There probably won’t be a more enthusiastic performer at the festival this weekend than Olly Alexander, the lead singer and central reason for the British synth-pop band Years & Years. Dressed in knit boxer trunks, a cropped tank top, thicks chains, and sporting a red coiffure, Alexander was so beside himself with joy at having the opportunity to hold down the late afternoon slot at the Green Stage, that he couldn’t stop talking about it. He preened for the TV cameras and every so often who scoot out to the end of the stage to catch a glimpse of himself on the jumbotron. “Kawaii!” a Japanese guy next to me screamed in appreciation.
It helps that Alexander is a great, idiosyncratic dancer, because his pop is really post-house R&B with full attention paid to rave culture. Every song passes through a break beat on the way from lyric to chorus. “Karma” was, in fact, one extended break beat. The audience grooved as one.
Though the set was occasionally interrupted by a balled, the bulk of the material was essentially quiet storm taken to its salacious conclusions. Sex wasn’t mentioned outright, but even the backup singers busted some pretty suggestive moves. “I don’t want this gig to ever end,” Alexander said near the end. Good sex is like that.