Glastonbury Festival: Griff impresses the jam-packed John Peel stage

GLASTONBURY Festival’s ‘hotbed of fiery new music’ lived up to its reputation this afternoon by hosting a stunning set from Griff, winner of last year’s BRIT Rising Star Award.

The 21-year-old from Hertfordshire, who uses a stage name because she thinks Sarah Griffiths looks “very corporate”, ran onto the John Peel stage in front of a packed house against a backdrop of dancing yellow lights.

Fresh off the opener of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia tour, she kicked off her set with a confident performance of “One Foot in Front of the Other” from last year’s almost entirely self-produced seven-track debut mixtape of the same name.

She then performed through a series of mixtape highlights and standalone singles, with her multi-instrumental skills on display in “Walk” and “Shade of Yellow”.

Standout performances were “Head on Fire,” a recently released duet with Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid, and “Black Hole,” which combined overtly melodramatic lyrics with bouncy synths and punchy drums to bring its set to its lovely end.

Before singing “Head on Fire” in Sigrid’s absence, Griff told the audience, “Unfortunately, we can’t perform this together on stage, so I need you to sing it 10 times louder for me! ”

Griff performs with a dancer covered in mirrors during ‘One Night’. Photo: Tom Leaman

The noise produced by the singing crowd nearly made up for Sigrid’s absence, although their contrasting vocals were missed in the song’s chorus and bridge.

Griff’s euphoric single “One Night”, which encapsulates how things can “get 10 times louder and noisier at night”, was another highlight, especially when she was joined on stage by an “image mirror” of herself (complete with her trademark bubble ponytail) for a fleeting yet beautifully choreographed dance routine.

Besides that, she was only joined on stage by a drummer and a keyboardist, but nothing was lost on this minimalistic setup thanks to her captivating energy and assured stage presence.

She managed to draw in noise and audience engagement in a way that felt natural, like when she encouraged people to join in with the catchy tunes of ‘1,000,000 x Better’ and ‘Shade of Yellow’ ( “I know you have voices and can sing, so I’ll teach you another chorus”).

She and her band also masterfully intertwined Lorde’s 2013 hit “Royals” in “Heart of Gold,” an underrated number about “being a careful lover” with someone who’s “almost perfect.”

Somerset County Gazette: Griff performed on a packed John Peel stage this afternoon.  Photo: Tom LeamanGriff performed on a packed John Peel stage this afternoon. Photo: Tom Leaman

If his stellar mixtape and sublime Glastonbury debut are to be believed, Griff’s next performance at Worthy Farm just might be on one of his biggest stages.

Griff’s John Peel Stage Setlist at Glastonbury Festival 2022:

One foot in front of the other

Forgive me

Walking

1,000,000 x Better

Gold heart

head on fire

A night

remember my dreams

shade of yellow

Black hole

Jan G. Gilbert