"If it’s energy you’re after, there’s only one place to be." Justice close out Glastonbury's West Holts stage with a thunderously heavy, effortlessly cool set for the ages

Justice show why it's possible to go harder than many rock bands without so much as picking up as a guitar

Justice on stage
(Image: © Getty Images)

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If you’re someone looking for one last big, party blowout on Glastonbury’s Sunday night, you might feel that that the bookers have dropped the ball a tad on the festival’s two main stages. Sza’s dreamy R&B is hardly going to get blood pumping on The Pyramid Stage, while, as fine a band as they are, The National’s lo-fi, introvert indie rock wasn’t written with a mind to get The Other Stage dancing.

It means that, if it’s energy you’re after, there’s only one place to be at Glasto as things wind down: over on The West Holts Stage, for French electronic duo Justice.  Armed with fresh new tunes from their wonderful recent album Hyperdrama in their back pocket, Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay nonchalantly amble onstage in front of a rammed field, backed by a blinding light show and some floor-rumbling bass, and proceed to give Glastonbury 2024 the arse-kicking ending that it deserves.

Kicking off their set with the parping horn intro that melds into the stalking electro bass of Genesis, the evergreen opener from their classic 2007 debut album Cross, the main thing that strikes you from Justice’s sensory overload is just how incredible they sound. Not only are they about five times louder than anyone who has played this stage all weekend, but the quality of the sound is astonishing, every drop: every synth stab and every thunderous bass line is crystal clear. Morphing into Phantom and sounding like Daft Punk’s obnoxious, glue-sniffing cousins, Justice hit harder than 95% of the rest of the festival's lineup this year. 

The idea that EDM is predominantly a sugary, poppy genre of music is obviously an outdated one, but when the duo launch into the chest-thumping, mass singalong of We Are Your Friends or the throbbing electroclash of new song Incognito, it’s like a sonic uppercut from a mallet. This is not arms-in-the-air, dance around the handbag house; this is pounding, headbanging, body-rocking synthwave. And it’s heavy as fuck.

It’s also far from one-dimensional; the woozy dreamwave of Afterimage is captivatingly hypnotic and the closing D.A.N.C.E. is brilliantly joyous, bug-eyed fun. If that wasn’t enough, Justice also just look cool - at least when you can see them and aren’t being blinded by their washes of red lights, strobes and lasers. Auge and de Rosnay are oceans of calm surrounded by a field of people losing their shit, strolling between their desks to drop yet another neutron bomb of bass as casually as if they're taking the recycling out. 

Rock fans have embraced the likes of The Prodigy and Pendulum in the past - quite why Justice, arguably louder than the pair of them, haven’t had the same treatment en masse is somewhat confusing. After the battering they just gave Glastonbury, maybe it’s time they started to take notice, too.

Justice - Neverender (Glastonbury 2024) - YouTube Justice - Neverender (Glastonbury 2024) - YouTube
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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.