Glastonbury 2013: Arctic Monkeys, Portishead and Chic – liveblog

Last modified: 11: 48 PM GMT+0
As daylight fades on the first day of performances at this year's Glastonbury festival, it's time for those of you at home to settle down on the sofa to watch the headline acts on TV with Michael Hann, while our team of roving reporters tell you what it's really like on the ground

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And here is Alexis's Chic review. Good night to you all! See you tomorrow!

I'm just waiting for Alexis Petridis's review of Chic – he loves a bit of disco – and then we'll be wrapping up for the evening. Thanks so much for reading – and remember Tim, Caspar and the onsite team will be back in the morning with the Saturday liveblog, possibly around 11, though I wouldn't bet against drink being taken now. I'll be back in the evening to watch more telly and tell you about it, and advise you what's on what channel. Though not what's good on the streams, we have discovered …

Here's the Guardian's music team on site getting down to some serious raving …

The Guardian music team out raving after the #glastonbury headliners

— Tim Jonze (@timjonze) June 28, 2013

As we prepare to wrap up, here's a 5 things we learned, because all media organisations have to do them at the end of everything.

1 Watching telly and making remarks about it for five and a half hours is really bloody tiring. And I've got two more nights to go.

2 Arctic Monkeys are at the top of their game.

3 Sometimes the old ones are the best – look at Tom Tom Club on iPlayer.

4 Dizzee Rascal has a ton of charisma.

5 The One Show isn't very good

Just in case you don't remember Little Man Tate, here they are – the reductio ad absurdum of everything Alex Turner is great at. It's like the Cortinas compared with the Clash.

Unbidden to my mind comes the memory of the Arcticsalikes who were signed in the wake of their early success. Milburn and Little Man Tate must be watching this and thinking: "Why did we ever think we had it in us to emulate that." That was a terrific When the Sun Goes Down.

Though I'm not sure Mark's right about ebola – and media law dictates it be referred to as "the deadly ebola virus" – is to be found in a dodgy fajita, what with it being a rainforest virus we've caught from the other primates.

Look! We've got a review from Mark Beaumont while all we TV viewers are still watching the end of the set.

Sometime Guardian writer, Jesus and Mary Chain member, bon viveur and Bo Diddley obsessive John Moore has been watching the Arctic Monkeys, and – like me – has found his middle aged weariness dispelled by their vigour.

Might be a bit late to the party but these Arctic Monkeys are very good.

— Sir John Moore (@ModelCitizen1) June 28, 2013

Ha! That was actually funny, offering half a line from Coldplay's Yellow. Because that set was abrasive and unyielding in a way Coldplay couldn't be – yet it was as uplifting as Coldplay ever get in its own strange way.

Well, if you wanted to be surprised by the Monkeys' encores, I've rather ruined that for you. Sorry.

Here's the complete Arctic Monkeys set list for tonight …

Here is the Arctic Monkeys setlist as heard on the Pyramid Stage tonight. #glastonbury

— Colin Paterson (@ColinGPaterson) June 28, 2013

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys performs at day 2 of the 2013 Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2013 in Glastonbury, England.
Arctic Monkeys performs at day 2 of the 2013 Glastonbury Festival . Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Have a look at the – nerd alert – lighting design. And the Monkeys finish their set with A Certain Romance.


Wasn't mad about R U Mine, so had a quick peek at Chic – return to find it's Fluorescent Adolescent, greeted by the crowd like an England team parading an Ashes victory. The easy confidence of this group is so compelling.

Alan Davies has deserted Chic …

Because of twitter I have left Nile for the a monkeys. When will they ever get together...?

— Alan Davies (@alandavies1) June 28, 2013


Goosebumps, actually. Though that may be because I really, really need the toilet. But don't want to miss anything.

I won't argue if you say this is the best song they've recorded. Just like I won't argue if you say Blitzkrieg Bop is the best song Ramones ever recorded. But that doesn't mean what came after is worthless.

Though it makes me feel old – "dancing to electropop like a robot from 1984" – because I remember people dancing to electropop like robots in 1984.

It's the one everyone's been waiting for …

Back to the high energy – not the Hi NRG – with Pretty Visitors. I wonder if Turner's charisma works when you're 200 yards away, because he's a compelling presence on the TV, stalking and brooding. Though I'm not sure he's the greatest slide player ever.

Glad it's not just me who's puzzled by Alex Turner's current speaking voice …

Alex Turner's new voice is like Alex Cox off Moviedrome. #glasto #nbury

— John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) June 28, 2013

Back to the Arctic Monkeys. I won't say I wish I was there, because I really don't. But this is terrific stuff. Building and releasing, beautiful and raging in all the right places.

OK, just flipped to have a look at Chic. He's the Greatest Dancer/We Are Family. I know this is great stuff, but I think I'll be moving quickly back to the Monkeys. There's a tension and dynamism – Alex Turner's bizarre speaking voice aside – that's awfully compelling, whereas with Chic you know exactly what you're getting – greatness, yes, but unvarying greatness. That probably sounds a bit odd.

A comparison that occurs to me (though on a smaller scale) is the Wedding Present, another Yorkshire band who made a reputation playing frenetic music with slice-of-life northern lyrics, then shifted away into a less friendly style, defying fans to come with them.

BREAKING Mark Beaumont in a field in Somerset says Arctic Monkeys are proving "highly entertaining" while our man who's watching Portishead mumbles something about "mesmeric." You heard it here.

Teddy Picker. For all that people have been complaining that it's all been downhill since the first album, they seem to be going over well enough with the crowd. But of course the first album was the most exciting – that's the nature of first albums from fiery guitar bands. I think the AMs have done well to find a way to move on and continue to expand their music, without completely losing sight of what made them so fascinating in the first place.

Producer (and QPR fan) Stephen Sweet is impressed …

Arctic Monkeys smashing it at #glastonbury with their fab new single! Prof green take note!

— Stephen Street (@StreetStephen) June 28, 2013

On the long TV shots, the flare from the stage during Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair is staggering. Like someone's burning a whole pile of magnesium up there.

Great lighting design from the Arctic Monkeys, too. I like the AM shape at the back of the stage – it's lighting that's been thought about. If you want to read something interesting about lighting design and its importance to a show, get a copy of Fred Goodman's book The Mansion of the Hill, about the rise of the new generation of US rock in the 70s, which has a brilliant section about lighting design at Springsteen shows.

Anyway, the Monkeys are into Dancing Shoes. They're playing with the fire of a garage band and the muscle of a metal band. Even on TV, this is thrilling stuff for those who love rock music.

Q: Is Matt Helders the most vigorous and exciting drummer to have emerged in British rock in the past 20 years?

Picking up the pace now – and bloody hell these strobes are aggressive – with Brianstorm, which prompts moshing and singing along. I recall the reception to this being a little lukewarm, but whatever the crowd thought, they wanted an excuse to go mental. Strobes so aggressive, in fact, they hurt my eyes.

I've had the suggestion that my BBC stream problems might be down to having Sky wifi. To which I only swapped the other week.

Arctics being a Proper Band and coming on to an intro tape. Intro tapes should be compulsory. A good one sets the mood and generates so much excitement. Back in the mid-80s the Pogues used to come out to their cod spaghetti western theme, A Pistol for Paddy Garcia, and the room would be rocking before they even started playing.

Anyway, the Monkeys have started with Do I Wanna Do?, a downbeat choice to play in front of 26 million people at the start of a set. Alex Turner looks every inch a star, like Stuart Sutcliffe in sharp suit and quiff, and he's playing a beautiful Teardrop guitar.

To make me feel like I'm there, I've draped a flag in front of the TV screen and paid £50 for a bag of oregano from a hoodie who swore it was really good skunk.

OK, over to BBC2 to have a look at Arctic Monkeys in glorious HD. Are the potted histories they do before headline bands helpful or an annoyance?

Ben Stanley has a suggestion regarding my Portishead streaming difficulties …

@MichaelAHann Perhaps it's a surprise set by the Flaming Lips.

— Ben Stanley (@BDStanley) June 28, 2013

Just tried having a look at Portishead. Once again, I have sound, but the picture looks like an old telly after the tubes have started popping off. Just a blur of lines and colour.

Currently streaming on the BBC website …

Portishead, the Horrors, Crystal Castles, Chic

We've had the Daft Punk rumour and the Atoms for Peace rumour. So what other Glastonbury rumours can we find? (Warning: it is possible some of these are not entirely serious)

I have heard rumour that T'Pau are going to play tomorrow evening #Glastonbury #glastonbury13 #chinainmyhands

— Melvyn McVitie (@Journo_Melvyn) June 28, 2013

To all trainee Ninja assassins out there, rumour has it Jo Whiley, Nick Grimshaw and Fearne Cotton are all in a field near #Glastonbury

— Mr Burns (@supernoodle76) June 28, 2013

I heard a rumour that at the next glasto there is going to be "the x-factor stage"

— jamie cook (@_Jamie_cook) June 28, 2013

I hear a rumour Beverly Craven is appearing at Glasto - @Cazzypott you called it! Promise me you'll wait for me .... !

— Rob Stanbridge (@robstanbridge) June 28, 2013

We just had a simply brilliant clip of the Jacksons doing the peerless Blame It on the Boogie. But if you were watching something else, don't worry – you haven't missed it. For here they are, in all their glory, live in London in 1979.

I've popped over to BBC4 for a bit of Disco at the BBC. Videos and live performances from the BBC archive to warm you up for Nile Rodgers and Chic. Have a look at Malik Meer's encounter with the great man here

Anna Bruce-Lockhart reports from the Avalon stage …

Just seen Stornoway at the Avalon stage - the frontman has a PhD in ornithology, and here he was singing about an albatross - to a devoted but weirdly small gathering

Should you wish to read more about Brian Briggs and ornithology, I had a chat to him the other week.


Tom Tom Club are now officially the best thing I've seen on TV this evening. Wordy Rappinghood is 30 years old, but still would have wiped the floor with the early noughties punk-funk revival, and if a new group released it today, we'd swoon over them. And now they've gone straight into Psycho Killer.

Tom Tom Club are being excellent on the red button. I strongly suggest you have a look …

Not everyone loved Seasick Steve. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Luke Haines …

This Seasick Steve performance with JP Jones is the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of everything.

— luke haines (@LukeHaines_News) June 28, 2013

Mind you, there were those who took issue with Luke …

@LukeHaines_News You haven't re-listened to the opening track of your last album to properly qualify that you fucking twat.

— Angry Jogger (@angryjogger) June 28, 2013

Fortunately, a mediator is on hand …

@angryjogger @LukeHaines_News Angry Jogger's got an excellently presented case there... However this bbc4 bit is shite.

— ₱₳₮ (@StoodUpTooFast) June 28, 2013


Current red button choices:

• Tom Tom Club

• Lumineers

• Professor Green

For those too young to remember Tom Tom Club, try a bit of Wordy Rappinghood


Your 10pm choices on the TV are …

BBC2 – Round-up show for 30 mins.

BBC3 – Dizzee and then Foals, till 10.30pm.

BBC4 – Disco at the BBC (10.05pm), before Chic at 11.05pm.

Chic are up against Arctic Monkeys (BBC2). Alexis Petridis was telling me he knows Alex Turner's mob are the headliners, but he's buggered if he's going to miss Chic. Yowsah yowsah yowsah, indeed. I wonder if Chic will do this piece of Chic Organization magnificence


High praise for Seasick Steve from MrNotQuiteWright in the comments …

WOW.. what a set by Seasick Steve on BBC4, absolutely amazing!

Having a look at Miles Kane on the red button. He's wearing a round-necked Beatles-style jacket with a union flag print that Geri Halliwell might have dismissed as a bit obvious. I can't work out why his new album has generated such coverage. Still, it could be the one that lifts him from the third on the bill of the NME tour to second on the bill of the NME tour.


If you're unfamiliar with the work of Brooke Candy, have a look here


Rebecca Nicholson is out and about …

I seem to be watching Brooke Candy at Le Pussy Parlure Nouveau area. It's sort of amazing


Ah, as Tereus again points out – there is video. But you have to click on your preferred act, then scroll down to the bottom of the page. Where my picture keeps freezing, or turning to mush. I'm trying to watch Django Django – best album of 2012, I thought – but the picture is, well, not a picture.

To accompany your viewing enjoyment of Dizzee, here's one of the odder artist interviews I've ever read – with Music Week's Tim Ingham. Have a read.

As Tereus points out below, you can livestream on the BBC website – but it's audio only. At the moment, the choice is Seasick Steve, Django Django, the Courteeners, Foals and Dizzee.


Seems I'm not alone in having some technical difficulties with the BBC's all-digital coverage, as the comments thread shows …

BBC's coverage isn't improving then. Got Dizzee fucking Rascal on 3, on blue button there's Alice Russell or Alice Russell, and the website that just crashes my internet. Brill.

I've gone back to BBC3 for Dizzee Rascal. Regular readers may know the UK urban scene is not one of my regular haunts, but this is the best thing I've seen so far this evening. Even better than Alex Jones's brand-new wellies on The One Show.

Tim Jonze wants to go to see Disclosure. He doesn't think he'll be able to …

Not on yet but without doubt the hottest show of the day. Can't get within a mile of the tent.

Alice Russell, Enter Shikari and Peace on the red button at the moment. Here's a video profile of Alice Russell …

I see John Paul Jones is playing with Seasick Steve. Just so JPJ can tell the difference between Steve and Jimmy Page, here's a quick crib sheet.

Does he have a collection of Aleister Crowley memorabilia and occult writing?

If yes, it's Page, if no it's Steve.

Is he rumoured to have made a pact with the devil?

If yes it's Page, if no it's Steve.

Are there thousands of groupies around?

If yes it's Page, if no it's Steve.

Is he playing his guitar with a violin bow while lasers flash around him?

If yes it's Page, if no it's Steve.


And my gosh darn red button is just bringing me the loading screen, which is a source of worry. Because I don't want to spend the night with Seasick Steve, who is very much not my type.

Mick's smile in that pic with the yurt looks a bit forced, doesn't it?

Seasick Steve on BBC4 now. I've discovered the red button was working for Glastonbury choices on BBC4 while it showed an opera; and the red button on BBC3 – which has been showing Glastonbury – took you to the tennis. The BBC has been boasting about this being a fully digital Glastonbury, but to be honest that seemed like a bit of an oversight. Why would I turn to an opera in the hope of finding Dinosaur Jr?


Yurt alert

Mick and his Glasto digs.

Mick Jagger and his yurt
House proud ... Mick Jagger and his yurt at Glastonbury 2013. Photograph: mickjagger/instagram Photograph: mickjagger/instagram


If you want to see whether Mark Beaumont was right to be excited about Peace earlier, the BBC is hosting a clip of their set. Have a look here.

Our dearly beloved multimedia maven is reliving the early 80s, back when he was still in his 30s …

Tom Tom Club rocking it on West Holts @glastofest Tina Weymouth looks like Lene Lovich's mad auntie #glastonbury

— Matt Hall (@mattzki) June 28, 2013

Jon Ronson's loving him some Dinosaur Jr. Must be on the iPlayer, cos the red button's not operative yet.

Dinosaur Jr are being amazing on the Glastonbury feed this moment.

— jonronson (@jonronson) June 28, 2013

More Jagger news! He's got a yurt!

Me and my yurt! #StonesGlasto #yurtalert #glastonbury

— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) June 28, 2013

Your Bastille man Dan Smith has a floor tom at the front of the stage, next to his mic stand. In the past couple of years, this seems to have become a bit of a trend, and I'm not sure why. It rarely adds anything, and as pieces of theatre go, it's not exactly flamethrowers and smokebombs, is it? If you want to liven up your festival stage set, take a leaf from Muse


Bastille are on BBC3 now. If you want to make a cup of tea, get a beer, have a nap, whatever, now is your time. Though I should admit that vast numbers of music fans disagree with me.


Festival goers use the toilets during the first performance day at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset.
First out of the blocks ... festivalgoers use the toilets on day one of performance at Glastonbury. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

There's something about a toilet with no roof that seems horribly unappealing. Said man with access to indoor toilet.


Meanwhile the on-site team tell me rumours are abounding of a special surprise appearance by two Frenchmen in helmets. Alain Prost and … No, not really. Rumour is that Daft Punk are going to be taking to the stage in Shangri la. Although our special Shangri La source responds: "I think this could be the worst rumour ever!" We shall see.

Daft Punk are playing tomorrow night in Arcadia field, fact... #glasto #glastonbury

— (@myaloadofball) June 28, 2013

Although if you were us, you'd be putting your money on ... this lot.

(No, not his regular band, the new one.)

But it will, apparently, be late. Very late. 


Talking of changing names, the other evening I was talking to Justin Young out of the Vaccines (oh, scoff all you like. They've got Proper Songs With Tunes), who was telling me about his friend Alan Pownall, formerly signed to Mercury Records. Ah, I laughed, the man who changed his name to Alan – for performance purposes. Alan!

No, Justin said, that's not true. At which point a member of the Mercury press team said: No, it is true. And Justin replied: "It's not true. He'd already changed his name to Alan."

But still, what kind of young man changes their name to Alan in the 21st century?


I'm changing my name by deed poll to Trevor (security).

Sounds like the good Professor ended up getting up to some high jinks during his set …

Thank you Glastonbury, means the world. Time to ice the leg and apologise to Trevor (security) for unexpectedly getting in the crowd.

— Professor Green (@professorgreen) June 28, 2013

Professor Green on BBC3 now. Following Professor Brian Cox of D:Ream on The One Show earlier. Now, I have a question for you. Rita Ora had wailing metal guitars, and so does Professor Green. What is it with UK urban acts and wailing metal guitars this summer? I'm genuinely curious. Feel free to comment below, or tweet me at @michaelahann with your answers to this great conundrum of modern pop.

But we've also got the very biggest news on the Guardian Glastonbury liveblog. Not least Tim Jonze's interview with a laughing gas salesman …

Heavens knows people need something to do while watching alt-j, and so I ended up interviewing a laughing gas saleswoman. The hawker - who preferred to remain anonymous - arrived at Glastonbury with 600 canisters to sell at three for a tenner. So how many has she sold so far?

"Er, none. I've taken 40 myself and my friends keep having some. I did find one person who was interested but when I tried to blow up the balloon the canister didn't work."

Excellent work.


Evening! Michael here. I'm watching the Lumineers on BBC3. One of those groups music writers are forbidden to like – the American Mumford & Sons – but I rather like them. Here's a version of their Big Song, Ho Hey, from my favourite current soapy US drama, Nashville.


Meanwhile, our intrepid news reporter Lexy Topping was sent to have a word with Sinead O'Connor. And she obliged!

No, but really ...

Mick REALLY is here, at least if you believe his girlfriend.If this tweet from his girlfriend is to be believed ...

Go on, click on the link to see the pic.

Hello #glasto excited to be here @MickJagger @rollingstones #yurtalert

— L'Wren Scott (@lwrenscott) June 28, 2013


Not as excited as I was when I watched this video earlier ... quite simply, the best version of Satisfaction you will ever see.


BREAKING NEWS The Rolling Stones are here

Look! There's Charlie Watts, in the crowd!

And the rest of the Stones.

Can you find the Rolling Stones?
Can you find the Rolling Stone? Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

Evening campers/ people on sofas.

Caspar Llewellyn Smith here, and if you've been reading our liveblog of all the action thus far from down on Worthy Farm today, you might realise that I've been working since before when there was still grass in front of the Pyramid stage. And if you've not been following the festival with us, where have you been? Work, you say? Oh, sorry. 

  • Here's some of what you've missed:
  • Loads of bands have played
  • The weather's been fine really - the mud from rain last night dried up pretty quickly
  • People are enjoying themselves
  • That's about it

If you want to see some lovely snaps of some of the acts then simply look here: lovely snaps of bands

Tonight we're all excited about seeing the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Portishead and Chic, and then no doubt members of the Guardian's crack team of reporters on site will wander off into the night in search of adventure. But this is not all! Because watching everything that the Beeb is screening on TV from the comfort of his sofa at home is our own Michael Hann, and he'll also be here, writing about what everything looks like that way.

Let us know what you think of everything in the comments thread, or tweet Michael or me or @guardianmusic.


Caspar Llewellyn Smith and Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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