As if Glastonbury wasn’t enough of a wonder, Worthy Farm has a habit of massive names doing guerilla gigs. Here are a handful we’d like to surprise the people of Pilton this year with secrets sets across the site…
Noel Gallagher: A surprise omission from the Glasto line-up given his love for the festival, which he regularly attends as a punter, and the success of his latest solo listen. He’s said he’s not playing, but his schedule does have a Sunday-shaped hole in it, meaning a guest spot with The Who could be planned. Even more special, though, would be an acoustic set on the Avalon.
2Super Furry Animals:
Super Furry Animals: The Welsh wonders thankfully returned earlier this year to mark the anniversary of ‘Mwng’. They’ll be performing it in its entirety when they headline the Park Stage on Friday, but this is a band built for festivals, and another low-key performance would be right up their chaotic, frenzied, unpredictable street.
The Libertines: The returning likely lads aren’t booked for Glasto, although they are headlining T In The Park in July and Reading and Leeds in August. A covert performance somewhere on site would not only act as a decent warm-up for those events, but be a brilliant throwback to their chaotic early days, when they regularly threw secret shows in everywhere from pubs to Pete’s bedroom.
The Courteeners: Before forming The Courteeners, frontman Liam Fray used to perform around Manchester as a solo artist. He still does the occasional show on his own. Why not take that to Glastonbury? After the theatrics and grandeur of his group’s recent triumphant Heaton Park takeover, it’d be nice for a reminder that songs like ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ still cut it on a small scale.
5Florence + The Machine:
Florence + The Machine: Flo’s been talking a lot about how she’s stripped back her sound on impressive new album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’. Time for her to put her money where her mouth is and reduce those songs to their bare, beautiful essentials during an intimate and impromptu secret performance in one of the small tents as well as entrancing the Pyramid crowd, we reckon.
Ride: The band got back together to play festivals, starting with Coachella earlier this year, and have just announced a tour for later in the year, leaving June strangely empty. The shoegaze pioneers played a brilliant set at Field Day earlier this month. Surely Glastonbury is the one they’ve been waiting for?
Radiohead: Radiohead have a special place at Worthy Farm and will likely headline as soon as their next LP is ready. But what if it’s already finished and they want to debut some songs in a special setting? Where better to do that? The Eavises might want to enlist some serious security though if this is on the cards: their 2011 Park Stage secret set caused a near stampede when word got out.
Disclosure: The Lawrence brothers have announced their new album, ‘Caracal’, complete with a host of guests stars. Some of them, Gregory Porter and Nao, for example, are also playing on Worthy Farm over the weekend. Seize that opportunity, lads! A surprise 3am Saturday night slot would be a ruckusy rave to remember.
Blur: Damon’s had a great time of it at Glasto in recent years. He’s the only person to headline the Pyramid on back-to-back years in different bands, as he did in 2009 and 2010 with Blur and Gorillaz, and he appeared with Bobby Womack in 2013, taking a year off in 2014. It’s not the same without him, and a secret set would be another chapter in the love affair between him and Worthy Farm.
Kanye West: Last time he was in London, Kanye couldn’t help but play a secret gig at Camden’s KOKO, such is his love for stirring it up. Keen to make the place his own on presumably his first trip to Somerset, with a reputation as hip-hop’s most unpredictable mega star to keep up, here’s hoping he’ll pop up elsewhere beyond his Pyramid Stage bearth. Meet you at the Cider Bus, Yeezy.
Alt-J: The Mercury winners are scheduled to play on the Pyramid Stage before Paul Weller on Sunday evening. It’s a great slot for them, showing just how far they’ve come in a relatively short space of time. Hard to think they won’t show up somewhere else on the site, though.
Wolf Alice: These North London grungers release their debut album on Monday, and the following weekend play Glastonbury. For the best album launch party imaginable, they’d have to play a secret set or two. It’s only fair after all – one last time in close quarters before they start legging it up the Pyramid Stage bill in years to come.
Frank Turner: If Frank Turner doesn’t play more than one set at a festival, can you even really call it a festival?
The 1975: The band closed down all their social media accounts recently to reinvent themselves a day or so later, ready for their second album which is apparently ready for release. After a secret show on the Park Stage last year that didn’t go exactly to plan, after a fan threw a can onstage causing the band to interrupt their set, maybe they’ll return for another bash in 2015.
Muse: The band recently headlined Download for the first time, with something of a stripped back stage show. Stripped back by their standards, of course. Maybe they’d like to go one further and just turn up with some guitars, amps and drums and play a surprise set on one of the small stages here? We can but dream.
The Strokes: The band are playing British Summer Time Live in London’s Hyde Park. They just need to stick around for a few more days and drive down to the south-west. It’s 14 years since their debut ‘Is This It?’ was released this July. What better way to mark the occasion?
Taylor Swift: Pop monolith Swift is in the country over Glastonbury weekend. That much we know. Even if she doesn’t play, it’s highly possible she’ll turn up for a look around, bolstering her indie credentials by watching Peace side of stage, granting the crowds a quick clandestine set somewhere then adding to Instagram a snap of her and five pals in selfie pose at the Stone Circle.