Glastonbury: Triumphant Kasabian close 2014 festival
- 30 June 2014
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
Kasabian have closed the 2014 Glastonbury Festival with a powerful, bombastic set that drew tens of thousands to the Pyramid Stage.
The Leicester band covered Fatboy Slim's Praise You and Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, and paid tribute to soul legend Bobby Womack, who died this weekend.
"Ten years ago, we opened the Other Stage, when I was just 23," said singer Tom Meighan.
"Thank you for this, Glastonbury. So much respect."
The stage was lit in pink as the band took the stage shortly before 22:00 BST, launching into Bumblebee, the first song from their new album 48:13.
It was their first headline slot at Glastonbury, but lead singer Meighan was an effective rabble rouser.
Dressed in a white tuxedo and bow tie, he instructed the crowd to "jump all the way back to the hot dog stands" and led an effective singalong to their closing number, LSF.
The band, who have never taken themselves too seriously, brought comedian Noel Fielding onstage dressed as Vlad the Impaler during the song of the same name.
Meighan also changed the song's refrain to "Bobby Womack - see you on the other side" in respect of the late soul star, whose hit song Across 110th Street played on the PA before Kasabian took the stage.
Compared to the po-faced Metallica and the self-consciously quirky Arcade Fire, the band appeared to be enjoying their headline slot.
"We're quite overwhelmed, we're humble," Meighan told the BBC before they took to the stage.
"But I've got a feeling about tonight. It's our turn, it's our time. We're going to take this place to pieces."
In the event, Kasabian drew a slightly bigger audience (an estimated 100,000) than either of the other headliners - but not as big as Dolly Parton earlier on Sunday.
The final day of the festival opened with a performance from the English National Ballet, who paid tribute to those who died in World War One.
Their performance, Dust, was choreographed by Akram Khan, who helped put together the opening of the London 2012 Olympics with Danny Boyle.
Sombre but powerful, the performance moved some in the early morning audience to tears.
Other acts on the final day included Ed Sheeran, who played the Pyramid Stage unaccompanied, using his acoustic guitar and a series of effects pedals.
Despite breaking several strings along the way, he was warmly welcomed by the crowd in the mid-afternoon heat.
On The Other Stage, Ellie Goulding delivered an energetic, full-throttle run-through of her biggest dance hits as the sun set, while Disclosure brought several special guest vocalists - including Eliza Doolitle, Sam Smith and Aluna Francis to their headline set at the West Holts stage.
Against the bombast of Kasabian, Glastonbury organisers had programmed some more mellow bands to aid the come-down at the end of the festival.
Massive Attack's hushed version of Teardrops was a highlight on The Other Stage, while London Grammar's lush, melancholy album If You Wait drew huge crowds to the John Peel Stage.
The turnout will have pleased the Brit nominees, who admitted to suffering from a bad case of the jitters before they went on stage.
"I'm terrified," singer Hannah Reid told the BBC, two hours before showtime.
"You struggle to feel worthy for Glastonbury. I'm like 'oh no, I'm really a fraud. I can't sing at all and everyone at Glastonbury's going to know'."
But Dolly Parton was the star turn of the day, if not the festival.
She charmed the crowd with her ornery banter and diamante-studded hairpiece, and led lusty singalongs to hits such as 9 to 5, Jolene and I Will Always Love You.
"Thanks for singing along with me, I heard you out there," she said, sounding genuinely delighted.
For the first, and probably last, time Parton also performed a song about Glastonbury's mud that she had written in the early hours of Sunday morning, which included the lyrics: "Mud, mud, mud, mud/Up to our bums in all this crud."
The mud will be traded for traffic jams during Monday as the 175,000 revellers leave Worthy Farm and head back home.
But festival organiser Michael Eavis has confirmed the event will be back next year, and that he's already booked all three headliners.
Prince - widely rumoured to top the bill this year - is still refusing to come to Somerset, but at least one of the bands will be coming from abroad.
"The agent of the band was here last night," Eavis told the BBC.
"He was watching Metallica on the platform with me, and he said 'my band want to play a show at Glastonbury next year'. So that deal was done on the platform last night."