Which band ruled festival season 2014? Outkast? Royal Blood? Arctic Monkeys? Or maybe Kasabian? The results of our NME.com poll are in…
Now autumn’s upon us and a busy summer of live music is at an end, only one questions remains: which band ruled festival season? We asked readers in a NME.com poll last month, you voted and now the results are in. Starting our top 20 countdown is divisive EDM impresario Skrillex. Our ears are still ringing from his noisy, mind-warping cosmic-dubstep spectacle at Glastonbury.
In at number 19 are sugary pop-rock behemoths Paramore. Their Reading and Leeds co-headliner booking had a few eyebrows arched but Hayley Williams’ crew made no mistake in proving they belong atop massive bills. Would they have placed higher in our poll had their set at Reading not been derailed by a massive power cut? Who knows.
From Worthy Farm to Lovebox, we saw plenty of MIA this summer. As usual with the pop agitator, controversy off stage threatened to overshadowed events on it, as she accused the BBC of refusing to stream her Glasto set in case she made any bold political statements. Her set was streamed in the end, which is just as well, as it was a kaleidoscopic genre-fusing extravaganza to remember.
NME readers, meet your number 17: Baltimore’s finest, Future Islands. We opted against running a poll on festival season’s swishest dance moves as it’d be no contest thanks to singer Samuel Herring: his swaying hips were a hit at Latitude, Field Day and British Summertime in Hyde Park, to name but a few, where ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ was no doubt one of this summer’s biggest anthems.
Fat White Family take number 16 in our list of this summer’s show-stoppers, following typically debauched – and often naked – appearances at tonne of UK festivals – including a middle-of-the-night set at Glastonbury. One of the few bands who seeing “in the flesh” means quite literally that, in the most harrowing way imaginable.
Emily Eavis called Dolly Parton‘s Glastonbury Sunday afternoon crowd as the biggest Worthy Farm had ever seen. It was certainly one of the festival season’s most memorable moments, as the ‘9 to 5’ country icon smashed through hits you’d normally only sing drunken in a karaoke bar at 6 in the morning. One of the summer’s unlikely heroes, and a worthy number 15.
It was a milestone summer for Metronomy: their Field Day apperarance was their first ever headline slot, as new album ‘Love Letters’ continued to go down a storm with festival-goers. Anyone claiming there was a more infectiously festival anthem than that album’s title track this summer is a dirty filthy liar.
Another highlight of Field Day, also appearing at Glastonbury as the promo campaign around their new eponymous album gathered pace, Warpaint are your number 13. No surprise either, with woozy, washy tracks like ‘Love Is To Die’ and a brilliant cover of Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ in their canon. Nice one, Warpaint.
Number 12 belongs to Serge Pizzorno and Tom Meighan. Kasabian took headlining the Pyramid Stage so in their stride, it looked ‘Eez-eh’. Aided by a guest appearance by Noel Fielding, the Leicester group were in riotous form bringing ’48:13′ to life at Glastonbury.
One of the breakout bands of 2014, Jungle can reflect on an imperious summer, conquering the UK’s biggest festivals – including one mindblowing Glastonbury set that had their huge crowd in raptures. Expect the London crew high up bills in years to come.
Jake Bugg may claim to “hate festivals” but festivals sure love him: his Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds set were met with some of the biggest crowds seen this summer, which is extraordinary given the troubadour’s tender age. Today, he’s number 10 in our list of 2014 festival season winners: next year, who knows how high he can climb with his sepia-tinted brand of folk.
Metallica weren’t a popular choice for Glastonbury headliners among some Worthy Farm-goers: a petition highlighting frontman James Hetfield’s pro-hunting beliefs was circulated shortly after the band was announced, with many people claiming the group’s high octane metal was out of step with the festival. They took the Pyramid Stage and made it their own though, with a wild hit-packed set.
Number 8 goes to New York indie sophisticates Vampire Weekend, who signed off their campaign for third studio album ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ in emphatic fashion at Reading and Leeds in August. Don’t stay away too long Ezra and co.
Californian sisters Haim are soon to begin work on their second album – but first, a busy season of festival appearances beckoned. Now truly at ease on huge stages, the trio made light work of appearances at Glastonbury and more.
In at number 6, it’s Bombay Bicycle Club – a band Reading and Leeds boss Melvin Benn tips as a future headliner. The band have certainly been steadily rising towards that sort of status for some time now, and proved they could bring a show with spectacular Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds sets. Time will tell for the ‘Luna’ indie hit-makers.
Into the top 5 now, people: Royal Blood caught plenty of punters’ attention with their massive-sounding festival sets, sparking a massive sales surge for their debut album on its release the week after Reading and Leeds. Bookies are tipping them to be one of the biggest draws at next year’s Glastonbury: a big ask of such a young band, but with this Brighton pair, nothing seems impossible.
Glastonbury headliners Arcade Fire are your number 4, having brought their explosive, colourful ‘Reflektor’ carnival to the Pyramid Stage Saturday night top bearth in June. 10 years after the release of debut album ‘Funeral’, their festival appearances this summer were the work of a band operating at the peak of their powers, plain and simple.
Fresh (and so clean) from a summer of reunion shows, Atlanta duo Outkast are your number 3. No complaints from these quarters, having witnessed the hip-hop kings at Wireless and Bestival – both effervescent sets that turned back the years for Big Boi and Andre 3000. Question is, will we see them again? They’ve ruled out making a new album, and no more shows are scheduled. Watch this space.
Queens of the Stone Age delivered a powerhouse co-headline set at Reading and Leeds, packing hit after hit into their 90 minute run time at Melvin Benn’s festival, accompanied by a dizzying light display. According to NME readers, when it comes to kings of commanding festival appearances, there’s no beating Josh Homme. Apart from, that is…
Arctic Monkeys are number 1 – the best band of 2014’s festival season, according to NME readers. Saying farewell to ‘AM’ with thundering panache, the lusty rock thrills of songs like ‘R U Mine?’ and ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ wowed fans at Reading and Leeds, not to mention at the group’s own Finsbury Park fandango in May. Turner, we salute you. Thanks to all who voted!