2015 has been a pretty, well, super year for supergroups and collabs. Surprise guests have been rocking up onstage at festivals left right and centre. Here’s our favourites thus far…
Jamie T joined his old pals the Maccabees during the Glastonbury set, playing guitar on their new album title track ‘Marks To Prove It’, after Orlando Weeks introduced his the fellow SW Londonder onstage, calling him a ‘hero’. Which he damn well is.
The incendiary arrival of Skepta onstage with Slaves at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Norwich during their cover of ‘Shutdown’ threw the crowd that day into meltdown – the same trick at Wireless alongside Drake. Throw in a shock spot alongside Kanye at the Brits earlier in the year and yep, when it comes to collaborations in 2015, the Tottenham emcee has bossed it.
As well as an unannounced solo set, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke popped up during Portishead’s headline set at Latitude Festival. Yorkie joined the trip-hop titans for a rendition of ‘The Rip’ from their 2008 album ‘Third’.
Fittingly um, ‘unconventional’, just before The Pogues’ boozer in chief Shane MacGowan made a cameo onstage with The Libertines in Dublin, he managed to fall doze off. “I was so thrilled to hear earlier in the day that Shane MacGowan was coming down to watch us, but I just looked over at him and he looked to have fallen asleep,” Pete Doherty told the crowd.
Hip-hop royalty joined the most exciting artists in rap right now at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival in June. Nas performed ‘Made You Look’ alongside Run The Jewels and unsurprisingly the crowd went absolutely bonkers.
Just before Dave Grohl broke his leg, he managed to do a final lap of honour, coming out with Paul McCartney at the former Beatles’ huge O2 Arena show in London back in May. The pair played ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, with Dave taking on the role of a hairy John Lennon for the classic tune.
Not your typical supergroup, the coming together of Patti Smith and the Dalai Lama onstage at Glastonbury was still a festival highlight. In fact, it was the huge audience that sonically collaborated with the Priestess of Punk, singing Happy Birthday with her to the beaming spiritual leader, before he cut a cake and delivered some words of zen wisdom.
The onstage arrival of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner during Mini Mansions gigs is becoming so regular that it’s almost weird if he doesn’t come out to sing. He slunk out during the LA band’s gig at Oslo in London to sing ‘Vertigo’ in front of a star-studded crowd which included Jamie T, Miles Kane and footballer Joey Barton.
Pop pals Taylor Swift and Lorde joined forces recently in Washington DC in the middle of Tay-Tay’s 1989 tour. Duetting on the New Zealand teenager’s 2013 hit ‘Royals’, it was one of Swift’s many onstage collabs this year, which have also seen her singing with The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran, as well as playing guitar for Madonna.
Experimental LA producer and rapper Flying Lotus closed up Glastonbury in the classiest way possible, by bringing out funk legend George Clinton during his Sunday night headline set. As well as appearing with the p funk party crowd that was The Mothership – which included members of the Parliament and Funkadelic family, Clinton also guested with Mark Ronson at the 2015 Worthy Farm festival.
Teenage Time Killers are yet to perform live, but their debut album, the modestly titled ‘Teenage Time Killers: Greatest Hits Vol. 1’ is out this summer. Their most famous member is Dave Grohl, but they also contain Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio and Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, as well as members of Lamb of God, Corrosion of Conformity, Sunn O))) and My Ruin.
After Alabama Shakes received a personal invite from Prince to perform at his own Paisley Park studios, it wasn’t too much of a shock to hear that the purple one himself sauntered into the sonic fray and got jamming. ‘Gimme All Your Love’ was turned into an epic 15 minute jam. We wouldn’t expect anything less.
Former Manchester United star Gary Neville made inroads into a new rock’n’roll career guesting on guitar with The Charlatans at a secret gig at his new venture, Hotel Football, near Old Trafford. As the band played ‘Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over’, the footballer strummed away on the football turf clad roof of the hotel.
Rock oddballs Sparks saw kindred spirits in Scots new wavers Franz Ferdinand, and, with the help of one of the best muso puns of the year, became FFS. The artrock supergroup released their eponymous debut album in June and have been hitting up festivals all summer.
Less of a collaboration and more Kanye West doing what he does best and pulling some serious focus, as during the second weekend of Coachella in April, The Weeknd took a backseat for Yeezus to drop in, performing ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’, ‘I Don’t Like’, ‘Black Skinhead’ and ‘All Day’.
The one-off special of cult 1990s teatime telly show TFI Friday rounded up a selection of Britpop greats – from Liam Gallagher and The Who’s Roger Daltrey to Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie – for a rowdy rendition of ‘My Generation’.
After Noel Gallagher joined Johnny Marr onstage at Brixton Academy last year, this spring Marr returned the favour, and rocked up at the Manchester Arena for ‘The Ballad of Mighty I’ from Gallagher’s second LP with his backing band The High Flying Birds.
It’s no secret that Johnny Depp is a dab hand at guitar – he’s also been mates with Marilyn Manson for years. It just so happened that the filming of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film on Australia’s Gold Coast at the beginning of the year coincided with Mazza’s tour down under. So out he rocked for ‘The Beautiful People’.
Maccabees were joined by Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford onstage in Montrose Beach, Chicago this summer as they played new album track ‘Something Like Happiness’. Mumford & Sons paid it forward by performing with The Vaccines at Open’er Festival in Poland on ‘Just Smoke’ from their third album, ‘Wilder Mind’.
In the middle of their whopping eight night residency at New York’s massive Madison Square Garden U2 welcomed Lady Gaga to play piano and duet with Bono on ‘Ordinary Love’. It’s said that combined mass of the pair’s egos could be seen from outer space.
The Who’s Pete Townshend was honoured by Bruce Springsteen, Roger Daltrey and New York singer-songwriter Willie Nile at the MusiCares concert at New York’s Best Buy Theatre in May. A night that proved resoundingly that it was a good job Townshend and Daltrey didn’t die before they got old.