A middle finger to the world: Amyl and the Sniffers at Glastonbury 2022

Australia's finest Amyl and the Sniffers take on Glastonbury with a set parading their greatest punk intensity.

A middle finger to the world: Amyl and the Sniffers at Glastonbury 2022

It feels like we’re falling backwards, doesn’t it? Mass public strikes, a global recession just around the corner, women’s rights being stripped away, Russia invading Ukraine - it doesn’t really feel like 2022, take 100 years off that, and then it feels more accurate! Yet if there’s one small mercy to be found from this bizarre sense of time travel, it's the unearthing of a new wave of punk, headed by bands like Amyl and the Sniffers.

Hailing all the way from Melbourne, Australia, this isn’t Amyl and the Sniffers first rodeo at Glastonbury, as reflected by the band's nonchalant confidence as they burst into Snakes, one of the heavier number on their newest album Comfort To Me, followed by an hour of their greatest hits.

Lead vocalist Amy Taylor is inciting in her performance, rocking a shiny gold 3-piece, bleached blonde hair, and thick black eyeliner, she owns the stage as she parades and dances as she relays her lyrics of love, activism, and the overall state of the modern world. Tracks like Knifey discuss the violence posed towards women whilst they walk home alone, whereas fast-paced tracks like ‘Don't Need A C**t Like You To Love Me’ focuses on the liberation of independence once recognising your own worth.

Bassist Gus Romper takes time out of the performance to address the actions of the US Supreme Court in Roe V Wade again, calling it ‘twisted’. Taylor builds on this, dedicating the next track ‘Knifey’ to all of her ‘ladies and non-binary mates’ - ‘we’re not respected if we dress slutty, we’re not respected if we dress daggy, so fuck every c**t, fu**ing fight me!’. She lets out an animalistic scream before the infamous riff begins. It feels so important to have unapologetic role models like Taylor to look up to, in a genre bursting at the seams with male-fronted bands, Amyl and The Sniffers stand out for all the right reasons. 

It doesn't take long for the crowd to warm up to such an energised performance. As if possessed by Taylors spirit, hypnotised by the rhythm of the drum lines, they mosh with ferocity. Crowd surfers can be seen flying over the masses of faces screaming the lyrics back to the band. The charisma translates through the screen, finding it easy to sit watching with my mouth slightly open in awe. 

Meanwhile, the other Sniffers show no sign of tire, racing through their greatest hits with an effortless air. Guitarist Dec Martens is resemblent of a 70s rock god and acts accordingly, shredding through impressive guitar solos as if it's second nature. 

The set passes quickly, the band only stopping to catch their breath or to curse out the world. Before you know it, Taylor announces the set nearing its end, but this doesn’t encourage a dip in energy, instead riling the crowd more as they bounce off each other like particles in a blazing can of aerosol. 

The trance finally ends when the closing guitar solo of ‘Some Mutts Can’t Be Muzzled’ ends, the band saying one more thank you before exiting the stage with ease. The dumbfound energy of the crowd can still be felt, the collective knowledge and feeling of witnessing a band on the up. 

Amyl and The Sniffers have undoubtedly left their mark on Glastonbury. 

Header Image Credit: Carolina Faruolo

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