Mike’s fantasy Glastonbury (updated).

Oh, is it Glasto time already? Although I know that I’ll never go, this doesn’t stop me daydreaming about what it might be like. And so, having studied the detailed line-up for this year’s festival, I’ve put together a fantasy timetable for the weekend. Come, let us tramp together through the dappled fields of Avalon…

Working assumptions:

1. That I can magically teleport from one part of the festival site to another, landing in the perfect spot in front of each stage.

2. That at the end of each evening, I can magically teleport from the festival site to a recherché little boutique hotel, complete with Egyptian cotton sheets and chi-chi little bottles of body wash in the bathroom. Because I simply don’t DO canvas, or whatever state of the art micro-fibres they make tents out of these days.

3. That all published timetables are rigorously adhered to by the festival organisers, with no time delay between each act.

4. That all food and toilet breaks are deemed totally unecessary, and that energy levels remain in peak condition throughout the day. (No, that’s NOT code for an unlimited supply of top-of-the-range Fair Trade narcotics. High on the music, me.)


11:30-12:20: The Ralfe Band (The Park Stage).

A rousing yet gentle start to the festival, in which a suitably Glasto-esque Celtic/folk feel is mixed with elements of country and blues, and a degree of Bad Seeds/Kurt Weill theatricality. They promised much 18 months ago, and I’d like to see how they’ve developed.

12:20 – 13:00: Fear Of Music (John Peel Stage).

A friend in The Biz tipped this lot for greatness over two years ago, but I’ve heard little since then. As his other tips have since come to fruition, I’d like to see whether his faith was justified.

13:20 – 14:20: Los Campesinos! (The Park Stage).

So great when I saw them in March, and the future classic “You! Me! Dancing!” could be the weekend’s first Glasto Anfum.

14:20 – 15:10: Gogol Bordello (Pyramid Stage).

Although unconvinced by their recorded work, I’m banking on them coming into their own in a live setting. Also, I’m quite liking the way that each successive act is faster and noisier than the one before. Don’t want to peak too soon, though…

15:10 – 16:40: Amy Winehouse (Pyramid Stage).

Time to give both my teleporter and my boogie shoes a rest, as we stay at the Pyramid Stage for one of a growing number of acts who give me moderate pleasure on record, but a massive thrill in a live setting. Just as long as she stays off the sauce, of course.

16:50 – 17:15: Super Furry Animals (Other Stage).

I’m just going to catch the first twenty-five minutes, before zooming off elsewhere. The SFA’s and I have drifted apart over recent years, but they used to be a stunning live act. Maybe they still are…

17:15 – 18:10: Julie Fowlis (Acoustic Stage).

…but the Outer Hebrides are calling, and I must away. Always a bit of an unreconstructed old folkie, K is currently big on the award-winning Julie, who hails from North Uist and sings in Socttish Gaelic. Honestly, this is great stuff. But even so, I’m going to bail out before the end, for…

18:10 – 19:25: The Hold Steady (John Peel Stage).

OK, so I’ll be seeing them in August, at the Summer Sundae festival in Leicester. But I can’t be expected to wait that long. Worth it just for the anthemic “Stuck Between Stations” alone. The acceptable face of Uncut magazine Americana.

19:25 – 19:45: Martha Wainwright (The Park Stage).

Just a quick 20 minute blast of Martha, before I get to tackle one of the biggest dilemmas of the weekend. How COULD they put the next two acts on simultaneously? How COULD they? Only one thing for it: see ’em both. So let’s start with…

19:45 – 20:30: Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra (JazzWorld Stage).

The Malian kora maestro, cooking up a storm with his dance band, may well prove impossible to tear myself away from… but I have to be there for…

20:30 – 21:20: Rufus Wainwright (Other Stage).

Rufus’s 2005 Nottingham show ranks among the very best that I have ever seen, and his new album is sublime. Bit of a no-brainer, really.

21:20 – 23:05: Arcade Fire (Other Stage).

Look, just HOW fantastic is the Friday night Glasto line-up? This is just getting ridiculous. The Arcade Fire are playing Nottingham Arena in October, and I can. Not. Wait.

At this point, the dilemma becomes almost intolerable. The Arctic Monkeys at the Pyramid Stage, for a collective moment of generation-defining mass communion? The suddenly-interesting-again Bjork at the Other Stage? Nope. I’m going to split the Friday night climax in two, heading first for the second half of…

23:05 – 23:40: The Aliens (The Park Stage).

Formed from the ashes of The Beta Band, another act who never quite captured their staggering live show on record. I’m still kicking myself for missing them in Nottingham a couple of weeks ago – but Beyoncé was in town that night, and what’s a boy supposed to do?

Just twenty minutes left to curfew, which gives enough time for a small taster of…

23:40 – 00:00: Hot Chip (John Peel Stage).

…before the lure of the Egyptian cotton lures me away. After that lot, the rest of the weekend can only be an anti-climax, surely?


12:15 – 13:30: The Pipettes (Pyramid Stage)
13:40 – 14:40: The Long Blondes (Other Stage)

Two reasonable starters, before we hit a very rough patch indeed. Guillemots? Once was enough, thanks. Dirty Pretty Things? Biffy Clyro? Dear me, no. So I’m zooming forward to:

15:50 – 17:00: CSS (Other Stage)
17:00 – 17:30: Klaxons (Other Stage)
17:30 – 18:35: K’Naan (JazzWorld Stage)
18:35 – 19:55: Mr Hudson & the Library (JazzWorld Stage)
20:00 – 21:30: Maximo Park (Other Stage)
21:30 – 22:00: Patrick Wolf (John Peel Stage)
22:00 – 23:10: Get Cape Wear Cape Fly (John Peel Stage)

And again, another rough patch. Our illustrious Saturday night headliners include The Killers, The Twang, The Waterboys, The Saw Doctors, Mr Scruff and Sasha. Not a chance. Iggy & The Stooges might be diverting, but I’m playing it safe with:

23:15 – 00:00: Rodrigo Y Gabriela (JazzWorld Stage)


14:30 – 15:15: Koop (JazzWorld Stage)
I’ve got an old album of theirs. Tasteful jazz-house. It’s quite nice.

15:15 – 15:45: The Horrors (John Peel Stage)
For the social anthropology more than the music.

15:45 – 16:10: Seth Lakeman (JazzWorld Stage)
16:10 – 16:40: Get Cape Wear Cape Fly (Other Stage)

A second veiwing of the Capester, who strikes me as an ideal Glastonbury act.

16:45 – 17:10: Young Knives (John Peel Stage)
17:10 – 18:40: Tinariwen (JazzWorld Stage)

(with occasional teleportations to Dame Shirley Bassey on the Pyramid stage, just to see what’s going on)

18:40 – 20:00: Beirut (JazzWorld Stage)

(with occasional teleportations to Mika on the Other stage, just to check that I haven’t been wrong about him for the past few months)

20:00 – 21:00: The Go! Team (Other Stage)
21:00 – 21:25: Just Jack (John Peel Stage)
21:25 – 22:40: Bellowhead (Avalon Stage)
22:40 – 00:00: Chemical Brothers (Other Stage)

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