We couldn’t make it to Glastonbury this year, but luckily BBC was there with tons of cameras to record some killer performances. Sadly, there’s no official footage from the Park Stage (Radiohead! Big Audio Dynamite! Pulp! Lykke Li!) and YouTube clips, though they exist, are coming down as quickly as they go up, but otherwise, the BBC has got UK viewers covered with complete set streams—and selections for the rest of us. So here are the five highlights from the clips made available to the world:
5. Atlanta Represent: Janelle Monáe
There was a strong contingent of Dungeon Family affiliates: Big Boi pumping the crowd up with “Shutterbug” and Cee Lo Green borrowing a costume from GWAR for “Crazy”. Big Boi protégé Janelle Monáe outshone both with her razor-sharp rendition of “Tightrope.” Her remarkable dance moves and James Brown showpersonship are among the “intangibles” that make this clip unmissable.
4. Local Boys Done Good: Mumford & Sons
A number of artists returned to Glastonbury after achieving modest success in the United States, including Irish You Oughta Know band Two Door Cinema Club (check out “What You Know”) and London rapper Tinie Tempah (see “Wonderman”), but none have had quite the Gaga-at-Coachella turnaround that Mumford & Sons did. They nearly headlined the Other Stage on Friday, and you can see why from this energetic performance (and delighted audience response).
3. Breakthrough Performances: Little Dragon
Swedish trio Little Dragon has slowly built up a devoted fanbase with their effortless blend of late-eighties R&B with today’s pop, collaborating with Gorillaz and even getting a cosign from Mark Foster of the latest You Oughta Know group Foster the People, in a 120 Seconds interview with Matt Pinfield. For the UK at least, this performance of their new song “Ritual Union” is a real coming-out party for the band, who absolutely deserve to be heard on a much wider scale. It’s really difficult to make smooth music work in the middle of the day at a big outdoor festival, but Little Dragon pulls it off in style.
2. UK Powerhouses: Coldplay
Glastonbury has always thrived on prestige acts from the United Kingdom, and this year was no exception: in addition to Radiohead, Pulp, and Big Audio Dynamite on the Park Stage, the festival featured Primal Scream (watch “Come Together”), U2 (“I Will Follow”), and Morrissey (“First of the Gang to Die”). When we had the opportunity to air a Glastonbury set live on VH1, there was no question that the British artist we’d highlight would be Coldplay. We’re excited for the new album, especially if the fascinating dance-pop influences on “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” (viewable above) are noticeable throughout.
1. Running the World: Beyoncé
Our sister station BET got a clip of Beyoncé‘s Sunday headlining set for the 2011 BET Awards last night, and the two song medley of “Best Thing I Never Had” and “End of Time” is enough for us to wish we’d gone to Glastonbury just for her set. Hopefully she’ll be announcing North American tour dates soon, because despite the rumors and scuttlebutt, her 4 performances have all been extraordinary.