Glastonbury's something that happens every year, and for the poorest of us aka me, it's generally a great spectacle to watch from the sofa on the TV with the sound turned up. This year, the line-up's been kinda divisive, and has got an unusual audience reaction, but really, the fact that the band of white guys whose members are 50% convicted sex offenders didn't spark an online petition, but the highly talented black guy had over 200,000 people sign a petition to get him off the bill, and I guess that says a fair bit about the changing demographic of Glastonbury, really. In the past, say the 80's, 100% per cent of attenders were left wing people sticking it to the man, and now it's a kinda in vogue to go to Glastonbury, and vaguely credible websites will tell you what to wear. I bet, just like the population, just under a quarter of Glasto's audience voted Tory even, where no-one would have voted for Thatcher in the 80's, you know?
BUT despite the changing demographic of Glastonbury, it's still a spectacle like no other. I picked out the ten bands you need to check out at Glastonbury this year.
King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard (FRI 6.30, William's Green)
King Gizz play two sets at Glastonbury, but seeing as William's Green is the best stage, you''ll be better poised to see more great bands if you see them here. King Gizzard are an essential live act, and on the stage showcasing the most psych they'll stick right in; I loved their I'm in your mind fuzz album last year, and whilst I've not heard their new LP yet, if it's anything like the fuzzed out surfadelic UK debut (they've put out tons in AUS though), this will probably be the one of best sets of the whole festival.
Stealing Sheep (FRI, 4.30, William's Green)
OK, so this stage pretty much has the ten best acts, so I'm not gonna use the post instead to list them all, see: TOY, The Voyeurs, Bevis Frond, Palma Violets and FURS (and many others), but the most important band here you gotta see is Stealing Sheep. I saw them a few weeks ago, and they have the greatest chemistry seen between a band in a while, and the three members are perfectly in tune. Expect them to play stuff from their perfect sophomore LP Not Real, and expect some kaleidoscopic tunes to lose yourself to.
Fat White Family (SUN, 4.30, Park Stage)
OK, so the Park Stage is yet another stage with lots of great names, mainly in the Field of angsty punk rock or psyched-out space rock. These include The Fall, Wolf Alice, Spiritualized, Perfume Genius, Flo Morrissey, and of course, The Fat White Family. An incredible, insane live show, you really can't ignore this band's brilliant, insane live power, even if you don't really get their studio output. Frontman Lias Saoudi is an incredible performer, that'll leave you hungry, because he literally brings all the dinner in the world with his performance. The Fat Whites are a must see, honestly, you've gotta see them.
Patti Smith (SUN 2.15, Pyramid Stage)
THIS WOMAN IS PLAYING FOUR ACTS DOWN THE BILL ON THE SAME DAY THE WHO ARE FUCKING HEADLINING GLASTONBURY. PATTI IS ONE OF THE SINGLE GREATEST ASSETS OF MUSIC, AND IS STILL ONE OF THE GREATEST LIVE ACTS IN THE WORLD, AND MOST IMPORTANT FEMINIST FIGUREHEADS, AND SHE'S NOT HEADLINING? EXPLAIN TO ME IN ONE FUCKING SENTENCE WHY FLORENCE WELCH IS FIT TO HEADLINE WHEN PATTI IS RESIGNED TO SUNDAY AFTERNOON. UGH. But no seriously, if you're going to Glasto, Patti is a must see. Her voice sounds better than it did in 1975, and her stage presence is so magnetic, that I genuinely can't believe she's not headlining Glastonbury. If Patti can't headline it, what do you have to do to get to the top of the bill?!? But anyway yes, you've got to see her, she's a genius, and it will be the best set of the festival, wherever it's a headline set or not. She did so fucking perfect sub-headlining Field Day, which, whilst smaller, definitely had a better line up than Glastonbury. Wait, that's a good fucking point; WHY DIDN'T THEY GET RIDE TO HEADLINE GLASTONBURY INSTEAD OF THE BLOODY WHO?!
Run the Jewels (FRI, 7.00, West Holts)
OK, so I don't want to resort to hyperbole, but the duo that is Killer Mike and El-P are the greatest group of their kind in the world. Hip-hop at it's finest - their last album RTJ2 is a masterpiece - performed by some of the most powerful figureheads of our generation. They have such a great live show, and some solid material, and basically they'd be someone you've got to see, if yr not at King Gizz.
Courtney Barnett (SAT, 12.10, Pyramid Stage)
LOOK, IT'S OUR COURTNEY, ON THE PYRAMID. This time last year I was telling you guys how much you need to see her on umm, I think it was the Park Stage, and now she's progressed, and I feel like a proud mother. Her debut album came out a few months ago, and whilst it is really good, her live show is tons better. Expect witty lyrics, bouncing out her mouth in a really great way (intonation pattern wise) and a bit of a heavier sound than on record. Courtney is an incredibly talented singer and I'd love to see her soon.
Alvvays (SUN, 3.40, John Peel Stage)
One of the best pop groups of the past few years, Alvvays are bringing their sun-kissed indie-pop to the John Peel stage, after stopping off at The Joiners on the way. Their really wonderful vocal harmonies are something to watch out for, and just generally some well written pop songs; Archie, Marry Me is still one of the greatest songs of the past few years for me.
Jane Weaver (SUN, 3.00, William's Green)
Celestial godess, Jane Weaver glittery space-rock singer-songwriting is amongst the most enthralling live material you'll ever see, so I couldn't quite not give a special mention to her. She has a really heavenly voice that sounds beautiful atop some spacey instrumentals that go on for about 10 minutes at a time. It's honestly the most majestic thing you'll hear all weekend, and all the instrumentalists are really very talented.
Todd Terje (SAT, 8.00, West Holts)
This is one of the sets you won't quite know what to expect, but you'll definitely have a good time. Terje and his band The Olsens will turn what used to be the jazz stage into a cosmic disco, belting out tracks that fall somewhere between 60's/70's latin jazz and contemporary psychedelia.
Kanye West (SAT, 10.15, Pyramid Stage)
There are so many reasons why you've gotta see the godlike enigma that is Kanye West live, but if you're open minded and appreciative of different musical styles instead of just white boy guitar indie rock, you won't need me to convince you that Kanye will be excellent live. Basically, he's just got the most powerful stage presence, a barrage of songs that'll sound incredible belted out to 100,000, and essentially, Glasto booking him makes Kanye the most progressive, forward-thinking headline act since, well, I guess West's m8 Jay-Z. Kanye not yr thing? That's cool. You can see Jon Hopkins, Suede, Leftfield, or go to a Northern Soul Disco, or explore or ANYTHING. THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME THAT IF YOU GENUINELY SIGNED A PETITION TO GET KANYE REPLACED WITH A WHITE ROCK BAND YOU SHOULD PROBABLY DO US ALL A FAVOUR AND JUST SUNBATHE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN A-ROAD INSTEAD OF IN THE MIDDLE OF A SOMERSET FIELD BECAUSE REALLY, SOCIETY WILL PROGRESS WITHOUT YOU AND YOUR BACKWARDS VIEWS.
glastonbury takes place next weekend and you can get tickets ummm LAST FUCKING DECEMBER
(written by calum cashin)