And so, today (May 25) the UK’s bank holiday was characterised by – as well as beer garden residencies and general laughter (not from me) at the fact that Newcastle United got relegated – the announcement of the full Glastonbury line-up.
We already knew that Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur were set to headline, but new names confirmed today to get the Excel printout highlighter moist include Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lily Allen, The Specials, Friendly Fires and Rolf Harris.
It’s always exciting when the full list of acts hits you, as you scan the screen letting out sporadic “ooh!”s and “eh?”s, chortles and squeals of delight as your brain processes the information and precisely the kind of Worthy Farm weekend you’re going to have slowly becomes apparent (before you inevitably get wasted on disco biscuits on the Thursday night and don’t leave your tent until the Sunday).
Still, with the news that Status Quo, the aforementioned Specials, Madness and Crosby, Stills & Nash are also set for Somerset, the Snail has raised a relevant issue. If we were to do a tot-up, the combined age of even just the headliners would be too large a number to type out in one working day.
Is this a bad thing? Should Michael and Emily have booked younger names to head up the Pyramid Stage?
Well, I was always told that you shouldn’t shoot down an idea unless you can come up with a better one yourself. And I’m struggling to think of a young contemporary act who could make the step-up, so I’ll refrain from taking pot shots.
Arctic Monkeys? Undoubtedly big enough, but they did it too recently, just two summers ago. Radiohead? Again, 2003 is still fairly recent memory for some, and they’re already signed up for the Reading And Leeds Festivals.
My only realistic tip would be Kasabian, based on the strength of the ace new album ‘West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ and recent live shows, but it’s arguable that they’re not quite at headliner level.
No, the simple fact is that we’re just not living at a time where there are enough hip young guitar-slingers to fill a Somerset field to the top with – it ain’t 2001 any more, my friends.
And should Fantasy Glastonbury Manager 2009, with a realistic budget, be launched, I highly doubt that you’d be able to come up with a better line-up. Although it would allow you to drop Pendulum from the bill, which would go some way towards achieving it.
Glastonbury can only book the best line-up in eternity if there are the bands around to do it – you can’t build a gold palace after you run out of the shiny stuff after the first wing’s complete and you’re just left with scrap copper for the rest of it.
And anyway, the list still boasts more than enough leg-tinglingly swish bands to get sleeping bag-wettingly excited about, even if we may not be in for a year that’ll be documented as a classic in the Worthy annums.
For me, the festival is one of the main reasons I’m in love with music, and I reckon that June 26-28, whether you actually end up watching Damon and co, is going to be another brain-swelling blur of amazing-ness.