Gorillaz For Glastonbury? The Case For And Against

Well that was quick. Just a day after U2 pulled out, Gorillaz have been confirmed as Glastonbury headliners, taking Bono and co’s place on the Friday night.

It’s probably just as well. The rumours were starting to get increasingly hysterical and outlandish. “It’s going to be Led Zeppelin!” “The Smiths will reform especially!” “Fingers crossed for a Radiohead/Kylie/Jedward supergroup!”

Or, as one commenter predicted, perhaps a touch over-confidently, “COURTEENERS OR BOWIE.” The reality was always going to be more prosaic. All the same, it’s hard not to feel a tiny bit deflated.

There is, after all, a history of bands stepping in at the last minute to save the day at festivals. Pulp at Glastonbury 1995 (when they replaced The Stone Roses) springs to mind.

But this isn’t a plucky underdog, given a once-in-a-lifetime chance of main stage glory. Gorillaz are exactly the kind of band you might expect to headline Glastonbury 2010: critically acclaimed, decent-size back catalogue, currently promoting a successful album.

The truly memorable Glastonbury bands are the ones that provide moments of communal joy, giant drunken singalongs, 100,000 people roaring into the night sky. Is that going to happen with ‘Superfast Jellyfish’? Or ‘Stylo’? It’s hard to imagine.

That said, there’s scope for some fantastic collaborations – Snoop Dogg, who guests on ‘Plastic Beach’, is a dead cert, since he’s already playing on the Pyramid that day. Shaun Ryder will no doubt turn up for ‘DARE’, maybe Bobby Womack, and – who knows? – a wildcard special guest or two.

If their recent Roundhouse shows are anything to go by, Gorillaz’ Glastonbury set will be slick, carnivalesque and celebratory.

It’s just that, speaking as someone who was rather looking forward to hearing ‘With Or Without You’ blasting out emotively over Worthy Farm, the prospect of Damon and friends gliding competently through the hits is not an enormously inspiring one.

Still, if you don’t like it, you can always just get mashed and bugger off to Trash City, right?