Glastonbury Saturday reviews: Joy Crookes, Self Esteem and Metronomy

·3 min read

Joy Crookes – Pyramid Stage

★★★★☆

Maybe it was the dark voodoo summoned by Billie Eilish last night, or some kind of cloud seeding operation emanating from the giant Arcadia spider’s laser eyes, but there has only been one torrential downpour at Glastonbury so far, and it happens on Saturday morning at around 8am.

Everyone under the canvas holds their breath. The baptism lasts less than an hour. The clouds clear. The sunlit uplands of the Pyramid Stage return.

To be real, though, is there any other way to see Joy Crookes? Her Amy Winehouse-esque nu soul lands so perfectly on a sunny Saturday afternoon it feels like a privilege to be here. “It’s an appropriate time to be drinking a cherry and b,” she laughs, swigging from the tiny bottle and launching into “Wild Jasmine”.

Singing in front of a giant Om sculpture, she gives a blessed rendition of single “Feet” don’t fail me now. A cover of The Clash’s “London Calling” has never sounded so laidback and soothing. It’s an emotional set - especially when Crookes unexpectedly starts crying

“Today is such a big day for me. This is a crazy moment,” she says, tears streaming down her face. Then, laughing: “This is not cute, I’m sorry!”

But it’s one downpour this crowd doesn’t mind a bit. BB

Self Esteem – John Peel

 (BBC)
(BBC)

★★★★☆

The John Peel Stage has been one of the best settings of this Glastonbury, having played host to barnstorming sets from Sigrid and Phoebe Bridgers, and now Self Esteem.

“I feel like Robbie Williams,” announces Sheffield-bred singer-songwriter Rebecca Lucy Taylor, as she dives into the sublime “F**king Wizardry”, from her acclaimed 2021 album Prioritise Pleasure, a paean to owning your femininity.

Hers is a bold, catchy brand of maximalist pop: huge choruses, stabbing synths, slinky R&B. Live, it’s even more powerful, with her backing singers head-flicking, high-kicking and strutting in unison.

Performing under a backdrop that says, “There is nothing that terrifies a man more than a woman that appears completely deranged”, Self Esteem sounds superb: crisp and full of heart.

Highlights include “Moody”, a reflection on self-destruction that starts, “Sexting you at the mental health talk seems counterproductive”, the bassy, building “You Forever”, and set-closer “I Do This All the Time”, a gorgeous, sort-of 2020s Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”, but with more bite.

After a decade spent languishing in indie band Slow Club, Self Esteem has found her true voice, and we’re all richer for it. PS

Metronomy – Other Stage

 (BBC)
(BBC)

★★★★★

“Does anyone like rock’n’roll songs about ice cream?” asks Metronomy’s Joseph Mount. Cue enthusiastic cheers. Formed in 1999, Metronomy thrived on the early success of their beeping, bopping hits. The Devon band, today dressed in a plethora of colours, now have seven albums to their name, including 2012’s magnificent English Riviera. But as the bubblegum sound of 2019 track “Salted Caramel Ice Cream” booms out from the stage, the bodies in the audience wriggle and wave, and it’s clear the band are still hitting the sweet spots.

“It feels so good” shouts Mount as “The Bay” thumps out across the field. “Love Letters” sends the crowd into clumsy clapping chaos. The decade-defining “The Look”, released back in 2010, unleashes a synth-propelled wave of electro indie with hooky instrumentals and irrepressible melodies. Hit after hit slices through the warm Wothy Farm air like a Prince classic, and thousands of hands clap back. MG