It’s that time of year again, when everybody who didn’t get a Glastonbury ticket takes a pop at the first proper line up release. Of course this is easy to do when you have such marmite popular / unpopular bands like Coldplay, Muse and Adele as your headliners but take a closer look and block some of the bigger blander bands out and you’ve still got a ridiculously strong line up, that is just the tip of the pyramid when you realise how many stages there are, and how many acts are still to be announced.
For starters there’s Madness! Okay wherever they play won’t be quite as epic as the Lion’s Den at BoomTown, obviously, but you can’t deny it’s a quality booking that unites generations together, though I’m more excited by an even older Ska legend who shall be performing one of his final shows there, Ernest Ranglin! A guitarist whose style helped to define the music, playing on tracks by everyone from Jimmy Cliff to Bob Marley from the 1950s to today.
As well as Ernest himself, I have it on good authority that his band is an all star cast of musicians that includes Tony Allen, Courtney Pine, Cheikh Lo, Alex Wilson and Ira Coleman. That is one of the most powerful band line ups of all time! Let’s hope they live up to their combined reputations.
If the mention of Cheikh Lo caught your attention then, you probably didn’t miss the fact that Baaba Maal was also on the line up. Arguably the biggest Senegalese artist of all time, I caught his live show earlier in the year and he is still magnificent to watch. Whilst from next door in Mali, one of their biggest exports, Rokia Traoré returns to the festival. If you’re a fan of Malian music and haven’t yet caught her latest album,’Né So‘ yet then you really must do so,it’s beautiful!
On the Jazzier side, one of my highlights from last year, Gregory Porter, makes a return with a new album in tow whilst Kamasi Washington is set to show a wider audience why he is one of the greatest Jazz musicians around right now and I finally (hopefully) get to catch Floating Points live! If you see me heading in the wrong direction whilst on your bimble, point me the right way and make sure I get there.
My Chrome Kids tastes are also satisfied with the likes of James Blake and Jack Garratt whilst swaying even further to the RNB side is NAO, previously from The Boxettes and one of my highlights of Iceland Airwaves last year.
Speaking of Iceland, both Sigur Rós and Of Monsters and Men are on there and the country’s more recently adopted son John Grant is playing also. I’m hoping none of these are on too late as my attention span starts to wander, but catch them at the right time and these are all fantastic acts.
Although I’m gutted not to see Kendrick Lamar on the poster (this line up is similar to an earlier leaked one that had him on it), rappers in general are represented by the British selection of Skepta, Stormzy, Little Simz and Lady Leshurr. I do hope Kendrick turns up on a later release though!
I’d like to see a lot more Reggae at Glastonbury this year and hopefully the inclusion of Protoje is a good sign. Though if they’re planning to put him in the same spot on the Pyramid as Chronixx last year, I personally think he’d be better suited elsewhere.
There plenty of other great live acts too, Beck, Ezra Fuhrman and Santigold have all given me some memorable moments from Bestival over the years, and there’s lots of acts I’ve never managed to see that I’m looking forwards to, including: PJ Harvey (though I have seen DJ Harvey a few times), Earth Wind & Fire, New Order, LCD Soundsystem, St Etienne, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jake Bugg and Bat For Lashes.
I think it’s safe to say there’s plenty of fantastic acts to keep me busy again this year and still so much more to come, but most importantly if you are going to Glastonbury, do not miss Big Swing Sound or AAA Badboy! I want to see you all down the front!
Oh yes, whilst you’re here. We have a new Big Swing Sound mix currently riding the top of the Mixcloud Electro Swing charts. Check it out via the link below.