Arriving on the Glastonbury site just after midday on Thursday, we are immediately amazed at how big it is and how many people have already arrived and claimed a camp site they hope will keep them high and dry for the weekend ahead.
While the main stages are still getting the finishing touches put on them, we head out from our Shangri-la campsite to find some organic vegie burgers and see our first bands of the weekend.
The Queen’s Head is a small tent containing a bar, sing-star booth, and stage where Q magazine is presenting some its favourite acts. First up is singer-song writer Pete Greenwood. Greenwood’s songs are delicate personal tales which are unfortunately overpowered by the sound check going on at the nearby (read: way too close) Other Stage.
Next up, triple j and Bawley favourites Sparkadia march on to the stage looking cool as ever, kitted out in slim black jeans and hair gel. The crowd love the performance, with highlights of the set being the ever popular Morning Light, a massive sounding live version of Animals, and bass driven b-side The Plague. By the time Sparkadia leave the stage, the Queen’s Head crowd has spilled out the tent and across the field behind.
After chilling out on Persian rugs and high backed leather sofas in the guardian lounge, we move across to the Dance Village to catch Melbourne’s Cut Copy. With only two small stages open on Thursday night and more than half the 180,000 ticket holders already on site, finding room to dance is sometimes an effort. But, the effort is easily justified when Cut Copy are blasting out indie dance tunes at their finest. After four years of near constant touring and uncountable compilation appearances, older tracks such as Futures and Going Nowhere have grown into live electro-pop anthems, but the real highlights of Cut Copy’s set come from this year’s In Ghost Colours release. In the live setting, Lights and Music loses a lot of its cheesy synth sound but gains a lot more purpose, Out There on the Ice has the whole audience singing and bouncing along, before So Haunted screams over the crowd with twin guitars and swirling feedback. The build up and the release when the bass is dropped during set closer Hearts on Fire nearly blows the roof off the tent.
Leaving the Dance Lounge and heading back to Shangri-la it starts to rain: Welcome to Glastonbury.