After a year off, Glastonbury returned in a big way this past weekend – summer finally arriving in style as the weather went doolally and Worthy Farm was treated to a rare scorcher. The music was on fire, too, with much being made of the festival’s welcome decision to continue amping up metal’s representation on the lineup.
With a raft of killer, heavy bands invading the bill this year – plus a few surprisingly metal moments from elsewhere around the festival – we thought we’d cap off some of Glastonbury’s best moments in 2019. Horns up…
Gojira just don’t do bad shows, but it was hard to gauge exactly how they’d go down tucked away in Glasto’s Shangri La corner – traditionally a party destination for dance music fans who want to explore colourful, themed bars and clubs after the main lineup has wrapped up.
While most of the bands brought in by Earache this year are housed in the purpose-built, indoor Scum stage near by, Gojira play the open air Truth Stage – and, of course, they crush it.
With little of their usual stage show in tow aside from a few bursts of steam cannon, this is a no-nonsense, candid smash through some of the 21st century’s very best metal songs, Joe Duplantier et all looking elated with the response.
“It means so much to us to be able to play somewhere different and see all this,” beams the frontman before the Frenchmen launch into a towering rendition of The Cell. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Employed To Serve cussing out The Killers
“We’re Employed To Serve. Fuck The Killers,” smirks Justine Jones before the UK hardcore firebrands kick into their final song of the night. It’s a cheap shot against one of this year’s headliners, but fuck it: fair point.
You wouldn’t know it inside the Scum stage on this warm Thursday evening, but just around the corner there’s a massive takeover by heavyweight drum ‘n’ bass label Hospital.
It makes for a bizarre and eclectic mix of people milling about Shangri La, and there are clearly a few non-initiated punters who have wandered into Scum to watch the Woking warriors do their thing. It doesn’t seem to take long for them to be converted, as Glastonbury experiences its first circle pits of the weekend. Lovely.
Guess who watched us at @GlastoFest? pic.twitter.com/tOzlCjPGBWJune 29, 2019
Venom Prison proving that everything can belong at Glasto
What initially looks to be a worryingly thin crowd soon fills out enough to see pits erupting for the duration of the up-and-comers’ 40-minute set.
“How is she doing that?!” says one onlooker as the singer continues to scream bloody murder across some of the most devastatingly heavy death metal in the scene today. Evidently, Venom Prison are winning over friends in new places.
Miley Cyrus covering Metallica and Nine Inch Nails
You read that right.
Ok, so anyone who saw her starring turn in this season’s Black Mirror will already know that Miley had sung on a reworked cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Head Like A Hole, but few would have expected her to actually bust it out live, and even manage to sneak in a brief cover of Nothing Else Matters by Metallica.
Fair play: that’s pretty metal. Although we do wonder if a lot of it will have been wasted on the crowd of hyperactive teens that have gathered to watch her play.
Babymetal being metal's perfect festival ambassadors
With Glasto now booking metal bands more regularly, one of the lingering questions raised is which artists will best represent our scene on the biggest stages.
Babymetal might not be the first band that springs to mind – let’s be honest, they’re a bonkers band even by metal’s own standards – but they pull a blinder on the Sunday, drawing hearty cheers and shit-eating grins all over the shop as their mixture of J-pop hooks and heavy-as-balls riffing bowls over a busy Other Stage crowd.
It’s a Lovely Time being had by all (and you can read our full review of the show here, by the way).
Dani Filth and Bloodstock Festival both getting their Glasto moments
Alright, only technically-speaking, but still: seeing Dani Filth’s leering, corpsepainted face beaming across the Other Stage screens as Bring Me The Horizon played Wonderful Life on Sunday afternoon was a hell of a sight indeed.
Oli Sykes also topped up his metal credentials by A) prompting what must surely be the biggest circle pit Glasto has ever seen and B) shouting out a brief, cheeky mention of Bloodstock.
Come on, who would have seen any of these things happening at Glastonbury five years ago? There’s progress afoot, friends, and we are here for it.
Lars Ulrich just hanging out all weekend like an absolute LAD
Since Metallica headlined in 2014, Lars has made the pilgrimage to Glastonbury every year, and this year was no exception.
Metallica’s drummer could be seen partying in the Wormhole ‘til the early hours and mooching about the Park area just as the sun started to rise over Pilton. What a hero.