Glastonbury ’17 – Saturday Picks

“We get to headline Glastonbury and I get to do it on two legs. It means a lot to me personally. It’s part of my recovery” –  Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters.

Time for the mighty Foo Fighters to take their rightful place headlining the Pyramid Stage. Having last played Glastonbury in 1998, the US Rockers had to forfeit their 2015 headline slot, when frontman Dave Grohl fell off the stage in Sweden, breaking his leg. Now back stronger than ever, the rock icons are set to thrill audiences with an epic back catalogue of material, having just announced news of their forthcoming ninth album, Concrete and Gold, and lead single ‘Run’. Speaking with Annie Mac ahead of their high profile appearance, Dave commented on the cathartic nature of finally being able to take center stage at Glastonbury. Once again, I have the impossible task of picking my top 5 ‘must see acts’, but I hope you enjoy this eclectic selection:

1) Run The Jewels: Pyramid Stage (16.15-17.15)

I have to start with US hip-hop duo Run The Jewels (AKA Killer Mike & El-P), not only for their epic third studio album, Run The Jewels 3, but because they managed to get man of hour, and ‘of the many’ – Jeremy Corbyn –  to introduce them on stage. The politically outspoken duo are quite familiar with Jeremy, with Killer Mike recently throwing his support behind the Labour Leader at London’s Field Day Festival. This will be JC’s debut ‘performance’ at Glastonbury having postponed last year’s appearance in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Expect plenty of White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army‘ inspired ‘Oh, Jeremy Cordon’ chants. JC also received great backing from the Grime scene recently in the run up to the general election. Stormzy is on the Other Stage at 20.30 Jezza if you want to stick around? … just saying! Back to the dynamic duo, Run The Jewels are set to tear up the main stage with their infectious beats and fierce flows, as they power through tracks from ‘Legend Has It’ to ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’. We might even get a special appearance from Danny Brown, who’s been touring with them recently and features on ‘Hey Kids’.

Update: On Thursday, Killer Mike tweeted that he had to fly back to the US to be with his sick Mother, who later passed away that Friday. Sincere condolences to Michael Render and his family. Despite this incredibly sad news, the duo are still set to perform as planned.

2) Stormzy: Other Stage (20.30-21.30)

With success of his debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, there’s just no stopping the formidable force that is Stormzy. The Croydon MC, AKA Michael Omari, is set to dominate the Other Stage tonight, showcasing his impressive range and fiery riddims. With his debut album storming the charts at number one and released via his own independent label, MERKY, Stormzy has continued to push Grime in a more commercial light, having found the perfect balance between mainstream acceptance and underground integrity. Expect an explosive set with all the big hits including ‘Big for Your Boots’, fan favourites ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Know Me From’, and his recent remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’. Having collaborated with a host of artists recently including Kehlani, MNEK, Wretch 32, and Little Mix, hopefully we’ll get a few special guests for his Other Stage performance.

3) Sigrid: The Park Stage (15.00-15.50)

There must be something in the water, because we have yet another Scandinavian pop star absolutely killing it. Hailing from Norway, 20-year-old Sigrid is gearing up for her debut Glastonbury performance on the Park Stage this afternoon, armed with an electrifying voice that’s sure to captivate. Fresh off the success of her remarkable debut ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, the infectious track has been streamed over 16 million times on Spotify and hailed as the ‘ultimate millennial empowerment anthem’.  With a Summer of Festival performances on the cards for Sigrid such as Wilderness, Latitude and Roskilde, make sure you reserve your spot at The Park stage for an afternoon filled with rousing vocals, melodic vibes and an all around raw energy courtesy of this rising star.  

4) Liam Gallagher: Other Stage (17.45-18.45)

Former Oasis frontman, Liam Gallagher, triumphantly returned to the spotlight with his debut solo single ‘Wall Of Glass’. Having only recently been confirmed as a Glastonbury performer, the Manchester rocker will no doubt receive an overwhelmingly large crowd. His brother, Noel, appeared at the Festival yesterday to introduce the Oasis documentary, Supersonic, on the William’s Green Stage. Whether we get to witness an Oasis reunion or not, Liam will no doubt deliver a hefty, dose of blues-rock with plenty of his trademark swagger and attitude. Liam recently made a surprise appearance in Manchester for the ‘One Love Manchester’ benefit concert, where he performed ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’, ‘Wall Of Glass’ and then ‘Live Forever’ with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.  With his debut album, As You Were, set to drop October 6 and pre orders conveniently available from today, Liam has been hilariously signing off his tweets with said album name, some even going back as far as May last year!

5) Birdy: Avalon Stage (20.10-21.10)

So far we’ve had some hip-hop, grime, rock ‘n‘ roll and some delightful Scandinavian synth-pop. Now it’s time for the achingly beautiful vocals of Birdy! The 21-year-old singer/songwriter is set to captivate the Avalon Stage this evening, with her mesmerising vocals and enchanting piano skills. Having shot to fame six years ago with her stunning cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’, Birdy has gone on to sell over 15 million records worldwide and last year delivered her third studio album, Beautiful Lies – the perfect ‘coming of age’ album. From the fragility of ‘Shelter’ and ‘People Help The People’, Birdy still delivers heartbreak like no other, but with a sound that’s matured and grown organically over time, she’s also able to deliver the more uplifting and empowering tracks such as ‘Wings’, ‘Keep Your Head Up’ and ‘Wild Horses’.  Expect an emotion induced set, with plenty of unique covers too. Having recently collaborated with Sigma on ‘Find Me’, Birdy is currently working on new material. In the meantime, make sure your grab some down time at Glasto and enjoy the beauty that is Birdy.

As with yesterday’s top picks, notable mentions have to go to a few more acts such as Solange, The Amazons, Loyal Carner, Mykki Blanco, Bicep, Seth Troxler, Dusky, Benga, and pretty much the entire Lovebullets Stage lineup, with performances from Route 94, Infinity Ink & Patrick Topping! Last but not least, I’m sure Katy Perry will no doubt deliver an epic, pop extravaganza on the Pyramid Stage.

Check back soon for Sunday’s picks. In the meantime, check out the playlist below for all of today’s top picks. Don’t forget to catch all the live TV coverage across BBC 2, BBC 4 and the red button, as well as the BBC’s dedicated Glastonbury site for live streams across 6 stages. BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will all be broadcasting live from the festival site all weekend too.

Glastonbury ’17 – Friday Picks

“You’ve got to leave your ego and your shades at the gate” – Ed O’Brien, Radiohead

Are you ready for the first Glastonbury headliner of 2017? With official TV coverage and online streaming starting today, the one and only Radiohead are set to headline The Pyramid Stage from 21.30-23.45. Having last headlined Glastonbury in 2003, Radiohead have an impressive nine studio albums under their belt, so expect an epic, career-spanning set. Over on Radio 1, Annie Mac caught up with Ed O’Brien ahead of their second headline performance, with Ed offering some sound advice to  his fellow artists. Ok, let’s see who’s made my Friday’s Picks:

1) The xx: Pyramid Stage (19.30-20.30)

With the release of their highly anticipated third studio album, I See You, back in January, The xx are set to captivate the Pyramid Stage with their typically affecting live show. Having recently sold out seven consecutive nights at London’s Brixton Academy in March, you just know The xx are going to deliver a mesmerising live performance. Sonically, the trio have evolved from the hauntingly sparse onset of 2009’s debut album, to a more expansive and colourful existence. With an impressive back catalogue of material such as ‘On Hold’, ‘Angels’ ‘A Violent Noise‘, to their most recent offering, ‘Seasons Run’, expect emotions to be running high as Jamie, Romy and Oliver light up the main stage with their saccharin induced melodies, illuminating light show, velvety vocals and rousing, festival-friendly refrains – perfect for the grandest stage of them all.

2) Áine Cahill: Avalon Stage (14.20-15.15)
    The Bread and Roses Stage (18.00-19.00)

Áine Cahill first came to my attention during last year’s Glastonbury festival, when BBC 2 hosted a series of acoustic-style performances throughout their live TV coverage. The 21-year-old performed her single ‘Black Dahlia’, which immediately prompted a surge of viewers eager to know more about this mysterious talent, even causing her to trend on Twitter. Inspired by classic 1950’s jazz with a contemporary twist, the Irish singer from Co. Cavan continues to captivate audiences with her commanding vocals full of depth, akin to the likes of Amy Winehouse or Adele. With the success of singles ‘The 27 Club’ and more recently ‘Plastic’, be sure to catch Áine as she takes to the Avalon Stage this afternoon and then again on the Bread and Roses Stage later this evening. With a string of Summer festivals on the horizon including Sea Sessions, Latitude, Longitude, Secret Garden Party and Festival no 6 –  the future is bright for this rising Irish star.

3) Annie Mac: John Peel Stage (22.30-23.45)

I know I already mentioned Annie Mac in my top picks for Thursday, but that was for her special Glasto broadcast of her weekday show, with special performances from the likes of George Ezra and Nadia Rose. Now, it’s time for her solo gig! As the Queen of dance on Radio 1, Annie has had the pleasure of kick-starting the weekend off for a number of years now, and what better way than on the John Peel Stage. With the success of her recent club culture documentary ‘Who Killed The Night’ and her personally curated AMP Lost & Found Festival in Malta, Annie is seen as the premiere tastemaker when it comes to the latest club bangers. While her weekly Friday night show is still being broadcast live from Glastonbury tonight, with special guests The xx, Goldie, Jackmaster, Joe Goddard and Little Dragon; her John Peel set will see Annie take center stage for a night of #raving. Having recently given birth to her second child and made her highly anticipated return to their airwaves last week, expect a large crowd for this set.

4) Toddla T’s Glastonbury Carnival: Stonebridge Bar (22.00-05.00)

I couldn’t leave out Toddla T’s Glastonbury Carnival from my top picks. The producer/DJ, label owner and new Dad is set to bring his Carnival vibes to the Stonebridge Bar. While the annual Notting Hill Carnival is still 9 weeks away, Toddla T is starting the celebrations early and bringing the whole Soca crew along. Joining him for the 7 hour Glasto special include: Joe Goddard, Mist, Donae’o, Dj Target, DJ Q, Cadet, Jamz, Supernova, Kojo Funds, Lisa Mercedes and Jeremiah Asiamah, serving up an eclectic mix of dub & reggae, jungle, hip hop, grime and dancehall. With the every-growing popularity of Carnival, including Toddla’s Spring, Summer and Ibiza Carnivals, the Toddla T Sound has grown from strength to strength celebrating the best of Caribbean music. Airhorns and whistles at the ready – and watch out for the Soca Police!

5) Royal Blood: Pyramid Stage (17.45-18.45)

Royal Blood have been a firm staple on my blog since their 2014 eponymous debut album. The Brighton duo are set to tear up the Pyramid Stage with a string of explosive singles, such as ‘Figure It Out’, ‘Come On Over’,‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and more recent singles ‘Lights Out’ and ‘I Only Lie When I Love You’. With their turbocharged, riff-laden hard rock, The Brighton duo have garnered quite the support from rock-royalty over the years, including Foo Fighters, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and even Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. With the release of their sophomore album, Why Did We Get So Dark, earlier this month, bassist & vocalist Mike Kerr along with drummer Ben Thatcher, have successfully delivered a follow up album that’s evolved organically, all the while maintaining their undeniable raw energy. Word of warning – watch out for the mosh pits!

It’s impossible to narrow down my top 5, so notable mentions have to go to festival favourite’s Major Lazer – who on any other day would have been top of this list – and of course the incredible Lorde making her Glasto debut. Other acts that caught my eye include Melé, Gorgon City, Blossoms, Diplo x Jillionaire’s DJ setEats Everything’s fourth performance of the weekend and the Radio 1 Essential Mix (with Patrick Topping and Richie Ahmed B2B). There’s also still a few ‘secret acts‘ yet to be announced, such as the 19.30 slot on the Park Stage. Could it be Elbow? Away from the live music acts, another highlight bound to get a big crowd is the William’s Green Stage (21.00-23.10) for a special screening of the Oasis documentary Supersonic, which a special introduction from Noel Gallagher. While, The Cineramageddon (15.45-17.50) is set to screen two documentaries about the life and times of David Bowie; ‘Five Years’ and ‘The Last Five Years’. See, something for everyone.

Don’t forget to catch all the live TV coverage across BBC 2, BBC 4 and the red button, as well as the BBC’s dedicated Glastonbury site for live streams across 6 stages. BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will all be broadcasting live from the festival site all weekend too. Check back soon for Saturday’s picks!

Glastonbury ’17 – Thursday Picks

Glastonbury Festival returns to Worthy Farm in Somerset today (June 21-25), with an eclectic line-up spanning across 80 stages. With thousands of acts performing, it’s nearly impossible to select my top picks, however, I’m going to try a select a few ‘must-see’ acts each day from Thursday-Sunday. I’m not going to do my top picks for Wednesday, as the first day is all about settling in, getting your tent pitched and preparing yourself for the fun-filled days ahead – unless you’re one of the early birds who went yesterday and already have your tent pitched with a drink in hand! However, if you’re looking for the perfect way to kick off Glastonbury tonight, check out the Shangri-La warm up session at the Clash stage (19.00-3.00). Ok, let’s crack on with Thursday’s Picks shall we?

1) SHY FX: WOW! Stage (02.00-03.00) 

First up is jungle and bass producer Andre Williams, aka SHY FX, who takes to the WOW! Stage along with Stamina MC. The UK Producer, fresh off the success of his latest single We Just Don’t Care featuring the incredible vocals of Shingai Shoniwa (Noisettes), will showcase his eclectic style and Reggae summertime vibes. The innovative producer has always championed new sounds, having previously joined forces with Chase & Status, David Rodigan and MC Rage in 2014 to form sound system Rebel Sound, and ultimately winning the Red Bull Culture Clash. Get ready for SHY FX to kick off this years festival in style. 

2) The Residency Live on Radio 1 – Kölsch: BBC Introducing (23.00-00.00) 

Danish tech-house DJ and producer, Kölsch (Rune Reilly Kölsch) is set to light up the BBC Introducing Stage with his live Radio 1 Residency show. Known for this ability to produce emotion-induced music, Kölsch perfectly combines both mainstream and underground styles, all the while producing luscious, sonic soundscapes. With the success of his critically acclaimed album 1977 followed by 1983, Kölsch consistently delivers with tracks such as ‘Grey’, ‘DerDieDas’, ‘Cassiopeia’, ‘Der Alte’ and recent single ’Speicher 97’ EP – not to mention producing some excellent remixes such as Eric Prydz ‘Generate’ and personal favourite, Monkey Safari’s ‘Cranes’. Currently signed to iconic German electronic label, Kompakt and set to take up residency in Hï Ibiza this Summer, expect an epic set from the Danish Don with his melodic and intimate form of electronica.

3) Annie Mac Live on Radio 1: BBC Introducing Stage (19.00.21.00)

Radio 1 DJ and premiere tastemaker Annie Mac, is set to host her weekday show live from the BBC Introducing Stage. Having made her highly anticipated return to the airwaves last week after giving birth to her second child, Annie returns with a bang, bringing along a few special guests with her. Known for impeccable music curation talents, this year’s eclectic lineup includes performances from George Ezra, Charli XCX, Donae’o, Shy FX and Nadia Rose – all championed throughout her weekday show. Following the success and antics of last year’s live show from Glastonbury, with performances from Mura Masa, Shy FX and Mele and Monki’s NRG Flash, we’re no doubt in for yet another exciting live show from the Queen of Radio 1. Welcome back Annie!

4) The Residency Live on Radio 1 – Eats Everything: BBC Introducing (22.00-23.00) 

Bristolian producer Daniel Pearce, AKA Eats Everything, also brings his Radio 1 Residency show live from the BBC Introducing Stage – his first of four performances throughout the festival. Having kicked off the year joining the Radio 1 Residency series alongside the likes of Kölsch and Deadmau5, Eats Everything is set to take up residency at Amnesia in Ibiza this Summer with his infectious, party stylings. With a string of impressive releases under his belt, including ‘Big Discs’ EP,  ‘The Duster’ ft Green Velvet, his most recent ‘Clash Of The Tight-Uns’ EP and a personal favourite, Tiga vs Audion’s ‘Dancing (Again!)’ – Eats Everything continually proves why he’s one of the UK’s finest dance music exports.

5) Skream: Love Bullets Stage (22.00-01.30)

Oliver Jones, AKA Skream, is set to take to the Love Bullets Stage for a solo set and B2B Special. The former member of pioneering dubstep duo Skream & Benga, has helped shaped the direction of dance music over the last decade, and now showcases more of a tech-house vibe as seen in his recent reworking of Leftfield’s ‘Open Up’. With the success of his imprint Of Unsound Mind, Skream has pioneered both rising and established artists, with releases from the likes of Eli Brown, Motions, Billy Turner, Waifs & Strays and Solardo. While Skream is set to go B2B with tech-house duo Solardo on the Friday night, the identify of the special guest for Thursday remains a mystery. Could it be Patrick Topping, who he went B2B with in Barcelona recently? One thing’s for sure, we’re in for one electrifying set.

Check out my Glastonbury Playlist below with all of Thursday’s picks. Check back soon for Friday’s selections.

 

Bicep – Aura

Belfast-born duo, Bicep, made up of Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson, unveiled their new single ‘Aura‘.

Taken from their forthcoming debut album, ‘Aura‘ had previously been making the rounds as an unreleased Bicep track with no id. The single serves up a dynamic, synth-filled club track, with varied influence from classic house, techno, electro and Italo disco, yet infused with Bicep’s own unique and experimental flair. 

The talented production duo are music lovers to their their core, having started out as founders of the successful blog Feel My Bicep in 2008. Showcasing obscure electronic gems, guest mixes, as well as their own material, they soon gained an audience of 100,000 visitors a month, before launching their debut release in 2010. Since then, Bicep have gone gone from strength to strength, with a  string of successful EP releases and their 2015 single ‘Just‘ being voted Track of the Year by both Mixmag and DJ Mag.

Their forthcoming self-titled album is set encapsulate their passion for music and club culture over the past decade.  Bicep is set for release September 1st via Ninja Tune, while ‘Aura‘ is available now. Upcoming dates for the duo include Lovebox (July 14-15) and Electric Brixton (Nov 11).

iTunes: Bicep
Google Play: Bicep
Tour Dates

The Killers – The Man

The Killers are back!! After a lengthy break of almost 5 years, The Killers unveiled their highly anticipated new single ‘The Man‘.

Having enlisted the help of Irish producer Jacknife Lee (Editors, Taylor Swift) and regular collaborator Stuart Price (Madonna, Pet Shop Boys), ‘The Man‘ is taken from the bands forthcoming 5th studio album Wonderful Wonderful and follow up to 2012’s Battle Born. Sonically, it’s a much funkier vibe than we’re used to hearing from the indie band, with its prominent, punchy baseline, shimmering synths and Brandon’s effortless falsetto vocals taking command throughout. It’s creative, energetic and fresh, taking them out of their comfort zone and delivering an exciting new vibe.

Receiving its world premiere as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1, Brandon Flowers commented on the writing process:

“Writing together, you’re literally waiting for lightening to strike. You don’t want to duplicate something you’ve already done. This album is sonically moving forward and we’re growing in a lot of ways.”

With four consecutive chart-topping albums under the belt, The Killers have stayed ever present despite their hiatus, with chart-topping single Mr Brightside remaining in the Top 100 since 2004 (give or take a few weeks).

Wonderful Wonderful is set for release later this Summer. Currently on tour, upcoming festival dates include British Summer Time in Hyde Park (July 8) and Lollapalooza in Chicago (Aug 8).

iTunes: The Man
Tour Dates

 

Everything Everything – Can’t Do

Everything Everything made their highly anticipated return with new single ‘Can’t Do’.

The single premiered with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record and serves as the first new material to surface since 2016’s one-off single ‘I Believe It Now’ and 2015’s album Get To Heaven. Taken from their forthcoming album A Fever Dream, ‘Can’t Do’ serves up an infectious, looped falsetto vocal reiterating the lyrics ‘It’s Up to Me’ and ‘Can’t do the thing you want’, while funky guitars and defined drums gradually build momentum underneath the synth-laden track.

Speaking with Annie Mac, Jonathan commented on the inspiration behind the single saying:

“It comes from oldest theme in book which is ‘writers block’. Alex had written this amazing tune and he said ‘sing something on it’. After a while I gave up and said ‘I can’t do the thing you want’, which turned out to be the lyric. It was born from there. Rest of lyrics is about not feeling like you fit in with the world. You have to bend to make things work. That feeling like you just can’t do it, but then you can dance it away.

We wanted to make a record that sounds like a nightmarish, surreal, dreamy, exciting experience.”

Produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Jessie Ware, Haim), ‘Can’t Do’ is available now while A Fever Dream is set for release August 18th. Upcoming dates for the band include London’s Heaven (June 21), TRNSMT Festival in Glasgow (July 7-9) and Reading & Leeds (Aug 25-27).

iTunes: A Fever Dream
Google Play: Can’t Do
Tour Dates

 

Lido – Not Enough ft THEY.

Are we about to see a resurgence in swing beats and funky 80’s hip hop? I bloody hope so! 24-year-old Norwegian producer, Peder Losnegård, AKA Lido, has just served up one of the catchiest tracks of the Summer.

Teaming up with LA-based R&B duo, THEY., ‘Not Enough’ serves up a delightful 80’s inspired throwback. Influenced by artists such as Guy, New Edition and Bobby Brown, ‘Not Enough’ revisits the new jack swing era, originally brought to prominence in the 80’s by Teddy Riley (Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown) and Bernard Belle (Whitney Houston). There’s such a feel-good vibe to this track, with its funky rhythms, soulful riffing and ridiculously catchy melody that just makes you want to get up and dance with its New Kid On The Block-esque style beats.

Having shared his latest album Everything back in October, Lido has previously worked with the likes of Halsey, Banks and Chance the Rapper, while THEY recently unveiled their debut album NÜ RELIGION: HYENA, featuring singles ‘Truth Be Told’ and ‘U-RITE’. Upcoming dates for Lido include Osheaga Music & Arts Festival in Canada (Aug 4-6) while THEY. are set to perform at Reading & Leeds (Aug 25-27)

iTunes
Google Play
Tour Dates: Lido & They.