We’ve just loaded up the line-up page on the official Glastonbury website to look at what to expect from Britain’s biggest festival – which kicks off this weekend – and the sheer amount of names to trudge through sent us into panic mode.
Once we regained our composure, we set about making a list of the top ten acts you really should go out of your way to discover if you’re heading to Worthy Farm this weekend. So here are the bands to add to your itinerary – in between experiencing the weird and wonderful of the outer reaches of the colossal festival.
Friday, John Peel Stage, 1pm
Jungle are two friends, simply called J and T, who create wildly danceable music. On a first impression of their accomplished productions, we assumed the acquired anonymity of those one syllable monikers meant this was the side-project of some big time producers (Justice perhaps?). Turns out J and T really are just two good friends who like to make soulful dance tunes with infectious melodies. Live, they expand to a seven-piece to recreate the funky bass-lines usually reserved for Ed Banger records.
Friday, John Peel Stage, 2pm
Sheffield two-piece brotherhood Drenge play snarling blues-rock with an especially grungey twist. Eoin and Rory Loveless released their self-titled debut last year to critical acclaim, and have gone on to high-profile support slots with Peace, and headline tours of their own. After Glastonbury they’ll be heading Stateside to try to make a dent in the US market with tracks like ‘Bloodsports’ and ‘Face Like A Skull’, but until then they’ll be tearing up the relatively reserved Glastonbury crowd over on the John Peel Stage.
Friday, Park Stage, 6.30pm
Brooklyn hipsters Parquet Courts combine punk and modern indie-pop in a way that only the best slackers can. Garnering affectionate comparisons to Slanted & Enchanted-era Pavement, they released their third studio album Sunbathing Animal only three weeks ago.
The Black Tambourines
Saturday, John Peel Stage, 11am
11am on a Saturday morning might not sound like the best time for some anarchic garage rock, but Glastonbury is all about new experiences so wake your ears up the right way with The Black Tambourines. Winners of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, these guys recall the flower-punk chaos of the Black Lips.
Saturday, John Peel Stage, 2pm
The second two-piece to feature on our list, Brighton duo Royal Blood are arguably even louder than Drenge, dishing out chunky riffs that nod to ’70s heavy metal. Ben Thatcher plays drums while Mike Kerr wrangles hellish sounds from a bass guitar distorted through just enough pedals to resemble its six-stringed cousin. Royal Blood kick off a string of bands worth checking out on the John Peel Stage on Saturday afternoon.
Fat White Family
Saturday, John Peel Stage, 3pm
Grotty pysch-rockers the Fat While Family are known as one of the most exciting live bands in Britain today. As the above video proves, things can get a bit odd; singer Lias Saoudi frequently strips down to his Y-fronts and gyrates his sweating body against the first few rows of the crowd. That bright yellow plastic sheet you’re using to shield yourself from the forecasted downpour may find a new use if the band’s propensity for nudity is anything to go by.
Saturday, John Peel Stage, 4pm
Current NME darlings Wolf Alice find themselves at the forefront of a grungey ’90s revivalism. If you can get past the posturing and trendy X-Girl stylings you’ll find some pretty decent tunes, such as the above ‘Moaning Lise Smile’ or the thunder and lighting guitars of ‘Storms’ from their recently released Creature Songs EP.
Saturday, Park Stage, 9.30pm
Former Czars frontman John Grant will be bringing his electronic leaning solo work to the Park Stage on Saturday night. His second solo album Pale Green Ghosts bristles with Gary Numan-esque synth work and made our top 20 LPs of 2013. Expect first class swearing from the self-proclaimed ‘GMF’.
Sunday, John Peel Stage, 11am
Blackpool grungers Darlia take to the John Peel Stage at the early time of 11am on Sunday. By then most festival goers will be but shells of their former selves after a long weekend’s hedonism, but Darlia will be bring the loud regardless. With just enough pop sensibilities to bring them to the happier side of grunge, expect pogo-ing en masse.
Sunday, BBC Introducing, 12:45pm
It seems the UK is bubbling with a noisy undercurrent of bands right now, and Kagoule just happen to be one of the choice picks. Opening up what promises to be an ear-aching Sunday over on the BBC Introducing Stage, the Nottingham three-piece tread the loud-quiet-LOUD path with ease on tracks like ‘Adjust The Way’ and ‘Encave’.