SMALL STATURE, BIG CROWD

Friday afternoon/evening
June 28th, 2013

~ posted by Simon Willis and Georgia Grimond

6.45pm Hazel was dancing at the Park Stage earlier for Solange. Here's her review: 

By the second song, the crowd had created its own dance move, bending backwards and forwards in time to Solange's revivalist Nineties R'n'B. "I never imagined I'd be at Glastonbury and the whole crowd would co-ordinate a dance," she said.

With her soulful backing band, Mariah Carey vocals and bright patterned clothes, Solange represents a departure from Glastonbury's guitar-band stock, but it runs in the family. When Jay Z headlined in 2008, much was made of him being the first hip-hop act at the top of the bill. In 2011, Solange's big sister Beyoncé continued the trend.

Solange doesn't have their stature, or that many songs. She's usually better in small venues when the audience is close enough to appreciate her fancy outfits and exaggerated dancing. Today, it didn't matter. The crowd willed her to be good, shimmying when she asked them to and clapping in time. At the end, she stopped the backing track for her best song, "Losing You", to give a prepared speech that turned out to be a pep talk to get the few stragglers to join in the dancing. The crowd were eager to please.

"The best gig of my life!" she gushed at the end. And a good start to first-night festivities for the rest of us.

6.30pm Earlier Tim was thinking about one question: after the Stones, who is the second biggest act on this year's bill? In terms of hits, he reckoned it was Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, who's just told the Guardian that "Almost every record I've made has sold a million copies." 

6.20pm Local Natives, who've been described as "new-fangled folk", went down well on the John Peel Stage earlier. On Wednesday they played the Roundhouse in London, supporting The National, who are tipped to be playing a surprise gig at some point this weekend, but as yet there's no sign of them. 

6.00pm Some reviews from the afternoon: the Guardian thought Haim looked a little nervous but "tore up the main stage", and gave Jake Bugg four stars: "Bugg gazes nonchalantly over a headliner-level crowd and sets about justifying his position at the forefront of the pre-rock revival". The Telegraph agreed with Hazel that King Krule seemed older than his 18 years: "His wiry appearance and loose, jamming songs recalled Jamie T and he got a round of deservedly warm applause as he shuffled off". Read our reviews of Haim here and King Krule below. 

5.45pm A preview of Mick Jagger on tomorrow morning's "Today" programme: "It is a slightly intellectually undemanding thing to do, being a rock singer". 

5.10pm Amanda Palmer, rocker and wife of our current cover star, Neil Gaiman, played the Other Stage at lunchtime today. Gaiman took to Twitter, encouraging any of his 1.7m followers who are at Glastonbury to go and see her. But fans at home were disappointed. @Nexustheduck tweeted: "Pretty lame that Amanda Palmer isn't on the BBC's coverage of Glasto." Let's hope there are some highlights later on. 

4.50pm Solange, whose "Losing You" is on our Glastonbury playlist, is now playing on the Park Stage: "I like to turn fields into high-school dance parties." Hazel Sheffield will review her set here later. 

4.40pm Is this, from @TomCraine, the most retweeted tweet from Glastonbury today? 

Arrived at . Popped out my tent. Slight snag...It's a wind break.

4.35pm Tim de Lisle, en route to the festival, writes from the car: 

As rain in London gave way to sunshine in Somerset, I was pondering one question: who is the second-biggest name on this year's bill? The biggest, surely, is the Rolling Stones, finally making their Glastonbury debut after 50 years in the business. But who's next?

The other two headliners, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford And Sons, are medium-sized as headliners go. See how many of their songs you can name: a couple each? This isn't an indictment of the bill, which is packed with neglected giants (Bobby Womack), charismatic oddballs (Nick Cave), classy veterans (Portishead), lovable grandads (Kenny Rogers) and rising stars (Half Moon Run).

So who do you think is the second-biggest name? In terms of number of hits, I reckon it's Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, headlining tonight on the West Holts Stage: they could even give the Stones a run for their money. But you may have a better idea...

4.30pm After last night's rumour that Daft Punk were going to play a secret set, there's another one circulating: that Liam Gallagher is going to appear with the Stones tomorrow night. Here's what he told the Guardian: "I know, I know…funny that innit? Turns out I'm not the only one who's full of shit!"

4.15pm Our letters editor Georgia Grimond previewed the TV coverage yesterday, and has been watching today: 

After a few teething troubles, the BBC coverage is up and running. The lives streams are coming through online, albeit sometimes intermittently, from six stages: the Pyramid, the Other, the Park, the West Holts, the John Peel and the BBC Introducing stage. Lauren Laverne on 6Music came live from the festival site this morning, broadcasting "Memory Tapes" of great Glastonbury performances, like Radiohead's "Karma Police", "Insomnia" from Faithless and some classic David Bowie. The app seems to be working rather slowly, and that's via wireless. I don't fancy the chances of getting consistent coverage for those watching via 3G.

3.50pm From the Park stage, Hazel writes:

The sun is hiding behind a haze of high cloud, but it's warmed up. People have stripped into bikinis and vests and are stretched out on the bank leading down to the stage where King Krule, London's Archy Marshall, is playing. He looks younger than his 18 years, but he holds a crowd like a pro (he's been playing small gigs in London for years). His band looks more intimidated, clinging to Archy's loose songs and following his lead. They blend ballad-tempo guitars with Archy's baritone growl, bursting into jazzy riffs for each chorus. It's the perfect soundtrack to a lazy afternoon.

3.40pm While the Haim sisters loved playing at Glastonbury, others aren't so keen. Wiley, a rapper from east London, has taken to Twitter: he's complained about the rain, blamed his manager for booking him, and implored the organisers to take him off the bill. "@GlastoFest please cancel me without sueing I would like that...I'm fed up of coming to your festival I wanna do my one." Unsurprisingly the tweets have since disappeared from Wiley's feed.

3.30pm Before the festival, Hazel gave her tips. Number 9: do make a plan. Number 10: don't stick to it. So far, she's stuck to it, and is now watching King Krule on the Park stage. Watch it live on the BBC.  

3.00pm Kaftans, balaclavas, Venetian masks: the Swedish band Goat are playing live on the West Holts stage, and on the BBC. The Guardian called their album "World Music" "a heady soup of funk and tribal rhythms, kraut and prog-rock"—as eclectic as their fashion sense, then.

Intelligent Life at Glastonbury:

Tim de Lisle picks 19 of the best acts—and only one of them is a headliner
Hazel Sheffield guides us through the dos and don'ts of Glastonbury 
Nicholas Barber recalls all the weather that Glastonbury could throw at him
Georgia Grimond will be watching it on TV, laptop and mobile

Picture Getty