Alright: so by ‘World exclusive info’, what I actually mean is ‘who I think will be the other two headliners at Glastonbury next year’. Technically, that is world exclusive information. So I’m not conning anyone here with that headline, OK?
There are of course factors that can aid one when making predictions about Glastonbury line-ups. Firstly, quite simply: who is doing the rounds this summer. Secondly, the patterns that start to appear when perusing headliners from years gone by. Example: for every year in recent memory, it’s been the Saturday night headliner who has been the biggest deal. The Boss last year; Jay-Z the year before that; a peak-of-their-powers Killers the year before that; Coldplay in 2005, Macca in 2004, Radiohead in 2003 and so on.
Now U2, whatever one may think of them, are A Big Deal. They have also been announced as FRIDAY headliners. This means that, if history is any guide and the second night’s main attraction is the biggest draw of the festival, then still to be announced for the Saturday Pyramid Stage slot is a band WHO ARE EVEN BIGGER THAN U2!
Which might seem impossible. But consider the fact that this is the 40th anniversary of Glasto, and that the Eavises will be pulling out all the stops. Plus, look what a normal year can do for a band’s profile. Now times that by 1,000. We are talking MASSIVE here.
And so, to the candidates: how many bands actually exist who are bigger than Bono’s lot? Not many. Muse? They supported U2 not long ago, and anyway, even their gargantuan pomp is nothing compared to U2’s.
The Strokes? No way big enough. Same goes for The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon and even Coldplay and Radiohead. The rockier draws – say AC/DC, Guns N’Roses, Iron Maiden – will always go with Reading & Leeds or Download.
David Bowie could trump U2, but that seems unlikely given his inactivity in recent years. Led Zeppelin? A long shot at best, given that Robert Plant has already stated that he wants to do it with Alison Krauss. Abba? The Smiths? The Stone Roses?
So who’s left? I’ll tell you: THESE motherfuckers.
Think about it: there’s been a glut of recent live album reissues. It’s the anniversary of ‘Exile…’ next year. They haven’t toured for a while. An incendiary, hit-packed set could reaffirm The Rolling Stones as the greatest rock’n’roll band of all time. And how Mick must surely long to outdo Bono! The 40th anniversary of Glastonbury, headlined by The Rolling Stones. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Makes sense?
As for Sunday night, that’s trickier. One would imagine they’ll go for someone younger… problem being that – especially next to those two titans – there ain’t anyone who can measure up. Muse are an option, perhaps. But it just doesn’t quite sit right with me. Going back to a few minutes ago, I’ve got a feeling it’s Bobbie Dylan.
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Again, think about it: Bob’s, er, “wilfully obtuse” live reputation among casual observers (and even some hardcore fans) is not great. Imagine what a set of faithful versions of back-to-back classics could do for his stock. That would surely be the greatest Glasto performance ever, no? Miles better, even, than a Rolling Stones or U2 greatest hits set! And re-cast Bob Dylan once more in EVERYONE’s minds as the everyman rock’n’roll legend he is, rather than just some kind of cult hero preaching to the converted.
So: U2, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. You heard it here first.
Got any better ideas, people?