DAY TWO AND the 2015 Glastonbury Festival is quickly revealing itself to be the year of the bearded man in a dress. MOJO spots three individually bumbling past just in the five minutes before Courtney Barnett arrives squinting into the - yes! - sunshine for her midday Pyramid Stage opening slot. To be honest, she doesn't look too happy, moaning that the crowd are "so far away" before trying to rouse them with her wry diary entry tales over pummelling garage rock. "Can you hear us?" she wonders, bemused by a muted response. Time to wander on…
“It's the year of the Bearded Man in a Dress.”
Up in the William's Green tent, Leon Bridges fares much better, even visibly cheering up a portly sixtysomething chap sporting a t-shirt bearing the blunt legend, “Fuck 'Em All”. Bridges himself is unfeasibly dapper in a brown suit and fedora, a notable spring in his step, as he offers up his fine southern soul for the lunchtime soothing of fuzzy heads. A tear in the beer moment arrives with his relating of his mum's life story in the lovely Lisa Sawyer and emotional mid-song whoops greet a stripped River.
Along in the John Peel tent, it's all about the anger as Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods barks “Fuck off Glastonbury!” at the grinning assembled. In-between the bursts of tic-ridden electro he has a go at “support band” Slaves and lambasts the ghost of Glastonbury past in Tiswas with the words, “I don't want my dog on a string/That's gonna hurt the thing”. Funny and scary at the same time. Next, The Pop Group fire into We Are All Prostitutes with added vim after being wrongly (and disgracefully, really) introduced as The Pop Band, their confrontational funk groovily performed for a sparse, but appreciative audience.
The frailty of the 87 year-old Burt Bacharach on the Pyramid comes as a bit of a shock but adds real poignancy to his set, though not perhaps an airing of Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do), which is a touch surreal in the circumstances. The rest is purest gold though - Walk On By, I Say A Little Prayer, This Guy's In Love With You - and even if performed by seasoned session singers, it doesn't matter. The songs are the stars here.
In The Park, Father John Misty ups the intensity again, throwing himself at it from the off - teetering on the bass drum, leaping into the pit, and all within the space of opener I Love You, Honeybear. Last seen at Glastonbury berating an unresponsive crowd from behind the drum kit during Fleet Foxes' flatlining main stage performance in 2009, his mischievous antagonism makes more sense when coming from the mouth of his new persona. Milking the dramatic pause leading into the chorus of Bored In The USA, he eyeballs someone in the crowd and says, "I can see you're on mushrooms", to massed guffaws. Tunes, humour, charisma, devilish cheek…for MOJO, he's the highlight of the day.
Following all the pre-match brouhaha, Kanye West is smart enough to kick off with Stronger and Power, but it all soon sludges into stop-start, largely beat-free auto-tune dirge, with an appearance by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver failing to enliven things. Touch The Sky and All Of The Lights kind of save the day, but it feels a little too late.
Luckily, over on West Holts there's a P-Funk party going on. Billed as The Mothership Returns, the two hour-plus show begins with The Family Stone playing the hits of Sly Stone, before George Clinton, the Imperial Progenitor of Interstellar Funk, leads a riotous and mind warping Parliament/ Funkadelic amalgam with a crowded stage of players and singers. As Dr Funkenstein said way back when - warning: may cause High Butt Pleasures. And so endeth the second lesson.