With the multiple delights of the Glastonbury Festival 2017 nearly upon us, Getintothis’ Rick Leach picks seven acts you really should try to catch.
Glastonbury Festival has so many acts playing every year that it’s difficult to know where to start.
Taking place over five days on more than a hundred stages and with a seemingly endless number of artists performing, it’s easy to miss out on something without even trying. Every year you realise that you meant to go to see this or that artist play but before you know it, the time has passed and you were distracted by something else altogether.
You also need to face up to the fact that there will be inevitable clashes; two or three acts that you want to see may be playing at exactly the same time, but on different stages. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope you make the right choice.
Furthermore, there have been instances when this writer has completely not seen in advance that someone is at Glastonbury. It’s only after the event when someone mentions that so-and so played a blindingly good set that the only response you can give is a dozy and mumbled, “I didn’t even know they were here.” Despite weeks of planning and working out exactly what you’re going to see, all those plans can come to naught.
There’s just too much to see, despite all the naysayers. “Glastonbury isn’t like it used to be. It was better in the good old days. The line-up is shite.” etc is the music fans equivalent of saying they prefer the “early, funny stuff,” when talking about Woody Allen. Quite frankly, talk of the Glastonbury line-up getting more and more bland each passing year is simply boring and wrong.
When you compare what they’ve got set up for 2017 in relation to other major UK music festivals, then it seems pretty good to us. Glastonbury have managed pull together a roster of acts that many other festivals would kill for. It may not all be everyone’s cup of tea, but you really can’t please all of the people all of the time. However, when you look at this year’s line-up, with the likes of The Flaming Lips, Run The Jewels, Chic, The National, Warpaint, Katy Perry, Blossoms, British Sea Power, Stormzy as well as the long-awaited (by some) return of Foo Fighters and Radiohead, then you have to admit there really is something for everybody.
However, in an attempt to make sure you don’t miss some gems, we’ve picked seven Ones to Watch that might just pass you by.
With their debut album, The Witch, only released at the end of May to critical acclaim and a reputation for deep and brooding live shows, the London quintet bring a touch of Cocteau Twins or Warpaint spirituality to an industrial base. Their Glastonbury performance could well be enthralling and one to be talked about many years hence.
But of course Glastonbury play it safer and safer every single year, don’t they? It’s all corporate and boring nowadays…oh, hang on…what’s this? Napalm Death? THE Napalm Death at Glastonbury? Yes, indeed. This promises to be something different altogether.
Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook
In 2016, Squeeze played one of the highlight sets at the festival on the Pyramid Stage. This year, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook turn up as a duo at the Acoustic Tent, yet still armed with a back catalogue of songs that mark them out as one of greatest songwriting teams this country has ever produced. If they were from the US, they’d be lauded to the skies and seen as up there with the likes of Brian Wilson, Randy Newman and Goffin and King. Go and see this and marvel.
Mixing hip hop, hardcore and experimental music with a defiantly punk attitude, New Jersey/LA duo Ho99o9 are renowned for live shows with an edge. If you want to see the spirit and energy of Black Flag and Big Black channelled through a hip hop filter, then Ho99o9 are your men.
“Right now, I’m standing on a stage at Glastonbury. It’s been raining and I’ve lost my wellies. I’m actor Kiefer Sutherland and this is the longest day of my life.”
Whether Kiefer Sutherland will riff upon the words of his TV alter-ego, Federal Agent Jack Bauer, when he plays his blend of Americana and country remains to be seen (and we’re all praying for a rain-free festival by the way), but his set may well turn out to be more than a mere curio. This is someone who is into his music and runs his own record label. We’d guess that he’s not doing it for the money and as he’s playing on one of the smaller stages, not for the glory either. Prepare to be surprised.
Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation
When Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation played Liverpool Central Library earlier this year, we at Getintothis were bowled over by her swooping psychedelia and trance-like hypnotic grooves. Music to close your eyes to and drift away. A perfect fit for the intimate setting of the Glade on Sunday evening. Swerve Ed Sheeran for this; you know it makes sense.
It can be a mystery as to why some artists aren’t bigger, or more critically raved about or just more commercially successful that they are. Nadine Shah should be massive and should be household name. With two excellent albums behind her already and a new one in the offing, an utterly unique and powerful voice and a fierce intelligence which runs through all her songs, Nadine Shah at Glastonbury may well be your highlight of the whole festival.
Oh, and Jeremy Corbyn is going to turn up at some point as well.