Hollow-eyed, beaten, caked in mud, frankly unsure whether you can get through another day of this – all these things are not you. So spare a thought for your brethren in Pilton. Spared it? Good, let’s get on.
There’s still a whacking great chunk of the BBC’s 250+ hours of coverage and all those live streams to surf, and Sunday offers a bumper selection of great bands – plus clashes that need not concern you. You can just record Vampire Weekend while you’re watching Jessie Ware, or play them both at the same time for an eardrum-piercing Ivy League world music post-dubstep pop mash-up. This doesn’t come with a doctor’s recommendation.
You can make your own mind up about all that, but here are 10 acts you should really try to catch online or on TV on Sunday.
It’s been two long years since The White Stripes called it a day – and six since they actually put out an album – so Deap Vally are all the more welcome. The LA duo (Lindsey Troy on vocals and guitar, Julie Edwards on drums) are so Stripesy to listen to you’ll double-take, but their hard-blues assault and Troy’s Plant-y screech are seriously Led Zep too. There’s a colossal buzz about Deap Vally right now, and with good reason. Their committed, hair-raising performances should ensure they’re one of the draws of the festival.
Jessie Ware has a voice that could melt girders, so just be thankful you’re not standing under any of the struts of the John Peel tent. In the relative safety of the kitchen, this is an unmissable opportunity to see a homegrown act who’s surely, surely destined for big things – the UK garage Adele with tunes you can dance to, they’re calling her. Here. In my office. Until I can think of anything better. She’s been dragging the tracks from debut album ‘Devotion’ around for quite a while now, so perhaps some new gems are on the setlist. Go on, Jessie.
There’s a school of thought (me) that expected Vampire Weekend to be headlining by album three, but no dice yet. Anyway, they’ve got a sterling reputation on Worthy Farm, making a huge splash in 2008 when they played two impeccable sets in one weekend. Remains to be seen whether everyone’s got into ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ yet, but they damned well should’ve done – it’s one of the best albums of the year and it’ll be interesting to see how softer, subtler material like ‘Hannah Hunt’ and ‘Obvious Bicycle’ goes down in the Pyramid field.
The thing about a Glastonbury performance from an old legend – and yep, we can give Nick Cave that sobriquet now – is all bets are off. Someone a little more callow might flog the new album (and this year’s ‘Push The Sky Away’ is worth the time), but an old stager is going to go for the hits. Which ones though? The yowling punk-goth efforts of the early 80s? The soul-rending ballads of the mid-90s? The paunchy sleaze-dog stuff of Grinderman or ‘Dig Lazarus Dig!!!’? Tune in and find out.
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No guarantees from this elder statesman either but, with Jimmy Chamberlin four years gone, this is Billy Corgan’s band from top to bottom and he can do what he likes. From the grunge fuzz of ‘Siamese Dream’ to the more expansive rock of ‘Mellon Collie…’ to the sleek industrial stylings of ‘Adore’ and beyond, Corgan’s got plenty to plunder. Maybe it’d be nice if he concentrated on the old faves rather than the patchy newer material, but again, he can do what he likes.
What a combination. It’s the biggest mouth in Odd Future alongside the one everyone has decided is the best in Odd Future this week. Previous winners include Frank Ocean and The Internet. Can’t imagine this one’s going to be for the faint-hearted and you can see Tyler’s gob playing havoc with the BBC’s live stream, but equally these are two whopping great controversial talents occupying a prime Glastonbury slot. What a time to be alive. Five years ago this would’ve been The Kooks.
The improbably revitalised Bobby Womack has decades of smooth funk-soulman grooves to bewitch us with, yet we’re more likely to hear stuff from last year’s career reboot ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’. Good stuff, because that was a bit of a corker, Womack’s battleworn testifying crowning Damon Albarn and Richard Russell’s bang-up-to-the-minute beats. And what price an Albarn cameo? He’s always hanging around, that chap.
What a moment for the Mumfords. They might shift implausible units of albums, but this is unimpeachable confirmation of the leap to the big league. They’re starting from a difficult position, with bassist Ted Dwane’s recent brain surgery throwing them off-kilter, and it’ll take huge reserves of self-belief to come back from that. Still, they’ve never lacked confidence and their power-folk should sound just right here, leaving doubters in their wake.
The real challenge for The xx is silencing an entire field, all the better to get drawn into their static but gorgeous machine-soul. It’s a delicate sound and if they can pull it off it should sound magical – a close, meditative alternative to the banjo-fuelled mayhem around the corner. In Berlin a month ago they teamed up with fellow Glasto performer Jessie Ware for a wonderful, moody mash-up of Modjo’s ‘Lady’ and Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. It’d be great to hear that again, wouldn’t it?
Surprise Coachella headliners, now Glastonbury headliners too (albeit on one of the second-tier stages), glossy Gallic synth-poppers Phoenix put on an exuberant show and offer a brash, flash counterpoint to The xx a few hundred yards away. This year’s fifth album ‘Bankrupt!’ saw Phoenix polish up their already pretty shiny sound, and the confines of the John Peel tent should set off its crystal clarity nicely. Not that that’s a big worry when you’re watching on a screen – you can just concentrate on dreamy flâneur Thomas Mars flinging himself about the stage.