Jacob Collier makes Glastonbury 2023 his choir with Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’

It was only 30,000 people – no big deal (!)

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Image: BBC

During his seriously soulful performance on Glastonbury’s West Holts Stage, multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier turned a 30,000-strong audience into his own personal choir.

Getting everyone involved at first with Somebody to Love by Queen, Collier conducted Saturday’s Glasto audience by splitting them into sections and prompting them to sing different harmonies. The result is simply magical; with the waving of Collier’s hands, the crowd sing in unison, move up and down scales, change key and bellow at different volumes, all culminating in one final chant – and an eruption of applause.

“Thank you so much, that’s beautiful. I have long dreamed of that moment,” says Collier to his newfound choir. “You did not let me down…you have been the most unbelievable and surreal audience.”

You can watch the mind-blowing moment below:

Crowd interaction is par for the course at a Jacob Collier show. He’s pulled off similar moments at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennesse this year, and in Singapore in 2022. Plus, let’s not forget his Grammy-winning rendition of Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s 1960 hit Moon River. Instead of getting Audrey Hepburn to perform, as Mancini and Mercer did, Jacob Collier rounded up over a hundred of his peers, friends and family to perform an a capella version. For his work, he picked up a Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella in 2020.

Attendees at Collier’s Glastonbury show mostly seem elated by his performance, leaving messages of gratitude and awe on his social media channels. However, one review on The Guardian says that Collier’s musical “problem” is that “he tends to use his powers for, if not evil so much, then at least for beigeness.

“So much of the trickery on show here – the quarter-tones, the syncopation, the clever call-and-response vocals – seems to be in service of curiously conservative compositions: by-the-numbers jazz, funk and soul. There are enough bells and whistles to keep the masses entertained, but if Collier could make his songwriting as riotously original as his outfits, then he’d really be on to something.”

Well, we still think being part of his choir is an unforgettable moment for music fans anywhere.

You can watch Jacob Collier’s full performance for free on BBC iPlayer


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