By Lewis Lowe
With the full Glastonbury ’16 line up released and the start of the festival drawing ever closer it’s time to start planning your weekend. With over a thousand acts filling around a hundred stages there really is something for everyone, but with so much choice it’s hard to know where to start so here are my top pick of acts performing at this year’s festival.
Skepta easily earned a spot on my list and with the year that he’s had it’s not difficult to see why. A big name in the scene for many years Tottenham born emcee Skepta has become an influential player in British music, propelling Grime into the mainstream with high levels of success. His meteoric rise would have seemed unfathomable just a couple of years ago but Skepta seems like a man out to do the impossible. He’s even been rubbing shoulders with International artists including Drake whilst also collaborating with production maestro Pharrell Williams on his newest album ‘Konnichiwa’. Not a stranger to Worthy Farm, I saw Skepta perform to a packed out tent during last year’s festival, this time however he will bring reloads aplenty to the Pyramid Stage.
The Last Shadow Puppets
The dynamic musical partnership of Miles Kane and Alex Turner will bring their avant-garde musical project The Last Shadow Puppets to the Glastonbury main stage this year. With beautiful layers of orchestral grandeur and thundering riffs each song sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a film. Turner of course is no stranger at Glastonbury; he’s headlined twice before in 2007 and 2013 as lead vocalist in the Arctic Monkeys, so expect a performance drenched in showmanship. With Tame Impala and Adele due to perform on the same stage afterwards and relatively no big names to compete with during their set times, they could potentially draw a massive crowd.
Nestled in the middle of a brilliant day of music on the Pyramid Stage are Ska veterans Madness. With a reputation as a highly entertaining and energetic live act, the North London six-piece have earned numerous plaudits over the course of their 40 year career and will no doubt entertain a new generation of fans when they take to the Pyramid Stage at this year’s festival. Hit singles including ‘Our House’, ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘Nightboat to Cairo’ are bound to get the crowd singing along whilst their much celebrated cover of ‘One Step Beyond’ is sure to get Worthy Farm skanking in their wellies.
DJ Hype B2B Hazard
At Glastonbury the party doesn’t just stop when the main stage acts finish their encores, there’s a whole world of after-hours entertainment for you to feast on and one of my picks of the weekend has to be Hype and Hazard playing back to back at Arcadia on Saturday night. For those of you who don’t know anything about DJ Hype, Hazard or Arcadia picture this, two of the best drum and bass DJ producers of all time playing together in a giant metal spider that spits out flames and shoots lasers in to the sky. Yeah, see you there.
Jeremy Corbyn in conversation with John Harris
Accepting an invitation from Billy Bragg, surprise Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn will be in conversation with John Harris on the Leftfield stage at this year’s festival. Inspiring a new generation of political interest Corbyns rise has been dramatic, splitting opinion and encouraging conversation, both of which I’m sure he would be completely happy with. A long term supporter of the CND Jeremy will be at Worthy Farm to discuss nuclear disarmament in what is bound to be one of the most eagerly attended conversation pieces of the weekend. Get there early to ensure your spot in what is sure to be an inspiring moment from this year’s festival.
With two different opportunities to catch the rising star at this year’s festival you’d have to be a fool to miss him. Son of Jamaican singer Lorna Bennett, Protoje first gained attention through mixtapes he began releasing in 2005 but it wasn’t until 2014 when he was noticed by BBC 1Xtra and was named as ‘one to watch’ that he started developing a fan base here in the UK. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in quality with a strong catalogue of catchy tunes to enjoy in the sunshine or after dark depending on preference.
Earth, Wind & Fire
Whilst some will watch Coldplay dribble the wall paper paste they call music all over the Sunday headline slot at the Pyramid, others will be looking for an alternative. LCD Soundsystem would be a good choice on the Other Stage but my pick has to be Earth, Wind and Fire. Delicious mixes of disco, funk and pop, EWF have been pleasing crowds for over 40 years with timeless classics including ‘September’, ‘Let’s Groove’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland’. The West Holts stage always has the ability to create a fantastic atmosphere for headliners and I’m sure this time will be no different, so pack your shiny trousers, sparkly headband and enjoy the show.
They’ve come a very long way since their math-rock early days and what a journey it’s been. Now one of the most talked about festival bands out there I’m sure 2016 will only bring them more plaudits. Announced as a headliner of this year’s Reading festival which kicks off in August they’ll be hungry to show off the performance ability that earned them their first bill topping slot. Whilst only sub-headlining to Muse on Friday night don’t expect that to change anything, this is a band in ascendance and they will want to rival the Pyramid toppers every step of the way. It won’t be easy, Muse have a fierce live reputation but Foals certainly have the ability to make Friday’s main stage one of the big talking points of this year’s festival.
Offering an infectious blend of Soul, electronic and hip hop East London singer-songwriter Nao is having a brilliant year. Her songs ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Fool to Love’ have impressed fans and critics alike and she was named in the BBC sound of 2016 shortlist, eventually finishing in 3rd place. Playing early on Friday afternoon on the beautifully positioned Park Stage Nao offers a perfectly chilled introduction to this year’s festival.
Ok so she’s not everybody’s cup of tea, admittedly she’s not mine but there can be no denying the grandeur of her announcement. After being criticised for the lack of female acts at last year’s festival the Glastonbury organisers have gone and booked the world’s biggest female musician to top the Pyramid stage on Saturday night. Winner of numerous awards, she’s sold a ridiculous amount of records and is now estimated to have a net worth of £85 million so don’t let her claims of stage fright fool you, she is destined to pull off a very memorable Glastonbury set. So find yourself a spot between all the mums in their pink wellies and ponchos, drinking pear cider for a sing along of ‘someone like you’ and enjoy.