Watch our video interview with the band above
The band were speaking to NME backstage at Glastonbury 2019, where they were on site to celebrate the recent re-release of classic album ‘The Man Who’ along with their 1999 set on vinyl. They returned to headline in the year 2000 alongside David Bowie and The Chemical Brothers, but in 2004, they had to be a little more creative to get through the gates.
“It was like Friday morning and I called up Dougie [Payne, bass] and I said, ‘Let’s go to Glastonbury, and see if there’s a way for us to blag our way in without a ticket’,” said frontman Fran Healy.
Dougie then chimed in: “It was an experiment, just to see if we could do it. So we armed ourselves with a crate of champagne, but not for ourselves.”
After using the champagne to bribe their way through the gates, the band then found themselves parking up behind the Pyramid Stage – having “progressively got more and more wristbands”. Then, they found themselves with an usual proposition from a certain Smiths singer, due to Healy’s blacked out Jeep.
“Morrissey was playing, and he requested a blacked out Jeep to take him from where he was to the stage. They didn’t have one, so one of security said ‘Could you go and pick up Morrissey?’ We were like, ‘Alright!’ But then security looked at the car and it was just a mess of mud and champagne bottles.
“They were like, ‘Oh, he’s very, very particular with what he wants’ so we started cleaning up the car and hoovering. We were just about ready to go and they came up and went, ‘Oh no, we found one, it’s fine’.”
Healy continued: “We’d have definitely gone into chauffeur character to see what would happen with that.”
Would they still give Morrissey a lift these days, after his recent controversial political statements?
“Probably not!” replied Dougie.
Looking back on their seminal 1999 set, the band remembered how they actually thought they played terribly at the time – and were surprised to see the hugely successful aftermath. A lot of TV coverage hailed it as the best performance of the weekend.
“First of all, to play Glastonbury anywhere is a really great deal for a band,” said Healy. “We played in 1997 and that was a wash-out, so we came in 1999 and played The Other Stage. The set wasn’t that good. None of us thought it was.”
Dougie added: “We came off stage pretty bummed out. We were like, ‘Ah, well, try again next year’. Then we came back and it was all over the TV.”
Watch our full video interview above, where the band also discuss their work on new material and hopes to return to Glastonbury in 2020.
Glastonbury 2019 will see Stormzy, The Cure and The Killers head up a huge line-up that also includes the likes of Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, George Ezra, Miley Cyrus and Tame Impala, to name but a few. See the full stage-by-stage breakdown here.