Speed Dial: Phil Selway
The Radiohead drummer is leaping to the front of the stage to release a solo album while his band "reinvent" themselves again
Secret set of the weekend
Park Stage Friday 8:30PM: The first surprise performance of Glasto 2010 and it's a certain pair from Oxford
“Heard it’s The Strokes,” a voice in The Park’s unusually heaving crowd declares. “Nah, it’s gonna be Rage, “ another decides definitely. “What if it’s JLS?” someone else queries, only half-jokingly as Emily Eavis’ area fills up steadily. Yep, it’s nearing sundown on Friday and speculation is rife. 2010’s special guest rumour mill has been grinding out conjecture ever since Gaga brought her mannequins to Shangri-La last year and if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that this will be worth seeing.
Enter a familiar beard. “Welcome to the first surprise of the weekend, “ Michael Eavis announces, trademark grin even wider than usual before he gives way to an even more familiar figure. “Hi, my name is Thomas Yorke, “ he meekly offers to an insane roar.
What follows is 40-odd minutes of solo hits and Radiohead songs performed to the most reverential crowd we’ve ever seen. Girls are crying; wooden structures buckle under the weight of sunburnt bodies; smug insiders insist on ringing their mates to play them Nokia’s take on the set.
An opening volley of “The Eraser” performed alone on piano, “Harrowdown Hill” looped over and over on to itself and “Black Sawn” are met with increasingly melodramatic gushes and a deathly quiet audience. The vuvuzela brigade are presumably going bonkers with Dizzee at this point and this is the quietest several thousand people can get without organising a flash-mob vow of silence.
Thom, meanwhile, is treating it like a Sunday afternoon session, so relaxed he fucks up “Black Swan” and calls himself an amateur before introducing “my colleague Jonny Greenwood”. Together they roll out “Cymbal Rush”, “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” and “Pyramid Song” before perhaps the strangest sight we’ve seen so far (naked druid included): Thom dancing to a rave-riddled “Idioteque” mixed in with the sound of a lorry reversing, throwing shapes that owe a debt to both Axl Rose’s hip sashay and the Lyrca ladies from the Eric Prydz video. “So, see you around later on, “ he promises before “Karma Police”, an epic moment, even by Glasto standards, that’s followed by a crowd chant so powerful it gets him singing the refrain again himself.
To finish, “Stree Spirit (Fade Out)” seems to command that the fat sun drops out of the sky and night suddenly falls. Nocturnal Glasto, you’ve got a hard act to follow.