Paul Heaton on stage, Glastonbury 2024

Pictured: Paul Heaton on stage, Glastonbury 2024

“I’m your brother / I’m your brother don’t you know / She’s my sister / She’s my sister don’t you know / We’ll be living in a world of peace / And the day when everyone is free / We’ll bring the young and the old / Won’t you let your love flow, from your heart.*”

I’ve kept half an ear on the BBC’s coverage of the Glastonbury festival today.

Paul Heaton’s performance caught me off guard. For most of his set I was underwhelmed, he seemed to be reading from autocue. I was thinking he’s more poet than frontperson, with so many lyrics to remember.

But then I was very moved by his final song, his version of Caravan of Love. Maybe I’m overly emotional, after fourteen years of the Conservatives, but the song’s direct appeal for unity over division really resonated with me and the crowd. Heaton’s near 40-year consistency with this message is also remarkable. Perhaps the future can be brighter.

Paul Heaton on stage, Glastonbury 2024

Pictured: Paul Heaton on stage, Glastonbury 2024

Flags in the audience, Glastonbury 2024

Pictured: Tories broke Britain flag, Glastonbury 2024

Also, in surprising moments in pop: I’d forgotten that The Housemartins had a Marxist-Christian period, and that the video to their version of Caravan of Love was set in a church, with crosses shaved into the band’s haircuts.

Video: The Housemartins – Caravan of love, 1986

See also