Monday, June 23, 2014

Glastonbury: Tips for JR

My friend Joshua 'JR' Robson is off to Glastonbury tomorrow (the bands don't start until Friday, but he presumably wants to make damn sure that he's down the front when they do) and he's asked me to recommend a few bands for him to see.

Now, I've never been to Glastonbury myself, but I've had a look at this year's line-up, and there are quite a few acts whose awesomeness I can vouch for. For the benefit of one man, then, here are my Top 5 Bands to See at Glasto '14:

Note: I haven't checked for clashes, so I apologise if any of these artists are on at the same time.

John Grant (The Park Stage, Saturday)
Three times I've seen John Grant now, and three times I've been bowled over by how powerful his songs are. He's got a great knack for welding plain-spoken emotions to big, brilliant tunes, and I personally think he's got one of the best voices in contemporary music. Oh, and his stage presence suggests that he's one of the most genuinely amiable people you'll ever encounter.

Public Service Broadcasting (West Holts Stage, Sunday)
Another band that I've seen live on multiple occasions. As another Joshua - Joshua 'SCRIBER' Price - pointed out to me and JR on Saturday, the PSB show isn't quite as stunning the second time 'round (largely because one knows what to expect), but it's a truly mind-blowing experience when you're going in blind. I won't spoil it by saying much else, but JR - trust, me as a lighting guy, you're gonna love this show.

HAIM (Other Stage, Friday)
Sarah and I saw HAIM at Primavera a couple of weeks ago, and they were an unexpected joy to behold. As much as I like Don't Save Me (above), I kind of thought that the group's live show would be somewhat on the dull side, but their attempt at a big '80s rock concert proved me very, very wrong. The three sisters are amazing performers, and their synth-y sound was nicely beefed up with some big drums and a gut-busting rock organ sound.

Phosphorescent (The Park Stage, Sunday)
Matthew Houck's Phosphorescent have been making a bit of a name for themselves as alt. country's newest heroes, but as much as I like the C&W stylings of albums like Here's to Taking it Easy, their quiet, reflective stuff is even better. Pride is a revelation of an album, and their live show - the version that I saw back in 2009, at least - throws some badass classic rock chops into the mix without spoiling the spine-tingliness of songs like Cocaine Lights (above).

Crystal Fighters (John Peel Stage, Friday)
A fun one to end on. I've never been lucky enough to see Crystal Fighters live myself, and so this one may be something of a gamble, but I can't imagine that their performance on Friday will be anything less than life-affirming. It's shiny post-millennial dance music with Spanish flavours mixed in for good measure - what's not to love?

1 comment:

  1. I love Public Service Broadcasting live - they're a joy to behold! Talk about taking a conecpt to the extreme! Great band though. I haven't seen them a second time yet, but it'll be interesting to see if the majesty does fade. Some good recommendations in there!