After 15,000 early bird passes sold out in record time earlier this week, Glastonbury goes on general sale on Sunday morning (October 3) – which is usually about when the speculation machine cranks into overdrive. Who’s going to headline? Has Michael Eavis finally snagged the Smiths? Or talked Oasis into a comeback? The usual suspects aside, what bands could top the Pyramid Stage in June 2015? Before this weekend’s chaotic rush for tickets, here’s NME staffers on who they’re backing to headline…
“We were supposed to be a huge group, that was our goal, part of our plan, to break through, to reach as many hearts and souls as possible.” Pete Doherty may have spouted his fair share of shit, but you can’t argue with the above quote. The Libertines always should have been truly massive, but like a bunch of wasters, they pissed it all up the wall. This year they’ve gone a fair way to righting those wrongs. A mammoth Hyde Park date. Three recent, genuinely professional Alexandra Palace shows. Zero prison convictions, break-ins or break ups. If The Libertines topped the Pyramid Stage, it’d not only be the most celebratory Glastonbury headline in years but a massive righteous confirmation that, away from the headline-grabbing chaos, the boys in the band had it in them all along.
Lisa Wright, NME writer
Somehow, everyone’s favourite Franco electro-disco robot duo have yet to bring the astral vibes of 2013 album ‘Random Access Memories’ to the stage. A live comeback centred around or perhaps even beginning at Worthy Farm would be the music event of the year, and potentially – depending on how well that album’s slinking soul grooves and futuristic electronic flourishes translate live – the decade. Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas and Nile Rodgers could drop in to ressurrect their memorable guest spots from the record. Kanye West, still in Somerset following his Friday night headline slot please-and-thank-you Mr. Michael Eavis, could join the group for a eardrum-blasting rendition of ‘Stronger’. After last year’s competent but, let’s face it, slightly underwhelming set of headliners, this would be a massive coup for the festival, unlike anything the Pyramid Stage has ever seen. For Glastonbury organisers, booking Daft Punk should be a no-brainer. Unless the robot pair give off too many carbon emissions for the notoriously eco-minded Eavis clan’s liking that is, obviously.
Al Horner, NME.com Assistant Editor
This isn’t about Metallica breaking down any barriers around ‘heavier’ bands at Glastonbury – it’s more about the stars potentially aligning and delivering something that’s well overdue. It’s fair to say Foo Fighters have been a familiar headline billing on most of the UK’s major festival’s line-ups over the years at the likes of T, Reading and Leeds and V Festival. But Glastonbury? They’ve only done it once. Appearing in 1998 between James and The Lightning Seeds. A booking might be met with a odd groan from the Glasto purists but Dave Grohl has what Metallica arguably didn’t, and that’s more than a couple of huge mainstream hits. Saturday night at Pilton is built for that. Plus, you could see Grohl and the Eavis’s getting on like a (farm)house on fire, couldn’t you?
Greg Cochrane, NME.com Editor
Some folk will hanker after a Smiths reunion at next year’s Glastonbury, but nostalgia be damned: if we’re fantasy booking, I’d much rather see Morrissey take on headline duties all on his lonesome. Because what often seems to pass people by is that, by now, he’s assembled a back-catalogue that’s almost as mighty as his old bands. ‘Speedway’? ‘You Have Killed Me’? ‘The Teachers Are Afraid Of The People’? ‘First Of The Gang To Die’? That’s a marvellous collection of songs by anyone’s standards (and it’s only scratching the surface, too). And with the past 18 months, from the release of Autobiography to the return-to-form ‘World Peace Is None Of Your Business’, Morrissey has re-established his grip on pop culture. Wouldn’t it be fitting for him to mark his comeback on the grandest stage of them all, strutting around the Pyramid Stage? Come on, Steven – that’d really be something.
Ben Hewitt, NME writer
The first time I met Stevie Nicks, it was in her holiday home in Malibu, a few years ago. The first and last question on my lips had nothing to do with her complex relationship with fellow bandmate Lindsey Buckingham or whether there was any truth to the infamous coke-up-the-bum legends. No, the only question I really wanted answered was: WHEN THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS PLAYING GLASTONBURY AND WHY HAS IT NOT HAPPENED YET? She parted with me that night with an optimism in her voice about the band’s desire to play, and the potential of the Eavises extending an invite. A year later, I met her again. This time in London at the end of the summer. They had not played Glastonbury that year. I asked her once more: “WHY NOT?!” Again, her very diplomatic retort came: “Look, we’d love to play Glastonbury”. If there were any band made in Glastonbury’s image, it’s the 1970s hippie-dippie Cali lineup of Fleetwood Mac, completed by pianist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie, aforementioned guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and maverick drummer Mick Fleetwood. With enough Flower Power to energise the Green Fields, a substantial cannon of riffs to melt the Pyramid atop the main stage and too many singalong choruses (‘Everywhere’, ‘Dreams’, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘You Can Go Your Own Way’, ‘Rhiannon’, ‘Little Lies’… the list goes on) to squeeze into just one set, it’s unfathomable to think Fleetwood Mac may never headline Worthy Farm. If the REAL Fleetwood Mac ever top the bill, though, I’d suggest they headline the entire weekend. All three nights will allow them the rightful occasion to perform ‘Tusk’, ‘Rumours’ and ‘Tango In The Night’ in full on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively, while also peppering some special appearances throughout the Solstice. Get Peter Green out to do ‘Albatross’. Bring Haim on for ‘Oh Well’. Heck, Santana can do a guest spot on ‘Black Magic Woman’. We can probably leave The Corrs out of it. See I’ve thought this all through, Glasto. Right down to the electrical storm I’ve already contracted with the Met Office. It’s going to hit Pilton just as Stevie coos “Thunder only happens when it’s raining” for the first time.
Eve Barlow, NME Deputy Editor
In the past two years we have seen big bands begin their new album campaigns by headlining Glastonbury. It’s a bold move but both Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys did it well, bringing new material to over 100,000 people alongside the hits that elevated them to that position. There is no doubt that Radiohead could follow suit and showcase material that they are currently holed up recording for their forthoming 9th album in their Oxford studio. The band have not headlined since 2003 while their 1997 set remains iconic, a third appearance would be the sort of unmissable event headliner that Glastonbury is famed for. But then again, don’t bet against nothing more than a secret 4am Thom Yorke gig in the green fields only viewable on Occulus Rift instead.
David Renshaw, NME.com News Reporter
They’ve long been filed in the guilty pleasures box – and it didn’t help that their first show in three decades was at Radio 2’s Festival In A Day – but ELO would absolutely nail a slot on the Pyramid Stage. Their long overdue (28 years!) comeback show last month cherry-picked from one of the greatest singles catalogues of all time. With frontman Jeff Lynne still rocking the poodle-with-aviators look of his pomp, they could dust off the giant flying saucer that accompanied their ‘Out Of The Blue’ tour and beat the Arcadia bods at their own game. And just imagine 100,000 people singing along to ‘Mr Blue Sky’…
Dan Stubbs, NME News Editor
At just after 11pm on Saturday 23rd June, 2007, a bare-chested man whose skin looked like battered and stained leather gyrated on Glastonbury’s second stage. His builder’s bum was visible as he threw himself around the monitors, probably in much the same way he used to throw himself out of his Sunset Boulevard apartment window into the swimming pool below. That man was Iggy Pop. Making a heinous noise around him were the reformed Stooges. Just imagine what that would be like on the Pyramid.
Ben Homewood, NME Reviews Editor