Hey Boy, Hey Girl – we check out The Chemical Brothers at Glastonbury

With a little bit of luck (and not the MC Neat type!) I managed to get tickets for this year’s Glastonbury festival, the idea of which came from my dad. We attend the Latitude festival each year, and last year he mentioned he’d like to try Glastonbury. I informed him that gaining tickets was tricky. However, we managed it!

And so, last Wednesday, we headed over to Worthy Farm.

Photo: Anna Barclay

My dad is a pretty cool guy as you’d expect from someone who suggested going to Glasto in the first place. He often has dance albums before I even know they’re out and has spent many a Sunday in his workshop box-setting the Chemical Brothers albums so we were both excited when they popped up on the line-up.

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Photo: Dad and I

Up until that point we’d seen many bands and acts throughout the weekend and we walked miles (literally). By Sunday afternoon I have to say that had the Chemical Brothers not been on we may very well have ended up leaving from exhaustion. But the Brothers “Chemical” were well worth staying for. I’d seen them previously but this was the first time that “Big Trev” aka pops, had seen them live.

The set started with some ambient synths before Tom and long term visuals contributor Adam Smith, replacing Ed Simons for touring purposes, headed out onto the stage and dropped the beginning of “Hey Boy Hey Girl”. As the infectious acapella rang out from The Other Stage and the lasers started up the revellers were instantly energised. With flares firing up around the crowd, the show had begun!

And what a show it proved to be. There were many old favourites such as Push The Button and The Golden Path. I was so pleased to hear Under The Influence from the album Surrender (probably my favourite CB album). I’d heard them play this live at Creamfields in 2004 and the sound of the bass dropping through festival speakers is unrivalled.

As always the set was complemented perfectly by the visual delights. A combination of lasers, music videos and two gigantic robots. The Glastonbury sound crew must be commended for the pristine sound; the best I’d heard all weekend. We were a fair way back but the bass didn’t fail to rattle our chests and did not drown out the vocals or synths at all. It was certainly the highlight of our weekend and a perfect way to finish of the main stages.

Photo: Andrew Allcock

To properly send off the festival we decided to head over to The Beat Hotel for the Kompakt showcase with Michael Mayer, Barnt and Dauwd. We’d camped just up the hill from the venue, and had seen the vast crowds outside and heard the driving baselines for much of the week. The party did not disappoint. I’ve always enjoyed the Kompakt unique sound, and as we entered Dauwd was showcasing this perfectly. Gentle synth stabs played over a clean, driving drumline warming up the bustling crowd perfectly. 

It was most unfortunate that buy this point, my feet had completely given up and due to an early start the next day to beat the crowds, I wasn’t able to stay too much longer than an hour. It was, however the perfect end to an unforgettable week in Somerset, and I thoroughly look forward to getting to another Kompakt night in the near future.

About the Author

Lee Mills is a musician based in Liverpool. He has released music on Traum, Mooseekaa and Fade records among others