Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts
Worthy Farm, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England
Wednesday 22nd June – Sunday 26th June 2022
It’s a cliche that the lineup at Glastonbury doesn’t really matter, it’s all about the vibe!
And it’s true, but it doesn’t really make sense until you’ve experienced the festival at it’s best, and doing so is often down to luck – It isn’t always an easy festival.
On my first time, it had been beautiful sunny weather for weeks before, the BBC weather warned of light showers but nothing to worry about, I was there in my new trainers (no point taking wellies, or so I thought!) only to experience biblical flooding on my first night, I lost my tent, couldn’t get a phone signal to ring my mate, I’d had enough and would have gladly gone home had it not been for the fact I was skint and my bus back to London wasn’t until the Monday morning.
It was the first time I thought “Why the hell did I come?” and certainly not the last, in fact I don’t think I’ve had a year yet where I haven’t thought that at least once across the weekend.
But by the Sunday night, the festival had slowly but surely worked it’s magic, and I was miserable once again, but now because the following year was a fallow year, and there was no guarantee I’d get tickets the year after (spoiler: I did).
Whilst the lineup is the icing on the cake, it’s rather good icing, and maybe it’s because we’ve had 2 years of precious few gigs, but for me this year’s lineup is the best I’ve seen in years.
People who know me won’t be surprised to know I’ll be watching Skating Polly at Glastonbury, but sadly it’ll have to be on my phone as by some calamitous f**k-up on the booking front, the festival once again has failed to book the best band on the planet to headline the Pyramid. Do they think people are joking when they say they should be playing stadiums in a state of shock and bemusement having experienced one of their magnificent gigs? Emily and Michael really need to sort it out for next year, as it’s frankly embarrassing that the best festival on the planet hasn’t booked the best band on the planet, AGAIN!
Here’s just one of many reminders of why they deserve a spot on the main stage.
For a while I’ve felt the punk scene has been getting a bit stale, still entertaining, but nothing to inspire or get really excited about. More like an old comfortable pair of slippers.
Of course I’d seen people on the scene posting about Bob Vylan, but I wasn’t really paying much attention. My inbox is flooded with press releases about bands, the vast majority of whom don’t live up to the hype.
But one listen to this song and I’d fallen in love with Punk all over again!
Vylan is justifiably angry about the racism he’s experienced first hand in the country where he was born, and he’s not being polite or sugar-coating it, or attempting to be subtle or nuanced. He goes straight for the jugular with a refreshing raw anger and honesty.
The more I listen to him, the more I love his music. It’s like someone’s taken all the best bits of the Sex Pistols, Public Enemy and The Prodigy mashed it up with the grime scene, and created something truly spectacular.
“The BBC / Are talking about the GDP / That means fuck all to me / I’ve got to eat” has anyone ever summed up how the media are so far removed from the problems real people face so succinctly or powerfully?
Some of the old-school gammon punks may think a song about vegan healthy eating isn’t punk, but they’d be wrong. What’s more rebellious than fighting the establishment food industry that keeps us ill and probably killing the planet?
With 2 albums already to his credit, one of them Top 20 in the official charts, I can see I’m (fashionably?) late to the party and have some catching up to do. But from what I’ve heard so far, it’s going to be time well spent.
A definite “Must See”.
A few reliable sources suggested I check out Brighton’s Squid. But a listen to one of their singles and I wasn’t really sure if they were for me.
Then I discovered their KEXP session – and it’s bloody immense!
Don’t get me wrong, there are tedious bits where they just seem to be farting about, reminiscent of The Fast Show’s “Jazz Club”, and “look dad, no tunes!” but there are also moments of sheer genius, and when the presenter at the end is clearly blown away by their performance, you know exactly where she’s coming from.
There was a time when even if you were the biggest indie-snob, you still knew who the popular bands were because they’d be in the Top 40 and played absolutely everywhere.
Things are much more fragmented these days, and I’m not aware of having heard of Mitski before the Glastonbury lineup came out, yet she must be popular as she sold out the Manchester Arena last week
The more I listen to her music, the more I like it, and also an ideal candidate to see at Glastonbury since I rarely go to Arena gigs unless it’s someone I really, really want to see.
It’s way too long since I last saw Wolf Alice, I don’t know why since the last time I caught them, they were thoroughly amazing!
I’m a bit late to the Self Esteem party, but what an album!
I was lucky enough to get a photo-pass for St Vincent a few years ago, but it was in Leeds and I couldn’t stay over, so only caught the first 4 songs before literally running for the last train. Those 4 songs were more than enough to convince me I need to catch her full set next time.
Trusted music people have been saying I need to catch them for a while, and I very nearly did until they pulled out of a festival I was attending last year. I look fwd to seeing what all the fuss is about. Must say they’ve got some great party tunes.
I’d seen people posting about Phoebe Bridgers for a while, but what finally made me listen was, strangely enough, another band (who shall remain nameless since they deleted the tweets) who tweeted that Phoebe Bridgers was everything wrong with music and that if you like her then to stop following them.
Bands are usually trying to desperately build their social media followings, so for them to feel so strongly about another artist that they were asking people who liked them to stop following them, made me really curious.
As it turned out, I rather like Phoebe Bridgers, and probably unconnected but I lost interest in that other band.
I look forward to catching her set!
I won’t make the obvious joke about how I hope I don’t have to ask anyone which stage she is on (it’s pronounced Keelin according to her Facebook page!) great voice and tunes, and been on my to-see list for far too long, considering she’s based in Manchester.
Whilst I can’t hear this song without thinking of Cambodia by Kim Wilde, it’s rather good, and I’m intrigued to see her set.
What would Deee-Lite’s “groove is in the heart” be without Bring Down the Birds by Herbie Hancock?
If, as the clashfinders are suggesting he opens the Pyramid on Sunday morning, then that will indeed be a perfect start to the day I reckon.
The last time I saw Rufus Wainwright was my first Glastonbury back in 2005. A definite highlight of the weekend, he put on an incredible show, and it’s about time I saw him again.
Another name I see a lot, and first listen I like what I hear.
Not really my usual thing, but he has an incredible voice, and I look fwd to checking him out.
Of course, half the fun of Glasto is planning it in meticulous detail, then completely ignoring your plans and doing what you fancy when you get there.
Looking at this lineup though, I suspect when Michael inevitably says “it’s the best one yet” I will be inclined to agree, though he still needs to book Skating Polly 🙂