HOLLY Humberstone finished her set on the John Peel Stage with a flourish this afternoon after admitting being “so nervous” to perform in front of thousands at Glastonbury Festival.

Humberstone, 22, has established herself as an exceptionally talented singer-songwriter with her two critically acclaimed EPs, Falling Asleep At The Wheel and The Walls Are Way Too Thin.

Her debut collection was released in August 2020, meaning Covid limited her opportunities to perform for live audiences on a regular basis until earlier this year, when she opened for Girl in Red and Olivia Rodrigo in North America.

Perhaps this explains an early jitter in the John Peel tent, which saw her stop while singing an A Capella part of her first track ‘Vanilla’ (“sorry guys, I’m so nervous”).

Within a few moments, she had the audience back bouncing along to the catchy chorus and punchy beat.

Early in her set, the BRIT Rising Star Award winner - who performed on the BBC Introducing Stage in 2019 - said: “What's up Glastonbury, I'm so gassed to be here, thanks for coming! 

“I’m so excited to be here. I did not expect so many people!”

Somerset County Gazette: Holly Humberstone performs on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Tom LeamanHolly Humberstone performs on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Tom Leaman After playing ‘Sleep Tight’, her latest single written with The 1975’s Matt Healey, she added more charming commentary, saying: “I’m so nervous, I’ve no idea how I’m going to get through this set. Thank you for being so lovely.”

Humberstone's anxiety evaporated throughout a 10-song set that saw her switch between playing a bright blue guitar, sitting at a keyboard, and using a sample pad.

A highlight was ‘Deep End’, a song written by Humberstone to tell one of her sisters who was going through a difficult time that “I’m here for you and I love you”.

The mellow track highlighted her ability to back up her beautifully written lyrics based on her personal experiences with soft vocals.

Similarly personal themes were explored in ‘London Is Lonely’, a song that marks Humberstone’s decision to move to the capital from rural Lincolnshire on a whim.

“I found myself in this strange, terrifying place,” she explained. “Big cities can be great, but they can be really isolating and lonely.”

Her set ended with three reimagined versions of her best-known numbers: ‘Scarlett’, ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’, and ‘The Walls Are Way Too Thin’.

Somerset County Gazette: Glastonbury's “home to fiery new music” was packed for the 22 year old's performance. Picture: Tom LeamanGlastonbury's “home to fiery new music” was packed for the 22 year old's performance. Picture: Tom Leaman

‘Scarlett’ had an almost pop-punk feel thanks to lively drumming from Lauren O’Donnell Anderson - the only other performer on stage throughout the set - and Humberstone’s electric guitar and keyboard.

The packed John Peel tent joined in en masse during ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’, which saw Humberstone perform the opening verses in the style of a piano ballad before the drums added depth to its second half. 

‘The Walls Are Way Too Thin’ crowned an encouraging, entertaining 45 minutes of music from an artist on the rise.

Somerset County Gazette: The BRIT Rising Star Award winner finished her set with a flourish this afternoon. Picture: Tom LeamanThe BRIT Rising Star Award winner finished her set with a flourish this afternoon. Picture: Tom Leaman

Before leaving the stage, she told the audience: “It feels pretty unreal to be here, thanks so much for having me. This has been so special!”

With her debut album in the works and a ‘Sleep Tight’ UK tour on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what comes next for one of the country’s brightest young talents.


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