Published Jun 27, 2010Glastonbury's Saturday slate saw a shimmering debut, a leftie folkie, a confused songstress, and more sunburns than at an albino barbecue.
Moody New York heroes, the National, tour more than Don Quixote. While singer Matt Berninger may not run at windmills, he has lately developed a penchant for crowd exploration, especially during tracks like "Squalor Victoria," and he spent decent chunks of a midday Other Stage gig rubbing against sweaty punters.
Berninger's commitment and its accompanying heart-in-the-scream approach have helped make his band emotional draws. The Glasto first-timers didn't disappoint, playing tight, stirring fare from the massive "Mr. November" and "Abel" to the gorgeous "Fake Empire." At turns pristine and visceral, it was the set of the day.
Other highlights included a triumphant John Peel Stage romp from Foals who ran through their math-rock-indebted indie canon with a spastic fervour, delivering especially rousing renditions of "Cassius," "Miami," and "Balloons," each full of frenetic breakdowns and kinetic shifts. Also, Billy Bragg's one-man-and-an-electric-guitar shtick spurred pinko passion on the Leftfield Stage, while an assured, late-night campfire show from Bombay Bicycle Club inspired banjo-related swaying, background techno beats be damned.
On the other hand, typically reliable UK chanteuse Kate Nash wasn't sure if she wanted to be a riot grrrl or a 1950s revivalist; either way, by mixing the two she turned her formerly merry live show into an incongruent mishmash. During a hit-and-miss Other Stage slot, the singer moved between playful and venomous. Still, older tracks like "Foundations" and "Mouthwash" scored with sugar-coated melodies. Incidentally, do black lipstick and light feminism mesh?