Turnstile’s incendiary set steals the weekend at Glastonbury

While some waited for a Green Day set that never happened, Turnstile showed Glasto why they’re the present and future of punk rock

Turnstile onstage
(Image: © Paul Bergen/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

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The rumours were in place well before Glastonbury had even opened its gates. Alongside expected ‘surprise’ sets from Hertfordshire singer-songwriter George Ezra and White Stripes icon Jack White (they both happened), one bit of gossip being spread across the festival refused to die: Green Day were going to rock up to the tiny BBC Introducing Stage on Sunday evening.

Ultimately, it didn’t happen - the slot ends up belonging to a Yungblud DJ set - but those looking for a fix of punk rock in 2022 would have been far better served walking up the road to the John Peel tent, where hardcore’s most vital modern band Turnstile are busy tearing Glasto a new one.

Over a dizzying, propulsive, hour-long set that comes immediately after Amyl And The Sniffers kicked off the afternoon’s punk rock proceedings, the Baltimore five-piece turn a busy, thousands-strong tent into a swarming, moshing, jumping, crowdsurfing sea of bodies. Singer Brendan Yates remains as magnetic a presence as you’ll find in rock music today, strutting around the stage and jolting, bopping and jumping less like a man fronting a band and more like a human instrument plugged directly into the PA. He’s already in the crowd by the time fourth song Blackout is dropped, somehow emerging with a random acoustic guitar in his hand that he merrily strums before throwing it back to wherever the hell it came from.

Musically, Turnstile are as tight as a gnat’s nostril, smashing through a setlist heavy on last year’s brilliant, hardcore-goes-Miami-Vice Glow On album (no less than 11 tracks from the record are dolled out today) but still cramming in cuts from across their back catalogue. For a band making its Glastonbury debut, this feels like a homecoming show - another sign that heavy music absolutely belongs at this giant of a festival, but also that Turnstile might just be the band to take hardcore punk into the mainstream like never before.

And they haven’t had to compromise a note to do it; just as Turnstile’s unique, irresistible take on punk has helped catapult them miles beyond their peers, their live shows have become must-see events that are only going to get bigger with each passing tour. “We’re so happy to be here,” says Yates at one point. Judging by the swathes of beaming, sweaty, roaring faces in front of him, the feeling is very much mutual. Secret sets be damned: this is the show everyone leaving Glastonbury should be talking about.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.