blimey, April is getting a bit prolific for blog posts, isn't it? probably something to do with it being Spring and that; let me get my Chaucer out and have a refresher read on it.
anyway, to much joy and fanfare, the line-up for the celebrated Glastonbury 2014 festival has been announced. well, most of the line up. more artists are to be announced, look you see.
here be the poster as it stands right now.
do you notice the big gap in the line up? yep, the Saturday night headliner has not been announced. the Eavis family say that this headliner has been booked and the deal done, but "contractual reasons" mean they cannot say who it is. well, they can say who it is, but only in May.
so that's 5 or so weeks of rampant speculation as to who it might be. let me join in with ten ideas of who may or may not be getting the celebrated Saturday night headline spot.
David Bowie : this would be the one that "the kids" want, obviously. at first thought you would say highly unlikely, since all rumours and talk of a few dates last year to promote The Next Day came to nothing. it seems he just doesn't want to do live performances anymore.
that said, Glasto must have some sort of appeal for him if he did wish to do a live show. think about it - a modest appearance fee to do a 90 - 120 minute set. he gets a nice weekend in London, and gets to do a show without all that faffing and messing of instructing his first people to inform his second people that they need to set it up, it all gets done for him. a massive load of interest, a gig broadcast around the world via the BBC. a lot of promotion, yes, and a lot of happy fans. it would be a tremendous "thank you" from the chap to all those who celebrated his return to music.
his mates Arcade Fire playing the Friday has already started rumours that he may turn up and "guest" with them. i think neither are likely to happen, but one never knows with Derek. his secrecy thing would suggest a contract clause would be in order.
The Stone Roses : a rather quiet 2014 for the boys thus far, no? as far as i am aware no gigs done and nothing lined up.
one would really rather hope that they are in the studio, hammering out some new vibes to release to the world. they did, after all, sign two record contracts not long after it was announced they were back together. but this is The Stone Roses; their debut album is one of the greatest ever recorded in the history of music. they need never do another record again, ever, and be sure of their place in history, but more importantly in the hearts of music lovers.
it was rumoured and denied straight away that they would appear at Glastonbury 2013. they are rather good friends with the Eavis family. they too like "secret" things, so it's possible.
The Rolling $tone$ : the same band headling the Saturday night two years in a row? i do not believe that it has ever happened before.
would The $tone$ be candidates for such a thing? but of course. if they felt they sold enough records and merchandise off the back of the appearance last year, they would be back no question. Ronnie Wood can always find a divorce or something for which he needs some more money.
not really likely, but if it is them it would explain the secrecy clause on announcing them. it cuts down, for a start, on the amount of time fans have to moan and groan about them being on again. unless they are to announce they are coming back and doing it properly, undertaking to not bore the world with "blues odyssey" this time.
Prince : this one is super-deluxe, ultra highly likely. a performance by Prince at Glastonbury has been rumoured for years. he is exactly what they have tried to get at Glasto over the years, instead apparently settling for near enough is close enough, randomly picked black American artists to shove in a headline slot to show how "diverse" the festival is.
not the case if they got Prince. a genuine, brilliant talent, loved for years and years in England and yet another American artist who seems to only get appreciated in England as much as he should.
Prince at Glastonbury would be amazing. never mind the corporate wishes, or BBC broadcast hours or anything like that - tell the man what time to start and tell him he is welcome to play for however long he wishes, doing whatever he wants to do.
his recent somewhat wildcard appearances in London have suggested that Prince really rather likes the "secret" approach to appearances and performances these days. his current backing band are of a distinct rock, not out of place at a festival nature. a special secret clause not letting them announce him is quite plausible. if i were to do a bet, this chap is who i would bet on.
Led Zeppelin : it's either that Michael Eavis actually says it or people just say that he say's it that, if he "wanted to", he could easily make it that someone like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd reform to play at Glastonbury. wow, that's a lot of power he has or is credited with. go on then, do it.
i don't see it happening. Mr Plant, look you see, has already indicated that he has no wish to play with the band again, no matter how much money or reason is put on the table. Mr Plant is also already on the bill. these two things would kind of say "no chance", but, well, one just never knows i guess. if they do go ahead and do it, splendid. but i would not suggest you put a bet on it.
Oasis : because the last time Oasis played a festival it went ever so well, didn't it? or that should be of course the last time they didn't play, and have not played since.
firm and flat denials all over about the band - or rather Liam and Noel - getting back together for "the fans" to do a proper gig, even if just a one off, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album. as far as anyone knows Liam and Noel have spoken only via lawyers for half a decade.
that neither Beady Eye nor Noel are on the bill (as far as i can see) is strange, unless Beady Eye are going to do that "secret opening act" thing again. and please let it not be Noel on his own as the special guest - his incredibly average High Flying Birds business would mean a headline act that is basically a slightly slower, duller variation of Coldplay.
Noel's solo career, as has been mentioned across this blog, has basically been all about money. a one off performance by Oasis at Glastonbury would be all sorts of insane money for him. likely? maybe.
Fleetwood Mac : Christine is, apparently, back as a full member of the tribe. they are doing many gigs. could they be persuaded to do a headline slot at a festival in England? i would have thought so, but i would not know why they would insist on a secrecy clause.
their album Rumours must be a strong, strong candidate for the greatest album ever. it is also, when you consider the history of the record, a strong, strong argument to lock bands in a studio with a mountain of cocaine and tell them that they are to f*** each other and make music. it seemed, very much so, to work for The Mac. they would be a rather good choice, although not much of a surprise one.
Jack White : yes, i know. he, like Mr Plant, is already listed as being on the bill. but not, it seems, as a headliner.
could i imagine Jack White saying "sir, ma'am, i will gladly and proudly headline your festival. but if you announce me as a headliner before a date in May that i have selected, with the greatest respect i will bust you in the face with my guitar"? yes.
the ultimate would be an all too brief reunion performance by The White Stripes. Jack likes playing, so it is not like he wouldn't consider doing whatever slot he is booked for and doing a headline slot too. it might even turn out that if they have booked someone rubbish for Saturday then the fans simply as Jack to bust whoever it is in the face with his guitar and do the slot anyway. not a likely choice, but once again, well, you never know.
Kate Bush : no, no, not at all. i don't see this one happening, but as some people have suggested it, go on then, let us give this great singer a mention.
why no chance? well, let's think about this. Ms Bush has not played a full on concert since, when, 1978 or 1979, something like that? to much fanfare and much ticket buying she has announced a series of concerts, from August to October, in London (innit). so as a warm up for that she will, mindful that "stage fright" is credited as being the reason for her lack of gigs, appear at a massive festival broadcast around the world, will she?
maybe Peter Gabriel is the secret headliner. maybe she would turn up and do Don't Give Up with him. perhaps David Bowie is the secret headliner. perhaps, because Annie Lennox is unavailable, she would turn up and do Under Pressure with him. either of those would be uber-amazing crowning moments of glory for the whole world of music. but i really don't see her just turning up and doing two hours of Glastonbury on a Saturday. so if it is her, now that i have said that, feel free to point at me and laugh.
Metallica : hmn. the lippy, clever one of the band, Lars something, has been making noise about how they would like to play Glastonbury. the sort of noise that Bono made before U2 did it, and indeed the sort of noise Ronnie Wood made before the $tone$ did it.
an band with a high, much loved following in England and around the world. more so in England, really, where the Metallicarmy have been a lot more forgiving and generous of their more experimental, different work in more recent times. Americans get bored and scared easily, apparently.
an outstanding choice Metallica would be, but then as far as i am aware there would be precisely 0, as in zero, reason to keep their appearance a big secret. it would neither shock nor surprise anyone if it was them, and one would think that the collective ego of Metallica is not quite so shallow and fragile that they require an extra special announcement of their headline slot.
for an exciting, unusual and very much unexpected 11th possibility, look no further, ladies and gentlemen, than the band that are President Ray-Gun. they are one of the hottest, up and coming bands out of Manchester, and are for the most part of great talent and greater promise.
they are, in truth, really only let down by their somewhat lippy, frequently obnoxious bass player. the bass player, whose name escapes me for the moment, has gone on record as saying he would "refuse" a headline slot at Glasto, arguing that the audience would not appreciate what he was doing, or what he was about. i for one would find it very interesting to see what he would do if he were offered the gig. so, Mr Eavis, if you are listening, look them up, ask to speak to the self-appointed "Head of Bass" and offer him the gig.
and that's that. in all honesty it is high time a classic, hugely popular band like Duran Duran or - better for me - Depeche Mode were approached to headline the festival. they won't get offered it, either of them, because despite being successful and popular they just do not match the corporate and commercial requirements of Glastonbury. which is not unreasonable and entirely fair; for all of them just do fine without meeting anyway.
that's my speculation, then. will be interesting to see just who they have booked! watch it be U2 again, with Bono promising to wear shoes that don't make him all slippy.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!