Isolation Radio (Part 10): Glastonbury Festival Edition

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An early casualty of Covid-19 was Glastonbury 2020; despite pushing forward with a line-up announcement in mid-March, the festival was cancelled just over a week later. Although only a partial line-up, it was massive with the mix of established and new artists filling the bill. Basically everything you’d expect for one of the biggest festivals in the world celebrating its 50th year.

Alas it was never to be, and whilst the BBC have put a huge selection of past performances online for all to enjoy, we’re still going to miss out on hundreds of career-defining, jaw dropping performances. Below are five bands who would have made this years must-see list.

1. The Big Moon – Bonfire

Last year The Big Moon were surprise performers on the Thursday evening. Despite rumours circling that Lady Gaga would be taking to the stage, lead singer Jules Jackson put in a badass, tutu-wearing performance swiftly dispelling any disappointment it wasn’t Ms. Gaga.

Since then, The Big Moon have continued growing in stature and released their second album Walking Like We Do. This album saw the four-piece girl band grow in creative confidence, which I have no doubt would have related in to an unforgettable live-set.

Listen on Apple Music

2. Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles

What a year Sam Fender has had. In 2019 we were treated to his debut album which soared to the top of the charts and a rollercoaster sold out tour which saw cancellations due to illness, including his Glastonbury set. 2020 hasn’t proven much better for those trying to see the Geordie as Covid-19 put a stop to this year’s tour.

Despite this, his following is immense and Hypersonic Missiles features a number of stadium anthems. The title track would have been the stand-out from what had the potential to go down in history as one of those unforgettable Glastonbury sets.

Listen on Apple Music

3. Glass Animals – Gooey

Glass Animals are a band to drink and chill to in my opinion. The eight piece psychedelic-pop group have a sophisticated, unique sound which oozes sunshine and friendship.

Having played the festival a couple of times, 2020 would have been a big year for the band as their music has infiltrated popular culture; gaining them a huge following. Whilst known for their laidback noise, you’d expect their to be little atmosphere live but if their 2017 performance of Gooey is anything to go by, they really pack a live punch.

Listen on Apple Music

4. Fontaines D.C – Too Real

Another band which was looking to capitulate on 2019’s success throughout 2020. Post-punkers Fontaines D.C are riding high after the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Dogrel and indeed look set to bring their genre to a wider audience.

Personally I’m not much of a fan, but I do know they put one hell of a live show on. Whilst Sam Fender saw his 2019 Glastonbury dreams go up in smoke, the Fontaines boys leapt at the chance to fill his spot on the John Peel Stage. They took this opportunity with swaggering might and haven’t looked back since.

Listen on Apple Music

5. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness

No stranger to the Pyramid Stage have had a solidly consistent career spanning over 30 years. Whilst nowadays they’re a band you’re more likely to associate with your mum fawning over, it’s hard to ignore just how good some of their early music is.

Taken from their 1992 album, Motorcycle Emptiness features an iconic guitar riff and is probably one of their most famous songs from an incredible back catalogue. Due to headline the Park Stage, their 2020 Glasto set was billed by bassist Nicky Wire, as a no pressure, fun celebration and would surely have been a phenomenal run through of their hits (hopefully keeping it to the older stuff…).

Listen on Apple Music

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Emily Stewart

Emily Stewart is a freelance music journalist for Indie Is Not A Genre.

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