“Glastonbury! Are you ready to go fucking crazy? Cause I’m Yungblud and I’m crazy!”
Looking like Dennis The Menace downed three bags of pick ‘n’ mix before carrying out a sugar-crazed raid on Hot Topic, Yungblud’s chaotic emo energy and cheeky schoolboy schtick might grind the gears of rock’s gatekeepers, but he has Glastonbury in the palm of his hand today.
Bouncing out to Strawberry Lipstick and dashing around the John Peel stage with the energy of a schoolboy leaving class for the summer, the man born Dominic Harrison has fully embraced his growing role as the face of his generation’s alternative music scene, giddily waving the flag for outcasts as he leaps, kicks and struts his way through a hugely entertaining hour-long set, which includes a live debut for new song Tissues.
“Glastonbury!” he roars, before pausing and adding with the widest grin in Somerset: “I’ve been waiting my whole life to say that, so I’m gonna say it again: GLASTOONBUUURRYYY!”
It’s clear sets like these really do mean something to Harrison, and his enthusiasm is infectious: anyone in the tent tonight who approached this set with cynicism (and, to be fair, judging by the wall of screams and squeals that greet Yungblud’s every move, there aren’t many in that camp) are left with no choice but to surrender themselves to the pull of Doncaster’s most excitable son. No, literally, they have no choice: at one point Yungblud stops the set because a handful of “cheeky monkeys” reneged on a promise that every single person in the tent would jump at his command.
Rock music needs characters like Yungblud: he’s a figure that young fans can rally around, and he creates spaces where being different is encouraged, not spurred or mocked. It might be a theme he rams home with the subtlety of an angry rhino on roller skates, but when it’s pushing rock’s next generation to be louder and prouder, who the hell cares?
Tonight is a jubilant crowning of one of modern rock music’s foremost personalities, and you can’t help but think should Yungblud return to Glasto, he’ll be on a much bigger stage. Love him, hate him, you certainly won’t ignore him. The self-titled new album is coming in September: world domination seems inevitable.
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