We're back from Glastonbury, and can't tell you quite how much that hurts. But as we adjust to the cold, hard light of reality and attempt to clean the mud and glitter from places we didn't even know it could get, we still wish for just one more night at Worthy Farm.
With that in mind, come with us as we re-live the best weekend of the year with the 21greatest moments of Glastonbury Festival 2016.
LCD Soundsystem reign supreme as the ultimate Glastonbury feel-good moment
"The time has come," chants James Murphy, resplendent in a full white suit as he and LCD march on stage just after sun sets on the final night of Glastonbury for opener 'Us V Them'. It's been a heady five days of decadence, good times, mud, mayhem and magic. The masses have gathered by the Pyramid Stage to see Coldplay end proceedings in what one can only imagine was a fairly triumphant arena-sized anthemic feel-goodery. But fuck that. Half of Gigwise's Glastonbury Team camped out by The Other Stage to be front and centre for what was without question, our favourite Glastonbury moment of the weekend - if not, of all time.
Rushing straight into the rave-rock insanity of 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House' before the sweet pop refrain of 'I Can Change' and 'You Wanted A Hit' before the ever-ascending peak of 'Tribulations' into 'Movements' before all abandon is lost for 'Yeah', their set is an artfully constructed tour of tension and release - oh, such sweet release.
Photo: Ben Jablonski
"We know it's Sunday, and you guys have mostly fought the good fight for a few days," smiles James Murphy to sheer rapture. "We know you're tired, so if you want to lay down, we'll still play."
Not a chance. As they close with the sheer perfection of 'Losing My Edge' before 'New York I Love You', 'Dance Yrself Clean' and the emotional climax of 'All My Friends', we're left in no doubt that LCD Soundsystem have returned for only the right reasons. They've never sounded so on point, they've never felt so good, and never seemed more essential. Their time has come, and we count ourselves among the thousands proud to say 'BUT I WAS THERE'. (AT)
Foals prove themselves as future headliners
Foals were one of the main rumours banded around for the headline slot at this year’s Glasto before the line-up was revealed, but in the end they were second on the bill before Muse, giving them a lot to prove with this particular performance.
Needless to say, they absolutely nailed it, playing one of the most ferocious, vital sets of the weekend. Seamlessly fusing material from across their discography, their set was perfectly indicative of the impact they have made on British music over the last decade. Will they be headlining in a few years? Almost definitely. (EM)
Charlotte Church sees Glastonbury out in the most insane but awesome style
After we heard word of Charlotte Church playing a secret set by the Rabbit Hole in the very final hours of Glastonbury, curiosity got the better of us. Still high on adrenaline from LCD Soundsystem, we charged up the hill and camped out on the barrier to see had she had in store. Word spread, a huge crowd gathered, good cheer and booze was passed about as we got a deafening chant of "CHARLOTTE, CHARLOTTE, CHARLOTTE FUCKING CHURCH" filling the tent. She arrives in fishnets with a menacing smile on her face before she starts to grind. The rumbling notes of 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails begin. Is she just going to sample it? No, she's going to play the whole damn track, and totally own it. Howling back "I WANNA FUCK YOU LIKE AN ANIMAL" at Charlotte Church at 1am was not how we foresaw our Sunday night, but we wouldn't change a thing.
From thereon she puts her own sultry twist on everything from Beyonce to Super Furry Animals via a totally euphoric 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life'. How did this turn out to be a highlight on the weekend? We have no idea. The only downside is that absolutely no one will believe us. (AT)
New Order are still kings among men
A strong crowd gathered at The Other Stage for an almighty closing set from New Order on Saturday. Delivering a career-spanning smattering of classics along with cuts from their immaculate 2015 album Music Complete, the post-punk, electro heroes performed with the compulsion and energy of a band still penning the sound of the future.
After opening with the pop rush of 'Crystal' from Get Ready, the tropical bounce of 'Tutti Frutti' lands just as well alongside the monolithic 'Bizarre Love Triangle' - proving that as strong as their past may be, they are more than just 'a legacy band'. 'Plastic' so effortlessly shimmers with the casual grace of a band living very much in the now. Then, one iconic track follows another as 'The Perfect Kiss', flows into 'True Faith', into 'Blue Monday' and 'Tempatation before the encore and closer of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. We know, right? The ecstasy that overtook Glastonbury for this brief but flawless set is not a memory that will be leaving us any time soon. (AT)
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest
CHVRCHES enjoy their finest hour
Warming up for New Order on The Other Stage was an absolutely immaculate set from Chvrches. The swelling synths of 'Never Ending Circles' kick things off, as the band take us on a tour of the considered but runaway pop of their two albums. The sunset, the cool night air, the effervescent energy of three friends in their prime and the elation as we united to rave through that immense drop in 'Clearest Blue' - it was all just so perfect. Glastonbury 2016 was Chvrches marking themselves as future headliners. It really was their finest hour. (AT)
Coldplay give Viola Beach the chance to headline
At the beginning of the year, rising band Viola Beach were involved in a car crash whilst on tour in Europe, which tragically killed both the band and their manager, an incident which cut to the core of the music industry, particularly as they had so much promise. Coldplay paid tribute to the band in their stunning headline slot, playing footage of the group in session playing ‘Boys That Sing’, before joining in for a duet of sorts. Needless to say, it was an emotional moment for all. (EM)
Jeff Lynne's ELO bring out the blue skies
How lovely was that, seriously? The rain may have poured down, the likes of 'Don't Bring Me Down' and certain 'Mr Blue Sky' transported us all to much sunnier climbs with their theatrical, symphonic, classic rock grace. Plus, all present, regardless of gender or sexuality, seemed totally in love with immensely talented violin player. (AT)
Hurts can probably even make the dead dance
"Glastonbury, it's time to dance - from the front to the back," beams Hurts' frontman Theo Hutchcraft as he issues Glastonbury with a call to arms. "That's what we came here for."
Amen, and if there's anyone who can make that happen, it's Hurts. It's truly criminal that their phenomenal success in Eastern Europe isn't matched here in their native UK, but they play like it is any way. Hutchcraft and guitarist/keyboardist Adam Anderson are visibly humbled by the spectacle of the sprawling Other Stage crowd, spreading out into the sun-lit haze of the Glastonbury afternoon. The smile emblazoned across his face is a symptom of the rapture that the Manchester synth-pop duo receive, as he stands resplendent in white and backed by a full choir to deliver a set worthy of headliners.
From the pop-noir of 'Some Kind Of Heaven' and 'Miracle' to the explosive melodrama of 'Rolling Stone', the gut-wrenching balladry of 'Stay', the shameless disco euphoria of 'Lights' and the ultimate high of 'Better Than Love', Hurts dazzle and charm with a full and balanced set of pop in its most joyous and purest form. Visually, sonically, spiritually, they couldn't have done more. The comedown from just how perfect it was is still here. (AT)
Skepta shuts down Glastonbury
Skepta brought a little grime to the Pyramid Stage, in a landmark performance that will no doubt go down in Glastonbury history. Performing a mix of deep cuts from his illustrious career and tracks from his critically-lauded new album Konnichiwa, the Tottenham MC tore through an energetic set that drew a suitably huge crowd. Joined by BBK alumni Shorty, Jammer and Frisko, as well as a guest appearance from Novellist on collaboration 'Lyrics', Skepta effortlessly proved why he is one of 2016's most talked about artists. Glastonbury, shutdown. (EM)
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest
Years & Years bring Pride to Glastonbury
Total, unadulterated pop joy overtook The Other Stage as Years & Years tracks from debut album Communion now feel like pop classics that have been with us forever. Part of that feeling of familiarity and community came not only from the infectious spirit of the band during their choreographyed performance, but that they brought the very essence of the London Pride festival to Glastonbury with them. Well, we'd argue it was already there. That moment when the rainbow cannon filled the night sky during 'King' was just all too perfect, right? (AT)
Fierce politcal statements
As we all know, the result of the EU referendum was announced at Glasto this year, with the UK deciding to leave by a small majority. Naturally, this put a slight dampener on proceedings, and across the site it felt like all anyone was talking about on Friday morning - as a sense of despondency could only be beaten by the hope that came from being among so many like-minded people.
One advantage of the outcome was that many artists playing the festival decided to air their views on the outcome, from a rousing speech from The 1975’s Matty Healy, to PJ Harvey’s impassioned response with a reading of John Donne's 'No Man Is An Island'. True as that is, there's something about the mood of Worthy Farm this weekend that makes it feel like the People's Republic Of Glastonbury.
This overwhelming outrage at the response brought us all together in many ways, and made this year’s festival unlike any other. One that shall go down in history. (EM)
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest
The 1975 lay claim to the future
When you dissect the trajectory of most British bands of the last 30 years, a certain performance at Glastonbury will always stand out as a pivotal moment. With such a diverse crowd and so many variables, it basically has the potential to be a career-defining performance for a band, something that pushes them to new heights and wins over a whole different audience. This was that performance for The 1975.
Drawing a huge crowd over on The Other Stage in the early evening, their performance was simply flawless, and made it very obvious that we will see them headline the pyramid in a few years. Kicking off with 'Love Me', the first half of their set was centre around their second album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, with stunning visuals and frontman Matty Healy in suitably jubilant form. Away from the music though, it was arguably the politicised nature of this set that made it the most resonant, with Healy hitting out at the recent referendum outcome with a lengthy, empowering speech: "There's a sense of anti-compassion that's spread across the older generation, to vote for a future that we don't fucking want" he rallied, before exploding into 'Loving Someone'. "But i'm just a pop star, so what do I know?"
From their fearlessness to push the boundaries of pop music, to the meticulous craft that goes into their visuals and live shows through to their willingness to speak their mind and ruffle feathers, The 1975 are basically what the world needs right now. Just watch them take over the Pyramid Stage before this decade it out. (EM)
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest
That moment when Muse let off the fireworks for 'The Globalist'
Adele filling up the imaginary swear jar
Adele’s headline performance was always going to be a landmark occasion, but I think it’s fair to say that she absolutely smashed it out the park, winning over a 150,000 strong crowd and millions at home. Of course hearing that many people shout along to ‘Someone Like You’ was a huge moment, but the real highlight was her between-song banter. From asking people in the front row if they had “done a shit yet?” to telling the crowd about her “chinese” she had the night before whilst watching Muse, Adele’s headline slot was essentially two hours of stand up comedy with some pop bangers thrown in. (EM)
Beck, just being Beck
He strolls on stage with the swagger of a man of who knows he's the undisputed king of alt-rock, but with the charm of a man who just wants even the biggest festival in the world to feel an intimate house party - and from radio rock classic 'Devil's Haircut' flowing into the carnival-ready 'Black Tambourine' before the seminal anthem 'Loser', he has everything he needs to make it just so.
He remains a frontman like no other, with a magnetic presence as he jerks and twirls his through 'Think I'm In Love', 'Dreams' and the set highlight of 'Sexx Laws'. But no party would be complete without a proper mass sing-along, and you can't get much better than an encore of a medley of Chic, David Bowie, Prince and Kraftwerk. Party on, Beck. Party on. (AT)
Editors are once again, the most underrated act here
Another act worthy of being far, far higher up the bill were Editors – who ironically bring out the sunshine for a stadium-sized dose of darkness and melodrama. Opening with ‘Sugar’ into ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ Tom Smith and co deliver a flawless set that plays on all of their many strengths.
From the post-punk rush of 'Munich' to the artful rave of 'Papillon' via the sheer grace of 'Ocean Of Night', Editors' performance is one at a constant peak. This is from a band truly on top of their game. (AT)
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest
Frightened Rabbit triumph over the rain
“It’s the end of the fucking world, isn’t it,” sighs Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, to a crowd all too downtrodden from the morning’s EU referendum news. “This is probably the best place to be.”
He’s not wrong. Battling the downpour, F’Rabbit attract a dedicated crowd to brave the cold Glastonbury rain, with cuts from their astounding new album Painting Of A Panic Attack blooming over the vast fields from the size of stage that they’ve always deserved to play. ‘Get Out’, ‘Woke Up Hurting’ and ‘I Wish I Was Sober’ ache with an anthemic melancholy, while ‘Keep Yourself’ inspires what was probably the darkest, most twisted sing-along that Glastonbury’s Other Stage probably saw all day.
“Our set is being cut short,” snarls Hutchison, before turning around for his brother and drummer Grant to have a word in his ear. “Actually, Grant just said ‘fuck that, let them chuck us off’ – I like your style.”
Amen. As the howling refrain of ‘The Loneliness And The Scream’ overtakes the crowd, it feels criminal that Frightened Rabbit weren’t on for longer. If there’s any justice in this world, they’ll headline one day. (AT)
Wolf Alice round off the perfect year
Few bands have had a year like Wolf Alice. 12 months after releasing their critically acclaimed debut album My Love Is Cool they've toured the world playing increasingly larger venues, scored a Mercury nomination, an Ivor Novello nomination and basically made themselves into one of the biggest acts in Britain right now. Needless to say then, they made easy work of The Pyramid Stage yesterday afternoon with a stunning set that effortlessly justified their successes to date.
Kicking off with 'Your Love's Whore', Ellie Rowsell's voice was in spectacular form, bringing a much needed grittiness to the festival's main stage on the ferocious moments, and gloriously resonating around the field in more restrained cuts like 'Bros' and 'Blush'. Earlier cuts 'Moaning Lisa Smile', 'Storms' and debut track 'Fluffy' sounded even more gargantuan, but it was closer 'Giant Peach' that really defined the set, as Wolf Alice effortlessly proved they belong on the world's biggest stages. (EM)
Photo: Shirlaine Forrest
Sigur Ros are just perfect
Sigur Ros took on Muse to headline The John Peel Stage on Friday, where they entranced a swelling and hypnotised crowd with a visual and sonic display of utter magic. Opening with menacing and ghostly new track 'Óveður', Sigur Ros weave a gossamer web of sound over a live show that only enhances the entire world that they create with their delicate and spine-chilling sounds. Without a doubt, they remain one of the finest live acts on the planet, and truly in a class of their own. (AT)
Mystery Jets make a majestic return to Worthy Farm
One of 2016's arguably unexpected comebacks came from the Mystery Jets, who released their stunning fifth album Curve of The Earth to critical acclaim earlier this year. Considering they played relatively early on the sunday, they drew a huge crowd on the John Peel tent, playing an incredible set that pitted infectious tracks from their past with the 80's inspired jams of their latest release. Indie classics 'Two Doors Down', 'Half In Love With Elizabeth' and 'Young Love' sounded perfect against the likes of 'Bubblegum' and 'Bombay Blue', curing seemingly everyone's hangovers and seamlessly proving why they are such an important band to so many. (EM)
When Last Shadow Puppets covered David Bowie's 'Moonage Daydream'
The spirit of The Thin White Duke and Prince ran throughout the entire weekend, with sculptures erected in their memory and their music being sang along to in some corner of the festival at any giving time. When when Bowie fever returned to the Pyramid Stage for Last Shadow Puppets' set, his true impact and legacy were appreciated in their most joyous form. We miss you, Bowie.