Glastonbury has dropped this years first poster, There’s a lot to digest, I’m not going to go through it line by line but I wanted to point out a few key points I’ve noticed, I hope you enjoy the read and please feel free to add to the discussion or add your own points in the comments below;
#1 - Grimes time to shine
Taking a first glance at the poster and it’s clear to see that one genre reigns supreme, Grime, It’s considered divisive to some but it’s prominence in the mainstream the past two years cannot be understated. for some it’s an entirely new style of hip-hop, their only basis being Skepta and Stormzy’s crazy chart success the past 12 months, for the hardcore fans from the beginning they’ll be quick to call it a resurgence with the original legends of Grime prevalent on this years poster in the form of Kano & Wiley both of which delivered absolutely stellar albums last year, easily matching the young blood bar for bar, beat for beat.
It’s fair to say Glastonbury likes to challenge perspectives and give everyone a chance, taking a look at the acts it’s fair to say this could easily be the genre’s peak, a well deserved spotlight is being shined on Grime over the course of the weekend, Skepta’s set last year went down amazingly on the field and he rightfully returns with brother JME and the rest of the BBK collective headlining the Other Stage on Sunday, Emily Eavis has put a lot of faith in these boys and it’s sure to pay off, another big star set to shine on the main-stages is of course Stormzy who makes his Pyramid debut with a UK No.1 album behind him alongside massive hits such as ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Big For Your Boots’ as well as touching ballads such as ‘By The Grace Of God’ it’s sure to be a set not to miss.
It’s not all been plain sailing for Grime at Glastonbury however, this year will see redemption in the eyes of both Wiley and Dizzee Rascal for very contrasting reasons, in 2013 Dizzee performed a bunch of very under received new songs in a very lacklustre performance on the Pyramid, according to recent setlist his seen the error of his ways and is hitting the festival scene hard with all his hits, it’s time for Dizzee to prove why he deserved that high billing all those years ago and regain some lost fans along the way, meanwhile that year Wiley made headlines for tearing into the festival on Twitter before making a swift disappearance, telling the festival in no uncertain terms how he felt of it, after a grovelling apology on social media alongside the poster drop, he’s ready to finally hit the stage (We hope), if he does though, your in for a treat with his apparent final album ‘Godfather’ seeing him hit a new level in his career, whatever stage he ends up on is sure to go wild.
#2 - Second album expectations
A lot of the first poster see’s a return for many acts expecting to build on their initial success with their follow up material, for some it’s long overdue (Lorde and Haim), others seem like they haven’t even left the music scene (Clean Bandit). that difficult second album is critical, it’s the point in which your career either soars or starts to fade away but if their new material can match their debutthen your in for one hell of a set.
So who can we look forward to hearing from once more? London Grammar have already shown off a few new singles and their second album will be out by the time they hit the stage, already released ‘Big Picture’ and ‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’ are wonderful and are sure to go down a treat, one not to be missed.
Critical success and fan favourites Lorde and Royal Blood are set to command major spots at the festival and it seems more than fitting, Lorde’s recent single ‘Green Light’ was tremendous, she’s set for a major Coachella spot this weekend and if the rest of her material matches up, her usually stellar live show can only benefit. Royal Blood released their new single ‘Lights Out’ this week, from early impressions it’s more brilliant rock songs from the duo and will easily be rivalling Foo Fighters for heaviest set of the weekend.
Haim and George Ezra have both been away for a few years with little sign of new music, they’ll have some ready for when the festival hits but for now it’s just wait and see but if they have a few hits half as good as their old material then it’s going to be one hell of a set for the pair of them. Clean Bandit on the other hand feel like they have yet to leave the scene, after touring their debut extensively, they quickly returned with three massive charting hits, ‘Tears’, ‘Rockabye’ and ‘Symphony’ but in turn have become a lot more commercial than their early material.
One last outlier has to be Halsey, seemingly unknown this side of the pond, she went absolutely massive over in her home country the states. We managed to catch her massive outdoor set at Coachella last year, she dominated, her set full of pop bangers, massive fire cannons and a surprise panic at the disco collaboration, how she fairs in a tent at Glastonbury will be another matter, her second album is also released just weeks before, so catch her before the rest of the U.K. catches on and her profiles goes massive over here.
#3 - 00’s Nostalgia could be surprise highlight
No it’s not 2002, but if you look down the lower lines of the Glasto poster you might be surprised to see throwback RnB classics such as Craig David and Shaggy no less, depending on their set times and placements I can see these both being highly crowded sets and must see’s of the weekend.
For Craig David it see’s his resurgence come full circle after a few viral Radio 1xtra videos which saw his career come straight back into the limelight. It’s no surprise as his music was a main part of the 1xtra’s audience’s youth, he capitalised on his new found popularity with a new album of solid material, a sold out arena tour and now high festival placings, if you want a set full of great RnB to bring back those childhood memories, you’ll want to check him out.
Shaggy on the other hand will surely be packed for opposite reasons, purely because of all those people going for the drunken singalong that hits like ‘It Wasn’t Me’ and ‘Mr. Boombastic’ are sure to provide, it’s most likely not going to be a very good set but it’s sure to be hilariously good fun and sometimes that’s all that matters. because when your drunk and shouting “It Wasn’t Me!!” with tens of thousands of other people what else matters?, it’s sure to be one of those Glastonbury festival moments.
#4 - Predictable headliners or perhaps a surprise or two
You could argue that this year’s headliners are extremely predictable, In fact fans had predicted them all the way back in June last year! only mere days after Coldplay had closed 2016’s event people had guessed this years headliners. The problem is not that they were easy to guess but it’s that all three acts are established live touring acts, I’ve seen all three multiple times in the past years which means even if you haven’t seen them then you a can have a fair guess on what’s going to go down… or can you?
Glastonbury is special, that’s a fact, a headline set is always guaranteed to be different from an acts usual fare, this will be Radiohead’s third time headlining the festival, twenty years since their first and coinciding with the anniversary of their fantastic OK Computer with rumours abound that Glastonbury will be their place to celebrate it’s twentieth year. Unlike most act’s, it’s actually rare for Radiohead to play ‘The hits’, so if we’re treated to a majority of ‘OK Computer’, their latest release the absolutely stellar ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ and of course ‘Creep’ for the casuals it could just be one of Glastonbury's greatest headline sets.
Foo Fighters announced their headline spot by playing to a few hundred people in a local Frome town hall, even crazier is that they live streamed the whole 2 and a half hour performance. that puts the Foo’s in an even more difficult position than their fellow headliners, what can they possible do to make their Glastonbury set as memorable as possible?. The fact that they have placed so much importance on the slot they unfortunately cancelled a few years back due to Dave Grohl’s leg break shows promise however. It’s clear they mean business and if their Milton Keynes show’s a few years back are anything to go by then we may even see a Led Zeppelin, Queen or Beatles member make an appearance during their set.
Finally it’s time for Ed Sheeran to make his grand and final step up to Pyramid headliner, anyone who’s seen one of his show’s previously know what their in for, just a man and his loop pedal but with a huge catalogue of mega hits, it’s unclear what sort of tracks he’ll bring to his headline slot or even how long he’ll have to play, one thing’s for certain though he won’t be taking it lightly, when he played three nights at Wembley he brought out special guest and friend Elton John, Elton’s busy that weekend but perhaps Taylor might be only a phone call away?
What’s for certain is with so many big names on this years line up, all the headliners will have to bring their A game and hopefully a couple surprises to show why they deserve to be top line.
#5 - Massive names waiting to steal the show
Talking of massive names, those next few lines are absolutely full of them, a few months ago festival organiser Emily Eavis said “they have two years worth of music crammed into one” due to the festival taking 2018 off, there was a few doubts on whether this was hype but when that first line up dropped all those fears disappeared, with established headliners on the second line not just the first.
Biffy Clyro will play just before Ed Sheeran takes to the stage, a massive booking for Glastonbury even if they are on a slight decline, by the point they take to the stage they would have already headlined Reading, Leeds and Download in the past 10 months, It’s the perfect time to show why they deserve that top spot, it’s gonna be a challenge with a lot of Ed fans eagerly waiting for his appearance, but if anyone can rock the crowd, It’s Biffy Clyro and with the likes of ‘Mountains’ and ‘Bubbles’ blaring out across the Pyramid that’s exactly what they’ll do.
The most eye catching name on that poster though has to go to Katy Perry, not even rumoured to take the stage, her announcement took everyone by surprise, she’s big enough to headline any stage worldwide but obviously smart enough to take the smaller more crowded spot, when she hit’s the Pyramid stage presumably early afternoon, she’s bound to get everyone at the festival come see her, check out videos of Lionel Richie’s set to see just how massive that crowd will be, it’s bound to be a fantastic sing along full of her massive hits like ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ and ‘Firework’, she’s fantastic live and unlike most major female pop stars sings with live vocals to go with it, it’s defintiley a contender for set of the weekend and it hasn’t even started yet.
Other massive names to take the stage is rumoured legend spot Barry Gibb, already confirmed to perform, he’s bound to have the field in the palms of his hands with Bee Gee classic such as ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and ‘Night Fever’ lighting up the field. If pure disco joy is what you want then make sure your also checking out Chic with the legend Nile Rodgers himself, they last played in 2013 and had a standout performance, it rejigged their old career and sent them to the top of Bestival’s line up, if you can’t loose yourself to “Good Times” or “Le Freak’ then your not human.
#6 - Elusive and surprise captures coming to the U.K.
One last point I’d like to just say is that Glastonbury is unique in it’s ability to capture massive and elusive names from every genre, bringing them all into one place, it’s the only main UK festival to secure massive pop names such as Katy Perry and Lorde as well as the only place to capture indie darlings The National (who rarely play the UK let alone festivals) and one of a few places where you can catch the heart - wrenching The Cinematic Orchestra this summer.
This year’s bound to go down as a classic Glastonbury that cannot be missed and thats with only a handful of the names being announced so far, theres still time to register for this years resale that’s happening Sunday 23rd April but if your unable to catch the big event then the BBC are sure to have you covered with loads of sets being played online and the big ones on your TV of course.
WE HOWEVER JUST CAN’T WAIT!