Glastonbury Sunday reviews: Herbie Hancock and DakhaBrakha

Jazz-fusion virtuoso Herbie Hancock delights the Pyramid Stage audience with a sunny afternoon set, while Ukraine’s DakhaBrakha come armed with a message against Putin

Herbie HancockPyramid Stage

★★★★☆

Proving that not every 80-something at Glastonbury needs to look like they might dissolve in the rain, jazz-fusion legend Herbie Hancock takes the stage on Sunday afternoon, with a performance so joyful and effortless it's as welcome as a burst of sunshine.

The largely reclining Pyramid stage crowd, fanned by a cool breeze, stretches up to the tent line for the veteran virtuoso. Today, Hancock and his band stay away from his electronic-leaning Eighties material, choosing instead to lean into jazz-funk numbers such as “Actual Proof”, from 1974 album Thrust.

A glimpse of “Chameleon”, from classic album Headhunters is folded in early on, the distinctive popping bass collapsing into a series of extended solos. “Footprints” is dedicated to Hancock’s friend, 88-year-old saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who also co-founded the Seventies jazz-fusion band Weather Report.

“Cantaloupe Island”, with its rolling piano chords and sparky trumpet line, comes next, ahead of set closer “Chameleon” – the whole track this time – for which Hancock takes on a dazzling keytar solo that ripples right across the field. It’s going to be a great Sunday. BB

DakhaBraka – Pyramid Stage

★★★☆☆

Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha started life as a theatre project, rooted in an avant-garde scene that was burgeoning in Kyiv until Putin’s war put it on indefinite pause. For years, the band have served as representatives of their nation’s music and culture, typically ending shows chanting: “Stop Putin! No war!” Today, they’ve brought their anti-war message to the world’s biggest festival, in triumphant and defiant form.

Visually striking, they step out on to the Pyramid Stage, resplendent in towering black lamb’s wool hats, crimson beads and other finery. The crowd – themselves festooned in yellow and blue facepaint, floral headdresses and Ukrainian flags – cheer back at them.

Despite their traditional folk heritage, DhakaBrakha are as contemporary as they come. The whole experience is a riotous explosion of colour; hypnotic harmonies blend seamlessly with African rhythms and heavy percussive bass lines. Never losing sight of their political message, the band show footage of the destruction Russia’s war has wreaked on their homeland during the performance. As they reach their exhilarating climax, the words “Arm Ukraine now” shine out behind them. A reminder for us all of the unifying power of this festival.

As Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said in his pre-recorded message broadcast on the Other Stage on Friday morning: “Glastonbury is the greatest concentration of freedom these days and I ask you to share this feeling with everyone whose freedom is under attack.”

Today, on the Pyramid stage DhakaBrakha did exactly that. SK

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in