Saturday at Glastonbury: follow it live ahead of Paul McCartney’s headline set!

This just in from Tara Joshi: “Joy Crookes is crying on Pyramid Stage because she says it’s such a milestone for her career 🥺”

Yasmin Williams reviewed

Laura Snapes

Park stage, 11.30am

Yasmin Williams performing on the Park stage.
Extremely good vibes … Yasmin Williams performing on the Park stage. Photograph: Laura Snapes/The Guardian

There’s tons of great bookings at this year’s Glastonbury, but special kudos to whoever booked Yasmin Williams to open the Park stage on Saturday lunchtime. She may not be a huge name (yet) but anyone who’s feeling a bit fragile can’t fail to be soothed by the Virginia guitarist’s magical and innovative style – not to mention her extremely good vibes as she sports a bandanna, a funky purple shirt and a huge grin. She lays her modified acoustic instrument across her lap and plays with an unusually percussive approach that sees her hammering the body and skittering her fingers up and down the neck. The result is so fluid and sparkling, it just pulses with life.

She creates acres of space, then fills it with busy refrains that reach ever skyward. Or she crafts sparkling, fraught, kaleidoscopic helixes of sound. Mostly it’s just Williams and her guitar, though she wields a hammer (a guitar-specific hammer, she assures us, having made the mistake of using an actual hammer in the past) for High Five, beating a gorgeous, reassuring swing out of her instrument. Restless Heart races and sprints, sped along with a cello bow. “This is the dopest festival I’ve ever been to!” she says at the end, addressing what’s hopefully a crowd of new converts feeling thoroughly restored by her blissful sound.

Andy Burnham at the Left Field

Sophie Zeldin-O’Neill

At a panel discussion entitled State of the Nation: Politics in Crisis in Glastonbury’s Left Field tent on Saturday, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham called for a total rewiring of Britain’s political system. Burnham was met with rapturous applause from the biggest audience the tent has seen so far in 2022. He demanded: “Britain needs to gets rid of the old ways, get around a table and agree a programme for political change, a collaborative spirit. Then we’ll have a progressive government at the next general election.”

He added: “Good, safe housing should be a general rule in this country. Social care should be provided on NHS terms. And we need to renationalise rail and buses.” He also referenced the “silent mental health crisis – brought about by the nature of life now where people are worrying themselves to sleep”. Concluding, he said: “As our crises have got bigger, our politics has got smaller. If our political system was a computer, we’d have taken steps to stop it being hacked. We need to make power flow differently throughout the land.”

Laura Snapes

Laura Snapes

Hello, it’s Laura taking over from Gwilym for a bit. I’ve had some mezze and a small cry while watching the clouds go by on the Park stage, so you’re in … semi-capable hands.

Les Amazones d’Afrique reviewed

Shaad D’Souza

Pyramid stage
Powerhouse West African supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique open day two of Glastonbury with a set that combines striking political activism with desert blues, dub, and crunchy, glitched-out electronics. These four women, who sing about the harsh realities of gender inequality and are vocal anti-female genital mutilation activists, are the perfect group to open the Pyramid Stage today, as is made clear early on in the set, when Fafa Ruffino issues a call to all the women in the audience. “You’ve got the power to change your life. You are strong, you are powerful … you are your own rock. It’s time to stand for your rights,” she tells the crowd. “We have been taught that we are roses, that we need protection. We don’t need anyone — you don’t need anyone’s protection!” Ruffino’s words have an emphatic, galvanising quality to them; standing, statuesque, in a flowing white jumpsuit, it’s almost as if she’s some kind of angel, here to bestow words of strength upon the audience.

Although they place an emphasis on the politics behind their songs, Les Amazones du Afriques are here to have a good time, too: Watching them dance together, cheer each other on, and compliment each others’ outfits is a blast, a little like watching four friends gas each other up before a night out. Shaking the early crowd from their bleary-eyed stupor, it’s a remarkable mix of sweetness, seriousness and technical skill.

Ukraine has of course been a recurrent topic at this year’s festival: you can’t go very far across the festival site without seeing a blue and yellow flag billowing in the wind. Before the Libertines’ Other stage-opening set yesterday, the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy appeared on screen, asking festivalgoers for their support. Read all about it here:

Go_A reviewed

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

John Peel stage
Opening the John Peel to a roar of solidarity and a sea of Ukrainian flags, Go_A arrive having blown away Eurovision in 2021 – they placed fifth with their track Shum and came in second place in the public vote. It was utterly brilliant and unlike anything else at the contest: a slow, keening vocal with flute pirouetting around it, it builds and builds in pace until it’s the kind of happy hardcore that kids jump around in car parks to.
They open with it here, but have bags of other strong material to follow up with. Resembling the proprietor of an exclusive Berlin sex dungeon and her security detail, Kateryna Pavlenko is dressed in an elaborate outfit that’s about 50% chainmail, 50% PVC. Her voice is really powerful: lilting but hard, with dextrous little trills between the beautifully hectoring long notes. Burly guitarist Ivan Hryhoriak plays enormous chords and chugging lines through a mainframe’s worth of electronic processing, giving a cyberpunk-hacker fury to their industrial dance tracks, while stupendously handsome flautist Ihor Didenchuk (also in Eurovision winners and Glastonbury giggers Kalush Orchestra) adds mystical melodies.

Go A
Solidarity and communion … Go_A. Photograph: Ben Beaumont-Thomas

There’s plenty of audience participation: call and response, some HIIT-worthy bouncing dance moves led by Didenchuk, and then for their final song – in one of the best moments of the festival so far – we’re led in what Pavlenko calls a “Ukrainian ritual” and what British people call a circle pit. The vast John Peel tent fills with giant circles of hand-holding punters, dancing in rings until we are commanded to rave by Pavlenko. It’s a symbol of solidarity and communion, but also just euphoric – this was the kind of welcome that Glastonbury does at a temperature higher than any other festival.

Artists respond to Roe v Wade

Midway through an otherwise jolly first day of the festival, news broke that the US Supreme Court had overturned the constitutional right to abortion in the states. It was seismic news, and cast a bit of a pall over proceedings. Understandably there was a chorus of condemnation from artists, with Billie Eilish, Phoebe Bridgers and Idles all speaking out. You can read our news story about it all here:

SPOTTED: Pete Doherty, still wearing that strange druidic cape of his, has popped up at Hak Baker’s set on the Other stage, Laura Snapes reports. He’s rattled through a “fantastically shambolic” cover of A Message to You, Rudy. “He’s alive and kicking I’m telling ya!” Hak said of Pete.

Pete Doherty of the Libertines, sporting his cape, performs on the Other Stage during the Glastonbury festival.
Pete Doherty of the Libertines, sporting his cape, performs on the Other Stage during the Glastonbury festival. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Some Glastonbury-adjacent content: to celebrate the return of festivals after a couple of pandemic-disrupted years, the Guardian’s Saturday Magazine sent Rhik Samadder to sample six events in one long bank holiday weekend, taking in mosh pits, face-painting booths, massage parlours and the wild delights of Creamfields. I commissioned this one and can confirm that by the end of his jaunt he was a very broken man indeed!

Rhik shows off his festival wristbands at In It Together festival in Port Talbot.
Rhik shows off his festival wristbands at In It Together festival in Port Talbot. Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian

Primal Scream reviewed

Sophie Zeldin-O’Neill

We’ll have some early reviews from today in a short while, but here’s one last review from Friday – Primal Scream’s headline set over at the John Peel …

Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, sporting a magnificent Screamadelica-themed three-piece suit.
Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, sporting a magnificent Screamadelica-themed suit. Photograph: Jon Rowley/EPA

Thousands of 90s ravers, Glaswegians in kilts, indie lovers and Britpop officionados – Jarvis Cocker included – watched enthralled as Bobby Gillespie blew the roof off the John Peel stage on Friday night. Frontman Gillespie left his position as drummer of The Jesus and Mary Chain (who performed on the same stage an hour earlier) to form Primal Scream, a band that became a key part of the indie dance scene. In homage to their seminal 1991 album Screamadelica, he wore a suit, shirt and trousers featuring the cover design.

And proving his credentials as an iconic frontman of the genre (as if it were ever in doubt), Gillespie, backed by footage from classic movies including Clockwork Orange and Easy Rider, led his transfixed audience through a back catalogue of bangers. Upon reaching 1991 ballad Come Together, he declared “This song feels really relevant right now”, brought on a full gospel choir, and got the whole crowd singing along. We were then treated to a barnstorming rendition of Rocks Off, Loaded and finally Country Girl. Not a bad way to top off an unforgettable Day One.

Last night’s festivities culminated in a whopping great Pyramid set from Billie Eilish. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis was there, and here’s his write up:

Billie Eilish headlines the Pyramid stage.
Billie Eilish headlines the Pyramid stage. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

We’ve already had a pretty spectacular opening day at Worthy Farm. You can revisit it via our liveblog here, or if words aren’t your bag, here’s a rather lovely picture essay of the day:

Lee Kiernan of IDLES performs on the Other stage.
Lee Kiernan of Idles performs on the Other stage. Photograph: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Wakey wakey

Good morning, good morning and welcome back to the Guardian’s Glastonbury liveblog. Today’s a big one: Macca-day. Paul McCartney will be on the Pyramid stage at 9.30pm, flanked presumably by some massive guest stars. But that’s not all: there’s a host of other massive names, from Noel Gallagher to Olivia Rodrigo, also playing. Oh and Greta Thunberg is making an appearance on the Pyramid stage later this arvo! Stand by for news, reviews, pics, vox pops and much much more

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