Worthy Farm gets well and truly Lionel-ed
Kanye West

As anyone who's been to - or heard of - Glastonbury will know, you'd be crazy to spend all your time watching the headliners on the Pyramid stage. The best moments happen in the small dark crevices of the dance village and after-hours haunts, where you can party underneath a crashed tube carriage, observe a self-obsessed teen called Rebecca in her glass box bedroom or make up the audience for a couple getting hitched in the Healing Fields on a Thursday morning.

According to Michael Eavis, it was the best year ever (though why would he say anything else?) Here's what five days on the farm taught us...

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Lionel Richie is OK with being a living meme
Could the soul icon have known, when he signed up to play the Pyramid Stage, that his presence would spawn a host of 'Hello... is it me you're looking for?' flags (thereby rendering them useless), masks, T-shirts and - urgh - people in blackface? Either way, he seemed to find his ubiquity quite amusing, stating how happy he was to have finally made it to "Glaston-berry", and his performances of 'Dancing On The Ceiling' and 'All Night Long' drew the biggest crowd of the festival.

Austrians - and North Londoners - are great to wake up to
Kicking off the festival on Friday morning with Dorian Concept's live show was a delight, as the Viennese maestro relayed tunes from knockout LP 'Joined Ends' alongside fellow Austrians Cid Rim on drums and the cloniOUs. Jazz drumming from the former and Oliver Thomas Johnson's dizzying fingerwork on the keys made for a captivating live set. While on the Sunday, London's Gengahr hit the spot in the John Peel tent, with 'A Dream Outside' album cuts making heads of the bleary-eyed, Berocca-swilling crowd nod appreciatively.

The unlikeliest of MCs own hip-hop karaoke
Forget Young Fathers, Kanye, and Run The Jewels, this year some of the most entertaining MCs we saw went by the names of John Ace, The Pineapple and Marvin (not forgetting Marvin's hype girls). Over at the Park stage, Rae Morris was belting out tracks from her polished debut 'Unguarded', but a wonky rendition of Missy Elliot's 'Get Ur Freak On' was calling our name opposite at the Stonebridge bar. If you get the chance, go and watch (or grab a mic at) this golden bit of entertainment.

Paloma Faith should probably stick to singing
Taking to the Pyramid stage on Saturday, she announced that she wanted to "abolish war and abolish all the problems in the world". That's the Greek crisis solved, then.

Shangri-La is still as mind-bending as ever
This year, the festival's favourite after-dark area got political. Hell's nano venues were transformed for the 'Shang Re-election', littered with placards and mocked-up party posters (U.S.L.I.P being the favourite). There was the House of Come-ons, the Brainwash (Shangri-La's independent media facility - which has a touch of Fox corp to it), live voting polls, and Ed Miliband's voice being piped over the soundsystem.

While Heaven provided a much-needed sanctuary, with Craig Charles reaching deep in his funk 'n' soul crate to sardine-packed crowds and techno boyband J.E.s.U.S firing all cylinders. An oasis within a world of madness, the Temple of Requiescence offered white floors and cushions to sip cocktails on while its angels attended to our every whim (read: free shots).

No-one knows any of the words to Kanye's songs
Despite its constant stop-starts, and comedian stage invasions, Yeezy played an utterly epic set from start to finish on a sparse, white-lit stage, featuring Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, a Queen cover, literally touching the sky on a cherry picker and throwing his haters a bone by yelling "YOU ARE NOW WATCHING THE GREATEST LIVING ROCK STAR ON THE PLANET." Yet, aside from "What she order... fish filet", there was a distinct lack of crowd participation when 'Ye turned off the mic to hear his own lyrics back at him. Tracks like 'All Day' and 'New Slaves' were particularly poorly received, though 'Gold Digger' and 'Jesus Walks' got the desired response. Though this was hardly surprising at a festival where bar chalkboards were urging their punters to throw pints of piss at him.

Run The Jewels spent all $82 of their stage production budget making the sun come out
So they said. But the glowing West Holts stage was the perfect setting for the rap powerhouse to yell "Lie, Cheat, Steal!" and perform choice cuts from albums one and two in typically charismatic fashion - 'Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)' making the entire field bounce. There weren't any previews of Meow The Jewels, unfortunately, so we'll just have to keep sitting tight for that.

Grime still has a place at Worthy Farm
The "fuck them and their farm" tale of Wiley at Glastonbury '13 clearly hasn't had any effect on the festival embracing the genre, with Skepta and Big Narstie occupying key bill space. Skeppy drew a huge crowd clustering outside the confines of the Wow tent, rolling through BBK classics as well as his latest hit ("man's never been at Glastonbury when it's shutdown ayyy") while repping his bloodline by playing tracks from JME's 'Integrity'. While the genre's youngest hope Novelist took a solo spot on the vast Sonic stage, though only managing to draw a small crowd to his set, clad in a neon orange tracksuit.

Jamie xx's 'In Colour' is best heard at sunset
As the sun went down on the hill, hordes of Jamie xx fans migrated to the Park stage for a chance to glimpse a rendition of his new LP. We arrived too late for the summer smash 'I Know There's Gonna Be Good Times' (with our hopes of a Young Thug appearance quashed), but the breaks of 'Gosh' raining out before a multi-coloured sky - a nod from the Gods to the spectrum of his cover art - was a pretty special moment for the UK massive.

The Chemical Brothers certainly know how to do a light show
The unexpected peak of the three-dayer came with the invasion of giant tin robots, unsettling LED masks and red flares shooting up into the sky, as one half of the duo, Tom Rowlands, played out back-to-back hits from the Brothers' discography. Steering a rabid crowd through 'Galvanise', 'Block Rockin' Beats' and the ever-irresistible 'Swoon', we were treated to harder-hitting acid numbers and forthcoming album cut featuring St. Vincent, 'Under Neon Lights'. Uniting old and young dance music fans alike, the duo proved they're as strong - and relevant - as ever.

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Words: Felicity Martin

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