The Ultimate Festival Line-Up 2018

Ultimate FestivalAs the UK bathes in its best summer since anyone can remember, such weather can make a £200 festival ticket a wonderful way to spend your hard-earned cash. Not only does the country boast an incredible history of musicians, it’s also home to some of the most memorable festival performances of all time. With a hefty price tag, and often before a full line-up is released, seeing those idols and dreamboats (aka George Ezra) can be just as much of a bind as it is to endure the quintessential English summer weather (though I'm eating my words this year). So, imagine conjuring up your own festival line-up. Forget the weather, forget the location; just your favourite bands, stepping out night after night and welcome to any music lover’s nightmare: My Ultimate Festival Line-Up.

The Band: The Last Waltz

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...Is something of a musical masterpiece, the greatest of farewells, where music legends came together and performed out of respect for this band of musicians. Now, for those who have not watched this show, it was directed by Martin Scorsese. Such a fan, he wrote, storyboarded and directed the whole show (for free). Then you have the stellar line-up that joined The Band in between them playing their hits, including Dr John, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Young and Muddy Waters; culminating in a grand finale with Bob Dylan. The DVD and re-mastered soundtrack is a wonderful musical extravaganza that highlights how incredible it must have been to be in the crowd at The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco in 1976.

Radiohead

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Their 97 Glastonbury performance was as memorable for its setlist as it was when Thom Yorke asked the light tech: “Andy, can you turn the lights on so we can see the people, we haven’t seen them yet?” As the band get straight into "Paranoid Android". By this time in their careers, they had a trilogy of exceptional albums under their belt. From “Creep” to “Just” via “No Surprises” they gave the crowd their eclectic mix of heavy and mellow songs, finishing with the mesmerizing “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”.

Daft Punk

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With a light show that, along with their innovative dance music made their Coachella performance in 2006 something of a legend; imagine the dirty, fuzzy beats of Daft Punk pumping through a festival crowd of thousands. The catchy, lyrical melodies of “Around The World” and “One More Time” would bring universal joy to the field; before everyone loses their shit as Nile Rogers walks out to “Get Lucky”. Surely there can be no better way to get Glastonbury Festival's 50th anniversary next year underway, than Daft Punk to headline the main stage Friday night?

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

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We all need a bit of Motown in our lives. It’s a universal dance floor-inviting style of music that’s impossible to resist; as soulful harmonies cascade all around. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas set the 60s alight as an all-female vocal group. Hits like "Heatwave", "Jimmy Mack", "Nowhere To Run" and "Dancing In The Street" commanded the charts throughout the decade. Even today, Spotify counts these songs somewhere between 20-40 million plays. Proof that this girl gang of soul sisters could get a party started in any field come rain or shine.

The Rolling Stones

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Famous for being outrageously rock'n'roll, having a world class front man, and a catalogue of songs that will forever capture the hearts of millions. What can you say about The Rolling Stones? At somewhere between 70 and 75 years old, they’re still going; still rocking like it’s the 70s and their timeless hits still relevant to a crowd of any age. Mick Jagger can't stand still in the time it takes you to blink. Up and down the stage with moves only he knows how only Michael Jackson could give him a run for his money in the dancing department. With one of Keef’s legendary riffs is usually how they start proceedings and before you know it, you're shaking your tail feathers like only you know how. The mid-tempo, rock n roll country honk of “Tumbling Dice” is a great drunken sing-along, whereas you'll want your hands firmly on your hips and your chest out pigeon style for hits like “Brown Sugar”.

Oasis

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As the 90s oozed Britpop bands, no one sung it like Liam Gallagher of Oasis. He would, and still does snarl with rock n roll passion down the microphone, arms either behind his back or shaking a tambourine. He never has to move too much to be a completely spellbinding frontman. Of course, if brother Noel hadn’t written the hits, he’d still be busking outside Manchester Piccadilly; shouting at old people, his Kangol bucket hat at his feet with barely enough pennies for a can of Stellar. Their Knebworth performance in 96 saw a set list rich in songs from their first two albums, and when they were, to coin a phrase: "On top of the world." “Live Forever”, Slide Away”, “Some Might Say” and “Wonderwall” were firm reminders of why the nation adored them; before John Squires walked on stage to help the band go out on “Champagne Supernova”.

David Bowie

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Commanding a new era with a new persona, his legacy is a melting pot of classic songs in various styles; one of the greatest music visionaries the world will ever know: David Bowie. At the turn of the century Bowie played a career spanning set-list at Glastonbury that saw Ziggy era favourites “Ziggy Stardust” “Life on Mars” and “Starman” stand out alongside 80s favourites “China Girl” and “Let's Dance”. They finished the show taking on Queens “Under Pressure” before returning with an encore that included “Heroes" and the riff-tastic “Rebel Rebel”. If only we could travel back in time.

Nirvana

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Before Nirvana took take to the stage to headline Reading festival in 1992, a man in a blond wig and hospital gown was wheeled out onto the stage. Clearly weak, he attempted to stand with the aid of the microphone stand, uttered a few words before collapsing on stage. A joke by Kurt Cobain at media speculations on his mental health is how Nirvana would begin this legendary performance; that would also be their last in the UK. Their set-list saw songs from raw debut Bleach intertwine wonderfully with the more commercially successfully Nevermind. No three musicians have made such a racket since; thanks to Dave Grohl’s thunderous drumming and Cobain screaming at his demons via his melancholy grunge, rock pop hits, ever present on set opener “Breed”. From there you have “Aneurysm” and the beautifully uplifting “In Bloom” before world-wide smasher “Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Janis Joplin

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One of the coolest, most unique and wild voices of all time is Janis Joplin. She could sing like heaven and hell were battling it out for control of the kingdom (just imagine a duet with Kurt Cobain). She was a master of controlling her gravel howls as she was her whispers and spoken words. Songs like "Cry Baby" and its defiant, rhythmical plateau would be one of those 'songs of the festival' moments. She got her break thanks to the uber-talented 60s group: Big Brother & The Holding Company, so they would be her band, as their only album together boasts more than enough hippy infused hits to warrant a spot on the bill.

And all that’s left is to pack up the tent and fly straight home on a private jet charted by Michael Eavis, where Fleetwood MacMadonna and Michael Jackson are devouring a full-English and slamming Bloody Marys having also performed at my Ultimate Festival.

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