

John and Catia at Glastonbury
Photograph: Kate Hutchinson/The Guardian
John and Catia at Glastonbury
Photograph: Kate Hutchinson/The Guardian

John: I’ve been carrying this sign for six years. It’s been in NME, Time Out, now it’s in the Guardian! I’d take Macca to the naked sauna at Lost Horizons. I think it would be his vibe. He’s tried everything but he hasn’t tried a naked sauna.

Catia: I think he has.

John: OK, fine, I’d slip him something fun and take him to see Fatboy Slim.

The first strains of Wolf Alice are filtering across from the Pyramid stage – a great moment given they were stranded in the US half a day ago.

More fabulous fashions from Dean, 36, from Cornwall; Adjua, 32, Devon; and BBC 6Music presenter Afrodeutsche, 41, Manchester.

Dean, 36, Cornwall; Adjua, 32, Devon Afrodeutsche, 41, Manchester
Photograph: Kate Hutchinson/The Guardian

Dean: This outfit makes me like a G. It instils me with a sense of inner joy and confidence. They’re made by our friend, Ashanti Empress.

Adjua: How do I feel in this? Like I have arrived. It’s nice to wrap myself in some Ghana fashion for Glasto.

Afrodeutsche: This is a traditional tabard from Ghana. I’ve got one in black for tomorrow. And I’ve got a dress that I had made for my set on Sunday night – I’m going to be wearing an African wax-print ballgown in the Arcadia spider. I just want to represent my heritage this weekend.