If it is really true that Coldplay, Adele and Muse will top the bill at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, some questions will need to be asked. Two of them are: what is the point of Glastonbury and is rock and roll dead?
Now of course, I know that what happens at Glastonbury is far more than what we see on the Pyramid stage, which is just as well. On an undercard which reportedly includes Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens and Sun Kil Moon, there is plenty of genuine and original music on the bill.
Surely, not even their greatest fans would count the top of the bill acts as being anywhere near cutting edge music. They represent music for the Brits generation and I can’t be anymore insulting than that.
Given that I have no interest in attending Pilton in person, I usually make do with the BBC coverage which is of the usual high standard. I like the visits to the other stages but I dislike with a passion what happens on the main stage. Why on earth would you travel all the way to a pop festival when the top of the bill acts will soon be on a worldwide AOR tour in huge sports stadia?
I appreciate that it is all a matter of taste and anyone who has both Abba and Toto in his record collection is on very shaky ground taking the piss out of someone else’s taste, but Coldplay? To my admittedly damaged ears, they rock less than the Wombles. Adele is a high quality crooner whose music I cannot abide. And Muse always sound like Radiohead would sound if they turned mainstream, which I am glad they don’t and won’t.
Do not attribute my miserableness down to old age. I didn’t want to go to Glastonbury when the place was a mud heap and long haired hippy types (like I was) shook their heads up and down to the Edgar Broughton Band and Amon Duul. Now, thousands of clean shaven twenty somethings (and that’s just the girls) sing a long the greatest hits of Coldplay as I reach for the off button.
I may pay attention to the Sunday nostalgia afternoon slot when Jeff Lynne’s ELO belt out the hits, but then again maybe not.
Rock and roll isn’t quite dead yet but the main stage of Glastonbury certainly makes it seem so.