Gorillaz, The XX, The National, Gang of Four, Villagers - Preview: Glastonbury 2010
Regarded as the mother of all festivals (and for good reason), Glastonbury celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a line up bound to put everyone in a celebratory mood. Of course, the Somerset-based event isn't just about the music - cabaret, circus and cinema just three other aspects of the wide-ranging festival - but being primarily a music site, we've stuck to predicting what we think will be the sonic highlights of the weekend.
Glastonbury 2010 recommendations presented to you by Antonio Rowe (Friday) Bill Cummings(Saturday), and Rhian Daly (Sunday and intro) complete with Spotify play lists for each day, we're positively spoiling you!
Friday 25th June
Antonio Rowe: Sadly I can't join in this year's 40th anniversary festivities at Somerset's very own Worth Farm, due many reasons, the main one being to the blatant lack of money in my bank account. Nonetheless here is the list of bands/artist I would see if there was another digit other than 0 in my bank account:
Miike Snow (13:05)- John Peel Stage
The Swedish pop band have the honour of being the opening act on the stage that was dedicated to the late John Peel, the longest serving Radio 1 disc jockey. Their catalogue may be abit hit and miss but with great electro-pop tunes in the forms of 'Animal', 'Burial' and 'Cult Logic' it will be as a good as any introduction to get you in the mood for some festival fun.
Tegan and Sara (14:15) -John Peel Stage
If you manage to get over the fact that they happen to be identical lesbian twins, then you'll soon come to realise that their music is (thankfully) a lot more interesting than their shared sexual orientation. With indie pop gems like 'Back in Your Head' it should be a great alternative spot for them to add some new fans to their already cult following.
Bombay Bicycle Club (15:30)- John Peel Stage
I like many of you I too fell for the irrepressible indie charms of Bombay Bicycle Club when they burst onto the scene with their lengthy titled debut 'I Had the Blues But I Shook them Loose', with 'Always Like This' one of my favourite summer tunes of last year. So with the news of a new acoustic album 'Flaws' set for a summer release, it will be interesting to see whether they manage to incorporate some acoustic songs into their fairly energetic set.
Snoop Dogg (17:00)- Pyramid Stage
It may not be as revolutionary as Jay-Z's Pyramid Slot 08, but it's a great chance to catch a once pioneer of hip-hop whose rarely touched ground here in the past decade due to some visa 'issues'. And come on you can't exactly say you're not interested as what his set will actually entail. Are plans for a surprise Katy Perry appearance for a 'California Gurls' duet in the works? Let's hope not for his career's sake.
Ellie Goulding (18:10)- John Peel Stage
Just because some of you may live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from my humble abode that is Huddersfield, it doesn't mean to say I can't hear the chorus of naysayer groans and moans due to the inclusion of Ellie in my list. For me her debut was a simple slice of pure electronic/pop heaven, whether her live set rises above my expectations remains to be seen, but no doubt we soon shall know.
Fanfarlo (19:00)- The Queen's Head
This London -based band are known for fusing eclectic instrumentation with their folk/indie-rock/post - punk sound. With them managing to squeeze; trumpet, violin, mandolin, musical saw and clarinet into their songs. It's sounds like the perfect accompaniment for some 'afternoon chillin' before the real party kicks off, and if you're looking for some new music to fall in love with, this may be the answer.
Florence + the Machine (19:20)- Other Stage
It's been quite the meteoric rise to fame for Ms Welch with a 4x platinum selling and Brit award winning debut under her metaphorical belt in less than a year since 'Lungs' release. So it seems pretty inevitable and logical that Florence upgrades to the more grandiose Other Stage, and if her electrifying John Peel set is anything to go by, it should be quite the performance.
Dizzee Rascal (20:00)- Pyramid Stage
It seems Dizzee' mainstream endeavour has been one of both credibility and prosperity of course with the exception of the cheese-tastic disco disaster 'Dirtee Disco'. Luckily there is no sign of musical slumps in his festival set with the crowd guaranteed to be jumping up and down like raving lunatics when the likes of 'Bonkers' and 'Holiday' are being played
Gorillaz (22:00)- Pyramid Stage
Sorry but does anyone really care about Bono's back? I don't, and why would I for that matter, when it's now enabled Albarn's animated masterpiece to take centre stage and have Friday's headlining spot on the Pyramid Stage. With murmurings of special guests including Mos Def, Bobby Womack, De la Soul and Clash's Mick Jones and Paul Simonon all tipped to make a 'surprise appearance' its beggar's belief that Kylie ever stood a chance of snatching Friday's closing spot.
The XX (23:15) - The Park Stage
The once moody (in the best possible way) London quartet became a trio last November with rumoured reports of guitarist Qureshi leaving due to 'personal differences'. Band drama aside it seems their live performances are finally doing justice to their beautifully atmospheric self-titled debut (which was released to critical acclaim last August), with their SXSW performance this March being a clear sign of their developing confidence on stage.
ANTONIO ROWE'S SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Friday, Glastonbury 2010
Saturday 26th June
Bill Cummings: 'HELLLOOOO GLASTONBERRRYYYYYY!!!' I've dreamed of screaming those words(without the harmless mispronunciation of our American musical cousins that is) all my life from the stages of one of Glastonbury's sprawling fields. Sadly a lack of musical talent has always held me back, and this year neither the bank account nor body are willing to decamp toward Glasto 2010. Still I'll be jealously watching it all from the comfort of my sofa, making full use of the BBC's exhaustive interactive coverage, and hoping beyond hope to avoid Fearn Cotton's horse like face for the weekend. So instead I've given you my chronological run down of reccomended acts across the multitude of stages on the Saturday at this year's Glastonbury. Enjoy!
Let's Buy Happiness (11:00)- John Peel Stage
Let's Buy Happiness were a new name to me until about half an hour ago when I was checking the line up for this year's John Peel tent. Let's Buy Happiness is the moniker for North East girl Sarah Hall's North American influenced alt-indie band. Mixing shimmering guitar beds with Hall's deliciously subtle tone that quivers between the delicate melancholia of Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, and the mewing wonder of Joanna Newsom, her set could be the perfect tonic for the after effects of a heavy Friday Glasto evening.
Here We Go Magic (11:50) - The Park
Brooklyn five piece Here We Go Magic, sound more addictive than those deliciously more-ish strawberry laces you used to get from the corner shop. Indeed grab a handful of their aural delights a delightful mix of addictive, lo fi Krautrock(see their new single 'Collector') and shimmery shoegaze (see 'Casual'). They share a youthful zest with a fellow Brooklyn-ites The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and The Vivian Girls, and judging by the amount of dates on their myspace page they will be practically inescapable in the latter part of this year, so why not sample them first at this year's Glasto!
Cymbals Eat Guitars (13:05) - John Peel Stage
Cranking the volume up a notch or two are New Yorkers Cymbals Eat Guitar who deploy a indie-guitar sound that follows the line between Pavement, Built To Spill and Modest Mouse, then tears it all apart with primal screams and a chaotic use of fuzz peddles. Their set is sure to delight the ears whilst your munching on that veggie burger, or thinking about heading off to the healing fields for a rub down.
Jackson Browne (13:50)- Main stage
Another curious choice perhaps, A 60 year old folkie from America, nevertheless Jackson Browne's curiously apt political vignettes (check out 'The Drums Of War' with its Bush baiting refrains 'Who gives the orders to torture? Who makes a fortune from fighting terror?') are delivered with the kind of laconic world-weary soul, that could soothe ears even find favour in a younger crowd. And HEY! It's part of the magic of Glastonbury, where else would you get to snatch a view of such an influential figure like Browne rubbing shoulders with the hordes of young tykes?!
Wild Beasts (15:30)- John Peel
I'd actually expect Wild Beasts to be higher on the bill but unlike many of the choices on the Peel stages, I suspect John would have been be a fan of the eccentric sounding Kendel four piece, their sumptuous brand of guitars, bass and drums artfully snaking below singer Hayden Thorpe's falscetto that's constantly tenously balancing on the edge of frustration and beauty. Although you might need a mate to kick you in the nuts to achieve the high pitch required in a sing along of their brilliant debut single 'Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants!'
Beach House (16:00)- The Park
Ahhhh dream pop, Beach House AKA American's Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally with live percussion by Daniel J Franz produce the kind of floating gorgeous music that could transform a bad day into a good one, turn a frown into a hint of a smile. Their recent 'Teen Dream' was effortlessly heartbreaking, quivering emotional vocals skimming across subtle slide guitars and precise percussion. So I'd expect great things from their shimmering soundscapes, the perfect compliment to (hopefully) blue skies, a good cuppa tea and a rather large slice of carrot cake methinks....
The National (17:20)-Other Stage
Whilst for me their new album 'High Violet' doesn't quite hit the heights of the 'Boxer' or 'Alligator,' American's The National are still one of the best alternative guitar bands on the planet right now. Subtle, heart wrenching, and beautiful all at once, their intertwining of rippling guitars, thudding percussion and Matt Berninger's fascination baritone vocals that delve deep into your sub consciousness and pulling out pain before releasing it in a series of cathartic, emotional cresendo. A Must See Set….
The Orb (19:00)- Glade
I was going to plumb for urging y'all to catch a glimpse of the Cribs (featuring Johnny Marr) around this time of the evening, but instead of battling your way through a throng, I'd rather recommend ambient dance godheads The Orb. Founded in 1988 by Alex Paterson and KLF member Jimmy Cauty, they are making one of their only UK festival appearances at Glastonbury this year; they'll presumably drawing heavily on their eclectic back catalogue. I think you'll need a soundtrack to 'a good lie down' in a field after the emotional catharsis of the National lads, and who better than to provide it.
Kelis (20:15)- East Dance
Hot foot it over to the East Dance tent where you can hopefully scramble yourself through the sweaty hordes to bag yourself a few inches of grass to witness one woman kaleidoscope of musical talent that is Kelis. Her recent album 'Flesh Tone' skewed her brightly coloured melting pot of RNB/funk/pop of old, bringing to the fore her previously untapped love of minimal electro influenced by Grace Jones and The Eurhythmics, replete with lioness headgear, you go girl!
George Clinton with Parliament/Funkadelic (21:45)-West Holts
A bit of a wild card for GIITTV-ers but George Clinton and his Parliament of Funkadelic cohorts are legendary splicers of psychedelic funk that shook your moneymaker way back in the late 60s and 70s. Indeed if you can squeeze in even five minutes of their sure to be bonkers set then I urge you to do so, they are one of the grandaddy's of a less heard strand of music that has now spread into the mainstream, you will never forget the experience!
Laura Marling (21:30)- The Park
Marling is an undoubted talent and at the forefront of the so called 'nu folk' movement that's gained further prominence this year with her former backing band (Mumford and Sons) successful move from the shadows into the light. Marling's album from earlier in the year “I Speak Because I Can” shows her progression and maturity as a songwriter, I still can't get over how young she actually is, each personal couplet sung with such experience and depth. I expect her show tonight will be utterly spellbinding; I'm hoping you report back!
Jamie T (22:30)- John Peel
Look you have half an hour spare, so get yourself a vuuvuuzela in a vein attempt to drown out the pomposity of Muse with on the main stage, go on I dare ya?! Or maybe you could just watch Wimbledon's Jamie T instead?! Yes you make a wise choice Jamie switches from MC-ing to singing like he's been doing it all of his adult life(ED that's because he has!), humour, wit, biting sarcasm and social commentary all swirl around the belly of his indefinable body popping tunes. His recent 'Kings and Queens' album although overlooked by some, showed a definite broadening of his palette, and his live show is something to behold.
The Lightning Seeds(23:25) - Avalon Stage
The Lightening Seeds are playing on the main stage earlier on tonight, but sod it, their later set will send you to your camp with a smile on your face, and believe me you're going to need it when you find out your tent has been nicked and your spending the evening under starlight. Still Ian Broudie and the seeds' back cannon of pure 90s guitar-pop hits, will surely be mined to full effect (Pure, Life of Riley et al) but be warned only expect a rendition of 'Three Lions' if England are through to the group stages by the skin of their teeth this week. Which at the time of writing looks unlikely.
Silver Columns (02:30)- Stonebridge Bar/The Park
If you're a late night reveller, I know I'm usually not but then you could make a turn toward the Stonebridge bar, where mysterious pioneers of casio-electro pop and cut up wizardry will be making you bob like a Peter Crouch robot in a most pleasing and embarrassing fashion, a late night rave it may not be but it will send you to bed with a spring your step and a tune stuck in your head!
BILL CUMMINGS' SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Saturday, Glastonbury 2010
Sunday 27th June
Villagers (12:30)- The Park
GIITTV fave Conor O'Brien brings his intricate and beautiful stories to The Park stage to sweep away the remnants of the previous night's partying. The perfect way to kick off the final day of the festival, if you're not fighting back the tears there is something deeply wrong with you.
Avi Buffalo (1:40) - The Park
If you're finding it hard to recover after Villagers break your heart, precocious talent Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg and the friends that make up Avi Buffalo will stroll in and patch you up with their awkward-but-cute stage talk and general geeky teenage personas. Oh, and Avi's not half bad at playing guitar, either.
Crystal Fighters (2:30)- East Dance
By now, you should be warmed up and ready to party, which is basically what Crystal Fighters are about. Even though Glastonbury is renowned for putting on some totally bizarre things, we're betting CF are the only trad Basque folk-dance group on the bill.
Holy Fuck (3:10)- John Peel
A couple of years ago, Holy Fuck mesmerised us to the point of entrancement in this very tent, so here's hoping for a repeat performance from our favourite foul-mouthed Canuck boys.
Naive New Beaters (4:00)- East Dance
Like a French We Smoke Fags but with added comedy dance moves (think a less credible Metronomy minus the push lights), Naive New Beaters aren't the coolest band in the world - sometimes they veer a bit too close to cringey - but their enthusiasm and carefree attitude is infectious and before you know it you'll be copying their every move and having the time of your life. Plus, synth player EuroBelix has the best collection of jumpers we've seen.
The Drums (4:30)- John Peel
From one band that likes to move to another. The John Peel tent's bound to be packed out for buzz band du jour The Drums, which hopefully means an electric atmosphere full of anticipation, excitement and pure unbridled joy.
Gang of Four (5:45)- John Peel
An obvious highlight because the Four (as absolutely nobody calls them) are legends of the post-punk movement, with debut album Entertainment! still one of the most vital records in music history.
Loudon Wainwright III (7:00)- Acoustic
Another legend in the form of Loudon Wainwright III. Yes yes, he's Rufus and Martha Wainwright's dad but he's much more than that, i.e. a prolific, heartbreaking songwriter who was once touted as the “new Dylan”.
Julian Casablancas (20:45)- John Peel
Whether the Strokes do or don't play this coming weekend remains to be seen but their erstwhile leader definitely will be in one form or another. Rumoured to be bringing the full light show that he toured in America, Julian's set is bound to be a blinder. Literally.
Stevie Wonder (9:45)- Pyramid
Some have been skeptical about Mr Wonder filling the last headline slot at Glastonbury this year but when you look at his back catalogue, it only seems right that he should be finally making an appearance at the festival. Signed, Sealed, Delivered to close the event? Yes please.
RHIAN DALY'S SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Sunday Glatonbury 2010
Full Line up: