When the fruit appeared on a list of items ‘banned’ from the festival, it focused attention on the Mercury-nominated Oxford quartet. Pineapples feature in the band’s lyrics, stage show, and fans have started bringing them to gigs. Before their set on the NME/Radio 1 stage at Reading last night (26 August), the band tweeted that “Pineapplegate” had arrived, urging followers to “Bring fruit.”
The call-to-arms was enthusiastically taken up.
“The saddest sight I saw was someone tweeted a picture of a bin going into the arena where security had just been throwing all of the pineapples. A bin full of pineapples was so sad,” Bayley told NME.
“Some people got creative. There were at least five real pineapples in the crowd, which is actually pretty good considering they were cracking down on everything – inflatable pineapples were getting chucked away,” he added, tongue lodged in cheek.
During their raucous Reading performance, fans brandished inflatable pineapples and crowd-surfed on pineapple-shaped lilos. When ‘Pork Soda’ – which boasts the lyric ‘pineapples are in my head – closed the set, a blizzard of pineapple confetti covered the audience.
“It’s so out of control this pineapple stuff, but it’s funny,” said Bayley of doing more to rep the humble pineapple than the Man From Del Monte. “There were thousands of inflatable pineapples at the show yesterday. There were people riding them through the crowd. I don’t know if I’ll ever get sick of it, but maybe it might be worth moving on to pomegranates or something…. Melons.”
Speaking about Glass Animals’s recent Mercury nomination for sophomore album How To Be A Human Being, released in August 2016 – precisely a year to the day of their Reading set, Bayley explained that it had come as a complete surprise.
“We grew up with the Mercury Prize and every year when the shortlist is announced, we go out and get all the records, and we argue about them and listen to them all”, he said.
“We didn’t even think about us getting shortlisted so we booked a whole tour. Like we were meant to be in America for the ceremony and the performances and the announcement, but we had to cancel all that and rush back now.”
“Before the shortlist was announced, me and our drummer Joe [Seaward] sat down and thought about who was going to be shortlisted – and of course, we weren’t on the list. But my money was on Kate Tempest, Sampha, Loyle Carner and Stormzy all being on the shortlist.”
“Our rider’s gotten very extravagant [since the Mercury-nod],” he joked. “Kittens and big bowls of cocaine.”