Previewing Metallica at Glastonbury

Well hello everybody. It’s not often that I get on my soap box and have a little rant, but today I will.

I do so, because today I have been wearing my Metallica T-shirt in support of every Glastonbury fan in the land. Yes, that’s right. All of you lot that have been moaning about Metallica playing Glastonbury this year. They don’t fit in. It’s just noise. They’re really old.

Man….I really feel for you. After years of buying tickets to a music festival before you know which musicians are playing, you’ve finally been let down. It’s terrible. This year, you can’t look through the set list list and say “they’ll be okay I guess” to every single band. You can’t be certain that you won’t dislike a band because they’re all safe, middle of the road boring choices.  You won’t look at every band on the list and think, “if Bruce Forsythe was performing at the same time that would be awesome.”

And that’s because, love them or hate them,  for the first time in many years Glastonbury actually have an interesting act playing.

Yeah, I know, many of you will get annoyed by that statement, but you’re only annoyed because you know it’s true. Even if you don’t know them you want to see if they are as noisy as people say they are. Thrash metal! They’ll probably eat bats or sacrifice a chicken or something. They won’t, Metallica don’t need gimmicks like that. They’ll play hard, fast and loud. There will be pace and energy and fire. They’ll put on a proper festival show, like they always do. It’s nothing new for us metal fans, we know how good they are, but its scary for all the fake hippies out there. You can feel slightly at ease by the bog standard “safe but dull” choices like Kasabian, Arcade Fire, Manics who seem to play every year (I guess if no-one is buying tickets because of the quality of the bands then a few you’ve heard of will pacify the masses though) but people will watch them, knowing that Metallica will actually liven things up a bit. Glastonbury have pulled off a real coup here. They even stand half a chance of veering away from the watered down, middle of the road, suitable for “The One Show” shadow of a music festival that Glastonbury inevitably fades into every year.

It’s the first time since 2004 (Oasis) that Glastonbury have featured a band in the top part of the bill that I would actually pay to go and see. That’s pretty poor for a music festival.

OK – so lets have a look at some of the arguments people have been saying about Metallica.

Metallica are too heavy / too controversial / not in the spirit of Glastonbury.

Rubbish! If you look back at the beginning, Michael Eavis allegedly started Glastonbury after seeing Led Zeppelin perform. Early headliners were David Bowie, T-Rex, Hawkwind. Pink Floyd cancelled. Ok – not a heavy line-up, but still kind of out there, interesting artists. Anyway, I thought all you hippies were chilled out and open to anything? Oh that’s right, you’re only going to Glastonbury because it’s cool and its been on your bucket list for a while. And you’re sleeping in a wooden tee-pee so that you don’t get wet? Bless… you can pretend you’re enjoying it but maybe you should be at home watching it on the telly so you can put Eastenders on whenever someone more lively than Coldplay appear (that’s everyone btw).

Metallica are too old! They’re irrelevant nowadays!

Excellent point, if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Yes – they have slowed down since their early years of course, but Metallica are still releasing new albums and touring. I was wondering, where was the petition against U2, the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder the last few years? Clearly far more “current” than Metallica…

It’s true that Metallica have only had two albums in ten years (new one coming soon though) but they sold 10 million copies of Death Magnetic (2008) and 7 million of St Anger (2003), winning Grammies and Kerrang awards for their efforts. Hardly irrelevant, and I don’t doubt that the new one will do just as well. I won’t dig out the numbers for their “more relevant” co-headliners, it’s not fair.

And last but not least, the “but Metallica have been sh*t since the mid-90s” argument

Ok – I’ll admit that I’m one of many who vastly prefers their early stuff to their new stuff. However, Metallica are now older, and have changed like most bands do. That’s natural. But what they have done is changed their sound a little, and have continued to make albums which are acclaimed highly by critics and fans. If their more recent stuff was by a new band people would be raving over it, but because it’s Metallica and it’s different then people have a moan. The sales figures don’t lie though, they’re still good. In my opinion, they’re not so thrashy any more. They’re a more rounded band.

ROCK! Grupo 13/LatinContent/Getty Images

ROCK! Grupo 13/LatinContent/Getty Images

So, that’s my defence of Metallica playing Glastonbury. They’re a monster band, and there is no reason at all why they should not be on the bill. I hope they steal the show.

I’m coming to the end, so I just have one final thing to say. I’ve never been to Glastonbury because I never like any of the bands that are playing, and you have to buy a ticket before you know who is playing anyway (why would you buy a ticket for a music festival before any music is announced?). My mates go a lot, and there’s a staple answer to me not wanting to go. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the music, there’s loads of other stuff to do. What? So this entire conversation and petition against Metallica was a waste of time, because the music at Glastonbury is not important? Well shut your moaning anti-metal mouths then, and go and watch the clowns or wrestle a smurf in the mud or something.

Anyway, I do hope everybody enjoys Glastonbury and I am 100% sure that Metallica will make a load of new fans. I  do hope though that none of them come to Sonisphere next week, when Metallica will be headlining an actual music festival where people are excited to listen to interesting and groundbreaking artists.

To the festival season,