New music is an integral part of what we’re all about. Glastonbury is the ultimate place to discover new music. There are so many little stages – The Park Stage, The BBC Introducing… Stage, The Dirty Boots Stage, The Queen’s Head, The Rabbit Hole – all featuring a wealth of amazing new talent with a few surprises mixed in.
The Park Stage is a lovely little area and we’ve got some very exciting things lined up there. The idea behind it was to represent the music that isn’t on anywhere else at the festival.
Opening the Park Stage on Friday is Lay Low. She’s Icelandic and she’s got the most beautiful voice. Her songs are country/folk but quite poppy, and her new album is flipping brilliant – I was quite hypnotised by it, to be honest. I saw her support Emiliana Torrini in Paris and ended up booking both of them.
The Low Anthem play a kind of ethereal folk: Tom Waits-y blues with beautiful harmonies. I heard a song of theirs called ‘Charlie Darwin’ and immediately I was like, ‘What’s this? It’s brilliant!’ They’re playing the Park Stage on Saturday afternoon and I think it could be quite a special moment for them – and anyone watching.
We Have Band won our Emerging Talent competition this year and they’ll be playing a big slot on the John Peel Stage. They’re a great energetic pop band with really catchy songs. They totally left us transfixed when we saw them in the final at the Pilton Working Men’s Club, so the decision was unanimous.
However, the standard was so high that I booked two of the other finalists as well. Stornaway are playing the Avalon Stage. They’re a mix of Belle & Sebastian and The Beta Band with a bit of British Sea Power thrown in. They’re lovely, and tailormade for Glastonbury.
Part of me also wanted Yr Ods to win. They’re really young, Welsh and somewhere between Super Furry Animals and Arctic Monkeys. Their banter between songs is so funny and they have brilliant pop songs, loads of energy. If you go to watch them I promise you won’t leave until the very end of their set.
I don’t know much about Man Like Me except that they’ve got really big pop songs and are totally different to anything else around at the moment. We’ve put them on the BBC Introducing… Stage because we ran out of space on the other stages, but they were so good that we had to book them. They can communicate well with the crowd too, which is why I think they’ll turn out to be a perfect festival band.
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Finally, if you want to broaden your palette you should go and check out Bishi. She plays a great, unusual mix of Asian and British pop and she’s amazing live. It’s not the kind of thing you’d catch by accident at the Barfly or The Dublin Castle but the great thing about Glastonbury is that everywhere you go, you get introduced to an amazing variety of bands and performers. The only thing that matters to me is that they can do it live.
PS: the above picture is me doing my sun-dance. Fingers crossed…