Glastonbury live: Saturday at the festival with Cyndi Lauper, the Last Dinner Party and more


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Bloc Party reviewed

Zoe Williams

Zoe Williams

Other Stage, 5.15pm

Bloc Party casually plant themselves on stage with a sports team’s surety and languor – after all, everyone knows who they are.

Kele Okereke has the choreographic range, sometimes bouncy and almost cute, other times tortured; the jumpier gets the audience, the stiller he becomes, until by Flux he is like a fun messiah in front of a field of lepers. Harry Deacon on bass has the split stance that’s been the standard since the dawn of rock. Guitarist Russell Lissack, the only other original member, has a contorted, knock-kneed, indie presence, while newish Louise Bartle is incredibly athletic, like discovering Paula Radcliffe can play drums.

They kick off with So Here We Are. With its reassuring solidity, deceptive simplicity and Okereke’s rich vocals – swear to God, if they’d just played that for an hour, everyone in the audience would’ve been. People stretch so far back they seemed to merge with the campsite, so it looked like the very tents were watching.

Old timers who’ve been following the band two decades go wild for This Modern Love; everyone who loves bangers responds strongly to Ratchet, from the Nextwave Sessions, introduced very simply with “do you like bangers?”. Moments of chaos – some strangled high vocals, a little bit of jumping off the stage, then losing track of the mic as Okereke jumped back up again – are greeted like the gift of intimacy. Bloc Party manage a rare thing: continuous quality; their hits don’t sound like a throwback, their new work doesn’t sound like a duty.

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We’re fewer than 10 minutes into Little Simzs’ set on the Pyramid stage and the bass is quite literally shaking the floor of the Guardian portacabin.

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Michael Kiwanuka reviewed

Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

Pyramid, 5.45pm

It takes a certain je ne sais quoi to win over an audience so completely, you garner a vast cheer when your vintage synthesier goes hopelessly out of tune, necessitating abandoning a song altogether. Whatever it is, Michael Kiwanuka (clad, like the rest of his band, in a kaftan decorated with the words FEELING and MEANING) clearly possesses it. When he gives up trying to play Solid Ground, the supportive roar makes you wonder how the crowd might have reacted if he’d actually finished it.

Perhaps their ardour is fuelled by the fact that his music – which currently occupies a space that feels uniquely his, informed by the past but never cravenly retro, bordered on various sides by soul, funk, confessional singer-songwriting and blazing psychedelic rock – fits a hot afternoon perfectly.

Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian

A new song he debuts, Floating Parade, basically sounds like the musical equivalent of the cool summer breeze that drifts across the crowd while he plays. Or perhaps it’s just the abundance of entirely fantastic songs, performed by a band that sound amazing – agile, funky, blessed with a sure grasp of dynamics, as when Hero is bisected by sudden burst of howling noise.

Rule The World comes decorated with a guest vocal by Lianne La Havas; Black Man In A White World is variously troubled, brooding and euphoric, its mantra-like repetition of its title taking on a hypnotic and ultimately cathartic quality. And the soft power of Cold Little Heart is just beautiful, a moment of transcendent loveliness.

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Cyndi Lauper reviewed

Here’s my review of Cyndi Lauper’s Pyramid stage set from earlier this afternoon (apologies for the delay; copy got caught in the outbox/signal blackhole). It was a tough crowd to hold, given that was then the hottest point of the day at that point, and energy all round was flagging, but Lauper gave it her all.

Lankum reviewed

Laura Snapes

Laura Snapes

Park, 6pm

I struggled with Heilung yesterday, perhaps most of all because their heavily costumed representation of traditional folk practices seemed almost fetishistic – more performance than anything connected to the present day. That’s absolutely not the case with Dublin folk avant-gardists Lankum, who have a Palestinian flag draped across their stage and remake the 18th century Irish song The Rocks of Bawn as The Rocks of Palestine, a body-shaking drone led by the remarkably powerful yet plainspoken vocals of Ian Lynch.

“All solidarity and love to the people of Palestine forever,” he says after the song, followed by bandmate Radie Peat: “it’s amazing to see so many people waving flags in the audience and waving keffiyehs”. She wishes luck to broadcast partners the BBC over what to do about the display, which is swiftly followed by a chant from the crowd of “free, free Palestine”.

Their music is so stirring and alive, growled and distorted strings building to a frenzied rhythm, pipes and drones combining to evoke a kind of ritualistic shovelling. At points it’s searingly grave, seeming to churn up from the earth below the Park stage; at others, there’s a rich and ecstatic optimism to their heady vibrational pounding of acoustic guitar, strings and Peat’s wheezing concertina that all but elicits a fit of jigging and jubilant whistling from elements of the crowd near me.

And even if you’ve heard it half a dozen times, the way Peat modulates her vocals like a set of bagpipes on Go Dig My Grave – which truly stills the crowd – remains astonishing, a connective tissue between dimensions. Lankum’s music suggests a staunch connection to the past as the greatest clarification of the present: a reminder not to forget, and also to never stop paying attention – not a problem at this spellbound sunset reverie.

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Some pictures are starting to come through of Kasabian at Woodsies.

Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA
Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA
Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Bloc Party, shot from the side of the Other stage – can you spot the Guardian photographer in red?

Photograph: Jenny Stevens/The Guardian

Here we have James and Mary, who got married last weekend, and are having phase one of their honeymoon here – having benefitted from free tickets, as Mary’s family live in a nearby village. Phase two: Greece next week. Elite honeymoon combo.

Photograph: Ben Beaumont-Thomas/The Guardian

We can confirm that the secret set at Woodsies was indeed Kasabian, as clocked by many on Twitter. Gwilym’s there now, amid the throng, and will be later filing a review.

In the meantime, you can enjoy this interview with Serge Pizzorno from Saturday mag, looking back on getting into the rave scene when he was 11.

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Ben Beaumont-Thomas, passing through West Holts, catches Nitin Sawhney sardonically dedicating his song The Immigrant to Nigel Farage, before arguing for the importance of immigration for the enrichment of culture globally. It’s good timing, what with the election next week.

My colleague Gwilym is posted up at West Holts for the secret set, which is apparently generating much hype:

“Forget just the tent, the entire Woodsies field is rammed for the TBA. It’s the busiest I’ve seen it since The Killers did a secret set here, nearly a decade ago.”

Last Dinner Party reviewed

Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

Every Glastonbury brings with it an artist who seems to be slightly lower on the bill, or on a slightly smaller stage than the size of the crowd they draw and the vociferousness of the reception they receive warrants. Last year, it was Fred Again, who pulled an immense audience to the Other Stage on early Saturday evening, this year it’s The Last Dinner Party, who seem to have sidestepped accusations of hype to become the breakthrough British alt-rock band of 2024, with Nothing Matters, only a minor hit on release, slowly ascending to set-ending anthem status.

Accordingly, the crowd is vast enough to suggest they could easily have been on the Pyramid Stage. But you can see why things have worked out for The Last Dinner Party. Abigail Morris is a genuinely charismatic frontwoman, the band impressively tight. There’s definitely something a little choreographed, self-conscious and polished about their strangeness – for all the rococo lyrical flourishes, sudden music shifts within songs and Morris’s willingness to throw herself to the floor during moments of high drama, they are not a band that carry the WTF? unpredictability that marks out the genuine pop weirdo – but equally, their rampage-through-the-dressing-up-box image leaves them looking fantastic: a riot of bustiers, empire-line frocks and leg of mutton sleeves, a striking alternative to a world of “relatable” pop stars and drearily prosaic alt-rock bands.

And it’s hard to argue with the songs, which are uniformly great. One new track, Second Best, maintains the punchy, hooky standard set by the contents of their debut album, Prelude To Ecstasy. And set-closer Nothing Matters – unexpectedly preceded by an impassioned speech from Morris urging the audience to become politically active – becomes a mass singalong, a more euphoric moment than you might expect to be provoked by a song that casts a warily equivocal eye over a relationship in trouble.

Abigail Morris, lead singer of The Last Dinner Party. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian
Fans watching the set at Other stage. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian
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