Pilton Ponderings Mind the gap
The latest edition of the Pilton Ponderings newsletter
by PAUL JONES
Welcome to the first edition of Pilton Ponderings, the new (hopefully) weekly newsletter from Glasto Gazette on all things Glastonbury.
Each week, I'll post the previous week's newsletter on the Glasto Gazette website on a Friday, so folks can catch up if they wish to, while those who subscribe - do that at https://www.glastonburygazette.com/newsletter - get it almost a week early, on each Tuesday. Bonus!
The newsletter will also have more in it, so it's worth subscribing. But I would say that...
Anyway, firstly, thank you. If you're reading this, it means you've bothered to find out how to get this. That's hugely appreciated.
To repay you, I hope to make this newsletter weekly (children allowing, of course!), and to not (just) ramble on, but also inform and entertain.
I'll be honest, more often than not, that will probably entail me speculating on things in a way I find amusing but hey, every now and then, you may just find a nugget you enjoy!
In this, the first edition, I'm whittering on about line-up speculation - even giving a few names I think will make the cut come next year - possibly including a couple you won't have thought about.
So, welcome, and thanks again. Peace.
Mind the gap...
ARE we all over the post-Glastonbury blues now?
I have visions of GP waiting rooms up and down the country, full of unwashed, tanned folks, head in hands, bands hanging down their arms, waiting to see their doctor to request help in lifting their mood...
Personally, the sounds of the Somerset countryside (where I live) are currently acting as a constant trigger; the distant beep of a reversing tractor; the sound of the breeze through grass; the early-morning dew soaking my feet as I put the bins out...
Anyway, it does get better, and hopefully by now everyone is feeling good and embarking on that ever-popular Glasto past-time - line-up speculation.
For a while there, it all seemed so easy; Taylor Swift announced a tour with a Glasto-shaped hole; Madonna's latest world tour got underway; and Harry Styles, well, just seemed inevitable, right?
Then, it all got blown apart, not only by Madonna's illness (get well soon), but then by Ms Swift promptly - *not* swiftly (don't ever say I'm predictable) - announcing an extra date in Ireland that filled the Glasto gap.
Suddenly, all bets are off, confidence blown...
So where are we?
Well, Madonna is apparently on the mend, so she is still a possibility. I don't see it, myself. Some have suggested she would fill the legends spot, but I'm not convinced she wouldn't insist on headlining. And does it work? I'm not sure. It could be amazing, but I wouldn't bet on it at the moment.
Taylor Swift, it seems, is not going to be a headliner, which will disappoint *everyone* it seems.
I must admit, I am largely unfamiliar with Ms Swift's career (in fact, I know precisely one song, thanks to a children's film), so was completely unaware just how pathologically obsessed her legions of fans are with all things 'Tay' (apparently they do call her that).
If you want my two penn'orth - and to be honest, it is worth about that - then I'd not rule her out completely of making *some* kind of appearance. What that could look like, I don't know, but I don't think it's a complete write-off, Swifties.
Although I'm largely ignorant of her music, it would clearly be a huge deal if she did Glasto, and I think it will happen, it's just a matter of when.
Meanwhile, Foo Fighters look a banker in some way, shape or form. UK tour dates for 2024 finish on June 27 (Thursday of Glastonbury) in Birmingham.
Mr Grohl clearly loves the place, and they're always amazing value. (Glasto Gazette factoid: I watched their first UK festival appearance at Reading '95. My word, that tent was rammed)
Anyway, back to the matter at hand...
One announcement elsewhere that many overlooked, which I think is notable, was by legendary rockers The Eagles.
The band has announced a 'final' world tour*, starting in the US next month.
It is entirely feasible they hit Europe next summer, and would make an ideal Sunday-night headliner at Worthy Farm. Worth a fiver of anyone's money, I'd say.
They're being supported by Steely Dan too.
I've never seen The Eagles, despite being a bit of a fan. I gave away my ticket to Hop Farm Festival one year (remember that festival?) when they were headlining, along with Prince (!).
Yeah, I *gave my ticket away*. I think we were skint, living in London on lowly journalists' salaries. Crazy. Needless to say, I never got to see Prince, and haven't yet seen The Eagles, so I'm keen to make amends.
And I know a Pyramid Stage Hotel California singalong on Sunday night would be a moment to remember.
Others I've got on my list as probables for some decent-size slots - again, bear in mind my extremely patchy record - include:
Sigrid: Did amazingly well in two recent Glastonbury appearances (2019 and 2022) and was absent this year, somewhat surprisingly. I expect a big slot in 2024.
Sam Fender: Another impressive performer in 2022 and also missing this time round (see a pattern there?). Touring until September. A banker for 2024 I'd say - maybe Other Stage headliner? Under Eagles on the Pyramid? Could be either.
Wet Leg: New release next year I'd imagine, just in time for Glasto...
Depeche Mode: Touring this year, into next. Potential Other Stage headliner for me.
For an outside bet, with no basis whatsoever, I'd go for 21 Pilots. They're very, very good live, and I would say they're due a Glasto slot.
Who would I like to see?
Well, the usual requests top the pile; Pearl Jam - who I genuinely believe would be a set for the ages. They're touring in the US up to mid-September, so Europe next summer is not beyond the realms of possibility. They've done Reading and the Isle of Wight, so it feels right they should do Glasto, but it's never been seriously discussed as far as I can see, which is a real pity.
If you want evidence, their set at Reading in 2006 was just incredible. Emotion, power, atmosphere - it had it all. Have a search on the You. Tube.
And the other I'd love to see is Jean-Michel Jarre. Jarre is probably not so familiar to Glasto-goers, but the French keyboard wizard would be amazing on any stage at Worthy - personally, I'd go for The Park.
I'd urge anyone who doesn't know his work to watch some sensational videos from his 'Destination Docklands' shows in London in 1988, or Houston in 1986.
Pure 80s cheese, yes, but he's got a back catalogue to die for (you'd be surprised) and would put on a real spectacle. One for us geeks, I'd say. That said, he did do bluedot in 2016, so has form for a UK festie show.
Just me? Surely not... Let me know who you think should be on the bill.
So there are my early thoughts on 2024. I'm sure the dedicated among us will be familiar with all this, but hey, knowing we're not alone beats queueing up at the surgery for a chat with an exasperated-looking GP, eh?
And if you want a friend when pining for those fields of Somerset, or have something you think I should write about, you can find me on Twitter, Threads, Instagram and Facebook, and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers all - until next time.
* When they say 'final', or 'farewell' tour, bear in mind that in 1999, I saw Black Sabbath's 'last ever' show at the NEC in Birmingham... They were still touring over 20 years later.