LIVE: Bring Me The Horizon @ The Other Stage, Glastonbury Festival

By Alec Evans
Photo not from Glastonbury

It once seemed like the recyclable steel cups was all the Sheffield-produced metal that Glastonbury Festival would ever offer us.

After the release of ‘Sempiternal’ in 2013, Bring Me the Horizon frontman Oli Sykes admitted his band were unlikely to ever play at Worthy Farm. Granted, it was never a gaping hole in the eyes of many Glastonbury goers, but this was still a band breaking through with, like so much of their genre, no help from the festival. However, it’s amazing what can happen in three years, as in 2016, they are playing the second largest stage, The Other Stage.

Their billing says quite a bit about the band and the festival. In Bring Me the Horizon’s world, last year’s ‘That’s the Spirit’ was more accessible or, to compare their music to Glastonbury’s left-wing politics, more “New Labour” than their deathcore roots, taking influence from Glastonbury favourites like Arctic Monkeys and Massive Attack. Whereas in Camp Glastonbury, the metal quota has gradually been increasing with 2014 headliners Metallica and last year’s set by Motörhead, this year immortalised with an Ace of Spades at the top of the stage in tribute to Lemmy.

There’s a large reliance on newer material, but this show is hardly watered down, as Sykes encourages mosh pits to defy the sticky mud or swears enough to give the BBC viewers who complained about Adele’s 33 uses of bad language a heart attack. It’s also unlikely Bastille on afterwards were telling the audience to “kill each other”.

Sykes’ role is not dissimilar to Ozzy Osbourne’s role in Black Sabbath – it would be a bit generous to call their vocal performances masterclasses, but they bring charisma by the bucketload. While Bring Me the Horizon usually leave the politics to Enter Shikari, Sykes takes the chance to ask what people think about Brexit and introduces ‘Antivist’ as being “about people like Donald Trump”.

This performance is one of many high points in the band’s fantastic journey over the last year. Bring Me the Horizon used to have a barrage of things thrown at them from the crowd at metal-specific festivals, so an enthusiastic reception and a pretty good turnout by a crowd once considered not their audience shows how far they have come.

Which is probably just as well for Bring Me the Horizon – having those steel cups thrown at you would have been painful.