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Jun 05

A Proposal To Improve Glastonbury (Or Any Other Music Festival Really)

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A blanket ban on any live act performing original compositions before, say, 2PM. This is the main insight you’re left with camping near the new bands/John Peel tent but a wander anywhere onsite on any morning will show that the principle holds across the board. There are an awful, awful lot of songs being written and the vast majority of them are apalling: no hooks, no texture, no imagination, nothing to say lyrically, an endless trudging whine. At their best they tend to be better songs copied in crayon by a chimp. At their worst they’re just?.nothing, barely even music, lumps of half-formed chord progression, you can hardly believe anyone has bothered to learn these songs, let alone record them. The simple truth is that in 95% of cases if you’re onstage at a festival before lunchtime, it’s because you’re shit.

The only good songs any of these bands ever play are covers. They generally throw a cover into their set, maybe of a pop song or a more famous band’s tune. Even if it’s a song I personally don’t like it tends to be fifteen times more coherent and memorable than the rest of the set. Some bands play nothing but covers – this is even better, particularly if the covers have a gimmick, like Hayseed Dixie’s bluegrass versions of hard rock tunes. Maybe if I was to come across these versions in the captivity of CD format I’d despise them but festivals are not a normal environment, your audience have special needs and they want to be entertained not subjected to the standard support band sludge.

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