Are these the worst Glastonbury headliners of all time?

3 April 2019, 17:37

The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2005
The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2005. Picture: Brian Rasic/Getty Images

Glastonbury's headline slots have seen some iconic performances by the greatest acts of all time. It's also seem some questionable choices picked to top the bill. Here are some of the strangest.

  1. The White Stripes, Pyramid Stage, 2005

    Jack White is an excellent guitarist and there's no denying that Seven Nation Army went off, but the axe-and-drums combo gets a bit limited after the first 40 minutes. When Big Jack starts to play a vibraphone solo, you know the time is right to check out what’s happening on The Other Stage. In this case, it was Fatboy Slim, unleashing the bangers.

  2. Travis, Pyramid Stage, 2000

    Hey, we LOVED The Man Who. Driftwood, Writing To Reach You… all solid hits. But the post-Britpop malaise is summed up by the Scottish indie-popsters being the best option for the first Glasto of the new millenium. It was an odd day all round at the main stage that Saturday, with Ocean Colour Scene giving way to Pet Shop Boys before Travis finished up the night. Still, the crowds had Bowie's peerless comeback set on the Sunday evening.

    Fran Healy of Travis plays at the Glastonbury Festival, 24 June 2000
    Fran Healy of Travis plays at the Glastonbury Festival, 24 June 2000. Picture: Toby Melville/PA Archive/PA Images
  3. Rod Stewart, Pyramid Stage, 2002

    The "Legends" slot at Glastonbury is always a treat, but there's a reason it usually happens on Sunday afternoon. Letting Rod headline the Pyramid in 2002 made a lot less sense. Sorry Rod, still love the hair.

  4. The Twang, John Peel Stage, 2007

    The Killers were playing the Pyramid Stage at the same time that The Twang were bringing their unique brand of noise to the John Peel Stage. Where would you have rather been?

    The Twang performing live at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival. 23rd June 2007.
    The Twang performing live at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival. 23rd June 2007. Picture: Edd Westmacott/Photoshot/Getty Images
  5. Moby, Pyramid Stage, 2003

    It shows how far we’ve come in Glastonbury terms if ambient dance doyen Moby could close the festival, headlining the Pyramid Stage on Sunday night, while R.E.M. and Radiohead took the top slots on the other two evenings. He’d had a worldwide hit with Play four whole years earlier, and while the set showcased this classic album, he also unleashed some tracks from his latest effort, 18. We suspect plenty of people “beat the traffic” that night

    Moby performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, 29 June 2003.
    Moby performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, 29 June 2003. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images
  6. Oasis, Pyramid Stage, 2004

    What, really? Yep. When the Gallaghers headlined the Pyramid Stage in 1995, they were at the height of their powers. Come 2004 and the antagonism between the brothers had grown to a point where their set was less than thrilling. Even though hits like Champagne Supernova and Don't Look Back In Anger were all present and correct, there was something of a spark missing.

    Oasis headline Glastonbury on 25 June 2004
    Oasis headline Glastonbury on 25 June 2004. Picture: Jon Super/Redferns/Getty Images
  7. Kula Shaker, Other Stage, 1999

    Their debut album K had been a storming success at the height of Britpop. But by the time Kula Shaker came to headline the Other Stage, they'd lost a lot of momentum. Classic case of Glastonbury: right place, wrong time.

    Crispian Mills from Kula Shaker performs on stage during the 1999 Glastonbury Festival.
    Crispian Mills from Kula Shaker performs on stage during the 1999 Glastonbury Festival. Picture: James Arnold/PA Archive/PA Images
  8. Shakespear's Sister, Pyramid Stage, 1992

    It's not like 1992 was a fallow year for great music, all of which makes the duo's top spot on Saturday even more odd. Also on the bill that year was Lou Reed, The Breeders, Ocean Colour Scene and Billy Bragg.

  9. Lenny Kravitz, Pyramid Stage, 1993

    Imagine this: you're waiting for Red Hot Chili Peppers to top the bill on the main stage, only to find they've pulled out. In their place steps Kravitz. OK, he was riding high with his mega-hit Are You Gonna Go My Way, but even so...

    Lenny Kravitz perfomring on stage at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival.
    Lenny Kravitz perfomring on stage at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival. Picture: James Arnold/PA Archive/PA Images
  10. The Pretenders, NME Stage, 1994

    The NME Stage in 1994: the home of new music, at the height of Britpop. Who would you book to top the bill on Friday? Why, none other than Chrissie Hynde and co, a band founded in 1978 and back in the charts with their power ballad, I'll Stand By You. Cowering below them in the line-up were Manic Street Preachers, the Boo Radleys and Beastie Boys. Hmmm.

    Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, performing at the Glastonbury Festival, 1994
    Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, performing at the Glastonbury Festival, 1994. Picture: Michael Putland/Getty Images