THE first of the pre-announced acts on the Other Stage were to come on at mid-day, and in my four years of going to Glastonbury I’ve never seen such a crowd for a band on so early. Even the ‘special guests’ that were on beforehand didn’t receive the honour, and they were Beady Eye, a band formed from the majority of Oasis no less.

The major pull in question was for Swedish outfit The Hives. As ever, the showmanship was in a league of its own, with drummer Chris Dangerous starting things off with a fast and pounding drum solo before the rest of the band emerged on stage to a massive roar from the crowd.  “Glastonbury!! this sh*t is actually happening” was the scream into the mic before the drum stopped and they kicked into Come On, a frantic punk song that caused singer Pelle Almqvist to strut across the stage like a young Jagger. After they finish the track, Almqvist addresses his audience, and let me tell you, it was his. He had everyone doing anything he said, including the whole crowd sitting down, but anyway that comes later.

Right now he’s telling us all how it’s a first for two reasons; the first being The Hives have never played Glastonbury before and secondly, it was the first time in the history of festivals where the most important band play first. The band then kick into their second song Main Offender from the album Veni Vidi Vicious. Band member Niklas tore the stage up thrashing at his guitar. This lead Almqvist to jump down from the stage and on to the barrier, before grabbing a ladder from a steward to get back onto the stage.

Go Right Ahead and The Spectacles Reveal the Nostalgic were to follow before the bass drum starts a pounding beat, followed by each of the members singing “wait a minute now, wait a minute”. Niklas starts clapping his hands to get the crowd to join in, and they are loving every minute of being involved. “This stage isn’t big enough to hold my ego, so I’m gonna join you’s guys!” announces Almqvist as he jumps down again and the band start Take Back The Toys featuring a distorted heavy bass- a catchy song from the album Lex Hives.

Realising he couldn’t get back on the stage alone, Almqvist leads the crowd in a chant for a ladder. “How am I suppose to entertain these people?” he asks, only to answer his own question saying “I know, by playing an oldie. They like that”. The sharp guitar tones of Die all Right get an already worked up crowd going wild, both guitars scream the chorus “diiiiiiiee, all riiiiight” into the same mic, as Almqvist throws his into the air and catches it.

Won’t Be Long was next before the crowd were asked to sit, and as The Hives start Walk Idiot Walk the crowd jump to their feet and the Jagger-like dancing begins all over again.

The First of the last two songs is the bands biggest hit “Hate To Say I Told You So” with the unmistakeable bass riff starting the song, a sing a long begins with each chorus and loud clapping when it breaks down for the bass solo. It would be hard for any band to follow that, not The Hives though, with one more up their sleeves, Tick Tick Boom from the Black and White album is proper rock ‘n’ roll. Half way through the band just stop, not moving an inch. Everyone goes wild for this, before the band start where they left off after the suspense has served its purpose.

It’s no surprise the crowd were loud at the end after an amazing performance, the music was entertaining in its own right, but with the show this band puts on, its hard not to love them. The first UK release they had was from Pop Tones back in 2001, the album was a compilation of their first two albums and called Your New Favourite Band. It was fitting then, and after 12 years and forgetting about them for a while, it feels fitting again.