Bastille staged a sensational secret set at Glastonbury Festival

BASTILLE’s barnstorming performance lit up a sweltering William’s Green tent on Thursday night at Glastonbury Festival.

The British pop-rock band took to the stage in a “TBC” slot after an uplifting performance by festival founder Michael Eavis and his band and an energetic DJ set by “Sporty Spice” Melanie C.

There were whispers in the tent that Bastille might have been tonight’s “secret set” long before they took the stage, raising anticipation for an intimate gig by a band with three number one albums at the UK.

Bastille (Dan Smith, Kyle Simmonds, Will Farquarson and Chris Wood) were joined on stage by touring member Charlie Barnes and the Old Dirty Brasstards.

They launched into their set with ‘Good Grief’, the first single from their second album wild world which balances an upbeat beat with lyrics about the grieving process.

This was followed by seven of the band’s biggest hits from their nine years in the spotlight.

Frontman Smith’s lively performance – which saw him use all the available stage space (and some) – drew the same level of energy from the audience.

This was especially clear during “Of the Night,” the band’s cover of “The Rhythm of the Night” and “Rhythm is a Dancer,” which saw the crowd squat and then bounce at Smith’s command.

The number of musicians on stage, combined with Smith’s likeable character and self-deprecating humor between songs (“feel free to dance as terribly as me, I’m trying to set the bar low”) meant that he didn’t there was no threat of a dull moment.

It took until the sixth song of the set for Bastille to perform something from their fourth studio album. Give me the futureshowing the quality of – and the public’s desire for – their back catalogue.

The only song they performed from their latest album was the dance track “Shut Off the Lights”, written to show “intimacy and physical connection, casting away our worries and the future for a minute and unplugging from everything to be really present”.

Predictably, the anthem hit “Pompeii” raised the roof at the end of the band’s set and, from the wall of noise bouncing back to the stage from the closing “eh-ohs”, you could be forgiven for to think of the whole Glastonbury Festival – not just a lucky few thousand – had gathered at William’s Green.

Pyramid Stage headliners beware – contrary to Smith’s description of her dance, the bar has been set high.

Bastille’s Glastonbury 2022 setlist:

good mourning

Things We Lost in the Fire

A quarter past midnight

To survive

Of the night

turn off the lights



Jan G. Gilbert