London – Having condensed this year’s Glastonbury Festival line-up to a mere 36 A4 pages of 10-point type, the red pen quickly runs out as you mark down all those must-see acts from tempting newcomers to sure-fire headliners. Mindful that your name isn’t Marty McFly, or the good Doctor for that matter, the process of scheduling who you’d really, really like to see at the festival – quite often at the same time – becomes increasingly futile. The infamous Glastonbury weather is also likely to curtail route marches from the Indie-fueled John Peel Stage down to the one where you are always liable to uncover gems, The Park. The saving grace is that as you wander from stage to stage you will invariably find music or art to lift your soul, often when you least expect it.
For the Glastonbury first-timer, the sheer scale of the place induces a sudden intake of breath the first time you set eyes on the sprawl of tents and humanity that greets you as you arrive on site. For bands making their Glastonbury debut one can only imagine the sense of anticipation ahead of what may be the biggest gig of their careers to date, and quite possibly the largest audience they’ve encountered. We’ve picked out 10 acts who are playing Glastonbury for the first time who we are going to do our best to see. Though it might be necessary to conjure up the DeLorean…
Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara scored an international hit, including a US Top 5 spot with 2015’s “Here,” and has recently been a stadium support to Coldplay. The John Peel may now feel a tad small! Saturday, John Peel Stage 13:50
Following in the footsteps of bands who’ve impressed on their Glastonbury debuts like Kodaline and Catfish & The Bottlemen, expect mass sing-alongs as young Stockport indie band Blossoms hit the Other Stage. I do love a band that’s named after a pub, too. Friday, Other Stage 12:30
Car Seat Headrest
Will Toledo has carved quite a reputation as a prolific songwriter and prodigious lyricist. The May 2016 release of Teens of Denial marked something of a coming-of-age and the billing of Car Seat Headrest on the Park Stage seems like a marriage made in a lo-fi heaven. Saturday, The Park 11:00
Christine & The Queens
A big star in her homeland, French songstress Héloïse Letissier trades under the stage name of Christine and The Queens. Elton John is a big fan, so we are told, and he still hasn’t made it to Glasto. Friday, Other Stage 13:40
Emerging Talent Finalists
All eight finalists from the 2016 Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition will be making their festival debuts led by the outright winner, Liverpool psych-pop outfit, She Drew The Gun, fronted by singer-guitarist-songwriter Louisa Roach. We will be also keeping close tabs on stunning singer-songwriter Hattie Whitehead and Best New Band’s Round 1 pick, the engaging Marcus McCoan. Thurs – Sun, Various Stages (See Schedule HERE!)
Highasakite is from Norway, a country more known for ‘nul points’ in the Eurovision Song Contest than anthemic, synth-happy indie bands. This band happily breaks that mould. Friday, William’s Green 18:00
The subject of a recent Best New Bands interview, Edinburgh-based folk-blues band King Eider make the long journey down from Edinburgh to Pilton. Can’t wait to hear those four-part harmonies and driving strings wake up a sleepy Saturday morning. Saturday, Avalon Stage 11:30
After a string of singles over the past 2 years, English singer-songwriter-producer Alexandra Lilah Denton - aka Shura – is about to hit the pop mainstream big with the release of her debut album Nothing’s Real in July. Saturday, Other Stage 12:00
Hook-heavy indie rockers Vant kick off a slew of festival appearances with a Friday slot at the biggest of them all. The band has an EP out in August and is here heard contemplating the meaning of life. Heavy. Friday, William’s Green 17:00
New York indie pop four-piece X Ambassadors bring big radio-friendly hits of the likes of “Renegades” to the fields of Somerset. Friday, John Peel Stage 12:00
Glastonbury opens on Wednesday 22nd June and closes with the spectacle of Coldplay lighting up the huge Pyramid stage on Sunday 26th June. You’ll find the full line-up here. If you’re not lucky enough to have a ticket, plug into the extensive coverage on BBC TV and Radio in the UK and online.
Photo credit: Jason Bryant
Tony’s great passion in life is music and nothing gives him more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. His association with Best New Bands brings great opportunities for this. He also writes for Consequence of Sound and is a judge for Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition.
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