It’s safe to say eyebrows were raised when, earlier this year, Bestival organisers announced London Grammar as their 2018 Saturday night headliners.
Sure the trio really can do no wrong – with two albums under their belt, both of which have become spectacular works of art in their own right, plus earning a credibility most could only dream of, their place at the top of the Bestival line-up was duly-deserved. However, historically, regardless of festival, headliners are assumed to be bold, brash, big and loud… four elements that are potentially at polar opposites of what make London Grammar, so, well, great.
However all fears were put to bed the minute lead-vocalist Hannah Reid sung her first note. Of sorts, Bestival was a homecoming show for the group, having been on the road pretty much since second album ‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’ landed last year. Their other major UK festival soiree was over twelve months back when they returned to Glastonbury, though being the penultimate act on the John Peel Stage put them right at odds clashing with Ed Sheeran on the final night. This evening though, it was firmly a London Grammar moment – a headline performance of The xx-proportions.
Filled with some of the most stunning atmospherics, the trio’s show offered all the ethereality that festival-goers require, and all without the fuss too. People were less jumping up and down, instead mesmerised by the three open souls on the Castle Stage. From first album-classics ‘Hey Now’, ‘Strong’ and ‘Nightcall’, all the way to their latest material, there never felt a moment of anyone excusing themselves to pop to the bar for a cheeky pint. Tonight was a moment of epic proportions surrounded by a sense of sheer opulence.
Just like the question marks raised when Adele was appointed Glastonbury headliner back in 2016 (and subsequently proved everyone wrong), tonight showed that London Grammar have earned their right to headline, whichever festival it may be. And just like many headline artists throughout past years, it’s thanks to Bestival for once again realising their potential and putting them on that giant pedestal.
An evening few will ever forget.