Even though I was pretty scathing about ‘Working On A Dream’ recently, I have to admit, the prospect of Bruce Springsteen headlining Glastonbury – which was finally confirmed today – fills me with excitement.
The drabness of his recent output aside, Springsteen is in many ways the ultimate Glastonbury act, one of those generation-uniting artists who is capable of providing a genuine moment – an explosion of communal joy that sweeps along even non-fans. I’m thinking of Brian Wilson in 2005, Paul McCartney in 2004, Radiohead in 1997.
Moreover, while Jay-Z’s triumphant set last year taught us to abandon quaint notions of an ‘appropriate’ Glastonbury act, you have to say that Springsteen is a closer fit with what many people have come to think of as Worthy Farm ‘values’.
Community, brotherhood, charity, a broad sense of warm-fuzzy, we’re-in-this-together liberalism… these are concepts that Springsteen has evinced for almost as many years as Glastonbury has been going.
And without straying into luddite Noel Gallagher territory, it’s possible to understand why loyal Glasto-goers felt that Jay-Z, with his sprawling business empire and greed-is-good braggadocio, jarred somehow with the ‘spirit’ of the Eavis’ anti-corporate, family-run festival.
There is a contrary view, however. Taken together with that other likely headliner, Neil Young, you could argue that the Glastonbury 2009 line-up is looking decidedly middle-aged. Wasn’t it only two years ago that Michael Eavis was telling NME about his desire to “get the kids back” in a bid to reverse the steady gentrification of the festival?
But what do you think? Is Bruce Springsteen the perfect Glasto headliner, or a fusty dad-rocker who’ll have you scurrying for Trash City?