There’s no pleasure without pain. Even moments of pure and total happiness can’t help but be tinged with the melancholy that lurks in the essence of all things, stained by the sadness at the heart of the human condition. In other words, even at bloody lovely Glastonbury you sometimes have to choose between two or more excellent options, and missing out on something is bound to be a bit gutting. Businessmen, in their suits, would call this “opportunity cost”. Hippies, in their flower-chains, call them “clashes”. The official times were published earlier this week and inevitably there’s some bad ones, and here’s just a few of the most crushing:
1. Tame Impala vs Palma Violets vs The Vaccines – Friday, 6pm
Throw last year’s album of the year winners Tame Impala, the wildest live band from this year’s NME Awards Tour and a band who recently fried the O2 and what do you get? A real stinker of a guitar band clash. In fairness, Vaccines starts 25 minutes later than the other two, but Glastonbury isn’t easy walking country, particularly the inevitable thick, welly-sucking mud.
2. Foals vs Django Django vs Disclosure – Friday, 9pm
Foals are known to be incendiary live, but as Django Django proved on this year’s NME Awards Tour they’ve become a formidable presence themselves. Throw in producers of the moment Disclosure in the Dance Arena as well and you’ve got a sticky decision to make. Whichever way it goes, you’ll need your dancing shoes.
3. Arctic Monkeys vs The Horrors vs Chic vs Portishead – Friday, 10:15pm
Not so much a clash as a fourway-juggernaut-pileup. Arctic Monkeys headlining Glastonbury is usually the sort of show you’d refer to as “unmissable”, but would you rather be adrift in the Pyramid field or experiencing the brooding intimacy of Horrors at The Park? On the other hand, Nile Rodgers playing his peerless hit-filled disco set will be sublime, while Portishead on the Other Stage will be so intense and visceral you’ll feel like you’re back in the womb. This is exactly the moment cloning machines should have been invented for.
4. Haim vs The Strypes vs Noah & The Whale – Saturday, 4pm
Noah & The Whale recently made their own indie film about four friends on a teenagers-only island who learn that they’re about to be taken away to become adults and must make their final night together mean something. You’d imagine that the insanely-talented but terrifyingly-young Strypes could relate. They’re up against the also-pretty-damn-young Haim sisters in a battle of the prodigys.
5. Mumford & Sons vs The xx vs Bobby Womack vs Phoenix – Sunday, 9:30pm
The final band of the weekend is always a huge moment (I’m not counting the various bedraggled acts you’ll likely end up catching in the early hours of Monday morning) so choose wisely. Mumford & Sons have grown accustomed to headline vast shows, but their bombast will be equaled by the intricate beauty of The xx. Meanwhile the legendary Bobby Womack will be joined by Damon Albarn (who is now legally required to headline Glastonbury every year) while you’ll have the chance to see Coachella and Primavera headliners Phoenix up-close-and-personal in the John Peel Tent.
So, now the timings are out there in all their glory, what’re your worst band clashes? Leave your comments below.