Sam Fender hails Glastonbury debut as ‘most crazy experience’ during Pyramid set

Billie Eilish will take to the stage following Fender, when she will make history as Glastonbury’s youngest ever solo headliner.

Sam Fender performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA)
Sam Fender performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA)

Sam Fender has described making his Glastonbury debut as the “most crazy experience” as he performed on the Pyramid Stage.

The 28-year-old singer played a selection of his popular tracks including Seventeen Going Under to a crowd of excited fans waving flags and singing along.

After playing his song Getting Started, the singer said: “Hello Glastonbury how are we doing?

“Me and the boys have never been here before. We’ve never been here as punters, never played here before and we’re doing that all in one day which is the most crazy experience.”

Sam Fender performs on the Pyramid Stage (Ben Birchall/PA)

He performed an array of songs including Will We Talk?, Spice and Get You Down with added theatrics of fire billowing from the stage.

Fender also treated the crowd to a number of electrifying guitar solos while his band provided accompaniment.

The singer introduced his song Spit Of You by telling the crowd that the track was written about his father, asking them to give a shout out to him.

Another poignant moment came as the crowd continued to chant out the beat of his Ivor Novello winning song Seventeen Going Under after he had finished playing it.

He also paid homage to his hometown of North Shields as he sat behind a piano, which had a flag of Newcastle United football club draped over it, and dedicated the song The Dying Light to the area.

The crowd watching Sam Fender performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA)

Billie Eilish will take to the stage following Fender, when she will make history as Glastonbury’s youngest ever solo headliner.

The Grammy-winning singer, 20, will perform alongside her brother and co-writer, Finneas O’Connell.

The US pop star made her Glastonbury debut in 2019 when she performed on the Other Stage and treated crowds to a string of tracks such as Bad Guy and You Should See Me In A Crown.

The Pyramid Stage has already seen a host of talent on Friday including Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Crowded House, Rufus Wainwright and Wolf Alice – who narrowly made their performance after their flight from Los Angeles to get them to the festival was cancelled.

As acts took to stages across the festival on Friday evening, Sir Paul McCartney treated fans to a surprise performance at an intimate music venue in Frome, Somerset.

Video message by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shown to the crowd at the Other Stage during the Glastonbury Festival (Yui Mok/PA)

The former Beatle performed the gig at the Cheese and Grain entertainment venue ahead of becoming the oldest ever solo headliner when he takes to the main Glastonbury stage on Saturday, exactly a week after celebrating his 80th birthday.

Earlier today, Volodymyr Zelensky described Glastonbury as the “greatest concentration of freedom” as he addressed the festival calling for the world to “spread the truth” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president spoke via a video message played ahead of The Libertines’ stage-opening set on the big screens at the Other Stage on Friday.

“The festival resumes this year after a two-year break, the pandemic has put on hold lives of the millions of people around the world, but has not broken,” Mr Zelensky told the crowd of thousands.

“We in Ukraine would also like to live the life as we used to and enjoy freedom and this wonderful summer, but we cannot do that because the most terrible has happened – Russia has stolen our peace.

“That is why I turn to you for support Glastonbury, the greatest concentration of freedom these days, and I ask you to share this feeling with everyone whose freedom is under attack.”

He finished his message by saying “Slava Ukraini”, which translates as “glory to Ukraine” in English, which was met with loud cheers and applause across those gathered at the stage in Worthy Farm, Somerset.

Ziggy Marley on the Pyramid Stage (Ben Birchall/PA)

At the same time, Ziggy Marley opened the Pyramid Stage with a set paying tribute to his father, the late reggae pioneer Bob Marley, who died in May 1981 aged 36 from skin cancer.

As the singer and guitarist, 53, played a number of his father’s hits against a backdrop of photos, Ziggy told the crowd: “It is good to be here. Today, my friends, I am here on behalf of my father.”

Electronic duo The Chemical Brothers announced earlier in the day they had to withdraw from their Friday performance due to member Tom Rowlands still recovering from Covid.

Other acts who performed on Friday included the Sugababes on the Avalon Stage, and Foals and St Vincent on the Other Stage, which also featured Friday performances from Kae Tempest and The Libertines.

Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra also marked their first performance in the UK since their win, with a performance on Shangri-La’s Truth Stage on Friday’s bill.

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