5 Acts To Catch At Glastonbury

Photo: Brian Rasic/REX USA, Mike Keating/Newspix/REX USA, Justin Ng/Music Pics/REX USA.
Since 1970, the Glastonbury Festival has given folks in the U.K. an excellent excuse to pitch tents, make campfires, plod around in the mud, and basically live like druids for days on end. It’s the Stonehenge of music fests, and this year’s edition is especially impressive. Anyone who’s anyone will be in Pilton, Somerset, from June 25 through 29, and that includes Metallica, whose controversial headliner booking has knickers in twists from Northumberland down to New Forest. ‘Tallica could be a hoot, but if you’re headed to Worthy Farm, there are plenty of other artists way more deserving of your time. Keep reading to see our picks for the five must-see acts at Glastonbury this year.
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Photo: Mike Keating/Newspix/REX USA.
Dolly Parton
There’s no better ambassador for American pop culture than Dolly. This 68-year-old singer/songwriter has embodied the best of country of music for nearly a half-century, and she remains the perfect mix of cartoon glamour, cornball humor, and breathtaking artistry. If she closes with “I Will Always Love You,” even Lars and James from Metallica will sob like little babies.
Sunday, June 29; Pyramid Stage.
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Photo: Justin Ng/Music Pics/REX USA.
Fat White Family
These South London loons make raggedy garage rock with a backwater country edge, and thanks to their raucous live shows and outlandish behavior, they’ve managed to distance themselves from the oodles of other young U.K. guitar bands making similar rackets. On their excellent debut, Champagne Holocaust, the Family comes hard and crazy with songs like “Bomb Disneyland” and “Is It Raining In Your Mouth?” That last one seems an appropriate question for Glastonbury, particularly if the weather turns foul.
Saturday, June 28; John Peel Stage.
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Photo: London News Pictures/REX USA.
Courtney Barnett
If Fat White Family were an actual family, Courtney Barnett would be their way cleverer Australian cousin. Her rootsy garage rock is mangy in all the right ways, and her lyrics totally justify comparisons to folks like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Jonathan Richman.
Saturday, June 28; John Peel Stage.
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Photo: Brian Rasic/REX USA.
Sam Smith
The best male U.K. soul singer since George Michael isn’t in it for the money. “I do it for the love,” he sings on “Money On My Mind,” the leadoff track from his brand-new stunner of a debut album, In the Lonely Hour. Smith has everything you could want in a British pop star: great style, weird hair, a versatile voice, and the good taste to work with folks like Disclosure, whose single “Latch” served as his springboard. In a festival setting, he’ll make you groove and swoon and forget your shoes are absolutely ruined.
Sunday, June 29; Other Stage.
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Photo: Justin Ng/Music Pics/REX USA.
Lily Allen
Even if Lily’s latest, Sheezus, isn’t as great as her 2006 debut, Alright, Still, the world’s a richer place now that she’s back from hiatus. Over the last few years, this London popster has gotten hitched and had a couple of kids, but domesticity hasn’t affected her sauciness. Her recent “Hard Out Here” video had everyone talking, and with just a few witty onstage remarks, she’s bound to cause triple the controversy of those Metallica wimps.
Friday, June 27; Pyramid Stage.
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