Glastonbury 2011 review and pictures

Posted on 29 June 2011
By Sammy Maine
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O, Glastonbury… you did it again. Despite a controversial line up and a post birthday bash to live up to, the land of love and hope opened its gates to music revelers ready to have a blast.

Electro popstrels Metronomy opened the Pyramid stage on Friday, desperately trying to hold off the rain with their upbeat naughtiness.

Complete with falsetto harmonies, funky bass tactics and a midi light attached to each member, the band made sure their main stage debut would be remembered.

New album The English Rivera played host to the best parts of the set, as the latest single The Look had even the grumpiest punters nodding along.

Hip Hop superstars Wu Tang Clan took to the Pyramid stage at 3pm with the rain and mud in full force. That didn’t stop the rappers pimping it to the max as Method Man strode on wearing a pristine white dressing gown, complete with one black glove and of course, a Rolex. Man, you gotta love it.

Opening with Bring Da Ruckus, the crowd erupted into frenzy, shaking off their damp jackets with some pretty impressive moves.

The Clan owned the stage, ordering the crowd to get their W signs high in the air, including a kid on his dad’s shoulders – start ‘em young, eh?

Of course they had to please the crowd with a performance of their hit Gravel Pit, but the best moments were definitely C.R.E.A.M. and Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing To F*** Wit. No arguments from the Glasto faithful.

Next up was blues legend B.B. King. After shuffling on stage and sitting to his centre stage seat, a huge sigh of relief left the organisers.

The guitar icon is advancing in years, but maintains the amazing skills. Mr. Eavis was even spotted at the side of the stage enjoying some of the set. Watching a true King of music in his element.

Jimmy Cliff grooved his way onto the West Holts stage in the evening, trying to perk up the punters who had succumbed to the weather. His sunshine spirit did the trick and before you knew it everyone was singing along with Wild World.

Over at the dance village, the Welly Henge began to take shape as many a person lost a shoe or two in the wilderness of the mud. Security guards were out in full force trying to keep everyone to the edges of the watery pit, but that didn’t stop a few trying their luck. Muddy pile up, anyone?

The sun finally decided to make an appearance on Saturday and that meant only one thing – time for a trip to the infamous Brothers bar.

Cider in tow, the day started off with The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble at the West Holts stage. Hailing from Germany, this orchestral group took classical music to the next level. The layers of beats, strings, piano and woodwind moulding into one was a truly beautiful listen. They even got some ballerinas out during their first song to encourage the crowd to do a plié of their own.

Pop-punk legends Jimmy Eat World bashed out a rocking set over at the Other stage. Playing hits like The Middle and Sweetness was sure to get the crowd going.

Their banter wasn’t up to much, but everyone’s voices seemed to have left them by the end of that awesome sing-a-long set.

Elbow’s set on the Pyramid Stage was highly anticipated and they didn’t disappoint. Guy Garvey sure looks like a bloke you’d see down the pub, but his voice and stage presence are captivating.

Open Arms was the definite highlight of the set, with the crowd giving it their all and realising the rain had gone for good.

After a special guest appearance by Radiohead the night before, the park stage welcomed Pulp for the second secret slot. Sadly, the area was closed off due to the sheer number of people who managed to check their iPhones beforehand. Even Kate Moss and her bloke were spotted unsuccessfully trying to wade through the masses. Bloody technology.

But the area was re-opened for James Blake to take for his well-deserved place as the penultimate set of the evening. Timidly walking on stage, James produced a truly beautiful performance. His low key electronica was fragile enough for the audience to become entranced, with the bass shaking hard enough you could feel it running through your bones.

Limit To Your Love was a definitive high point and a cheeky few decided to light their flares during the last song. This gent definitely lived up to the hype.

Sunday turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year. Laura Marling appeared at the Pyramid Stage in the afternoon, with her folk inspired songs engulfing the crowd.

For a tiny little thing, she definitely gave the guys a run for her money with hits such as Ghosts and Rambling Man. Miss Marling has come a long way since playing the smaller stages in the past and the Pyramid crowd welcomed her with open arms.

Back over at The Other Stage, TV on the Radio gave a performance worthy of kings. It was absolutely scorching and it couldn’t have been easy jumping around for the full hour, but Tunde Adebimpe did it with such a rock and roll attitude, you couldn’t help but try and keep up.

Wolf Like Me saw the crowd erupt with joy and a surprise finish of Ghost Busters had everyone grinning from ear to ear.

The World’s eyes turned on The Pyramid Stage in the evening, as Pop legend Beyonce gave a career changing performance.

Opening with Crazy in Love, complete with fire works, she certainly made an impression. Women of all ages strutted their stuff to Single Ladies, with Bey ordering them push their hands in their man’s face.

Girl power was at the forefront of the performance with an all-female band and the only man making a rather surprising appearance was Tricky.

The Destiny’s Child medley in the middle of the set even had the blokes in the crowd shaking their booty.

Sure, there were rumours of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Destiny’s Child taking to the stage with Beyonce, but with the show she produced, she needed nothing more than herself.

Some have argued that she wouldn’t be welcome at a rock festival but after dancing around in THOSE stilettos, you’ve got to give it to the girl.