"Personality, charm, heart and passion in abundance." High Vis prove that UK punk rock deserves a platform at Glastonbury

London's High Vis bring grit and passion to Worthy Farm

High Vis
(Image: © Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

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Although the Saturday afternoon crowd at The Woodsies Stage thins out after an all-timer of a performance from Kneecap, those that do stick around are treated to another unique version of punk rock, in the form of London-based quintet High-Vis.

If you’ve ever wondered what Oasis would have sounded like if they were part of the 80’s Washington DC hardcore scene centred around Dischord Records, this band have you covered. High Vis are all punk rock energy, grit and bounce melded with the indie guitar tone and flair for massive vocal hooks that The Stone Roses or The Happy Mondays could throw up at their peak.

The result is superb. Not only do High Vis have a strong back catalogue, with tunes like Talk For Hours, from 2022's excellent Blending album, surely a Top 10 single in an alternate universe, but they're also gearing up for a bright future, with the vital, biting Mob DLA, released earlier this month, the first taste for their forthcoming, as-yet-unannounced third record. They also, very evidently, have personality, charm, heart and passion in abundance. Liverpool-born vocalist Graham Sayle appears almost overwhelmed by the occasion, thanking the receptive audience over and over, and opening up about his struggles with mental health, how he feels his disabled brother has been left to rot by a system he clearly despises, and how important DIY punk rock has been to him.

A hardcore scene veteran, Sayle isn't going to get carried away with this one-off contact with a festival which sits right at the centre of the British music industry. “We usually play pubs... and we’ll go back to playing pubs” he shrugs at one point. If there’s any justice in the world, that won’t be the case for too much longer, but then High Vis know as well as anyone that this life isn't always fair, just or egalitarian.  They already have dates in Europe, Australia and America on the docket before the year is out: go see for yourself why these underground heroes are going places.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.