IT SEEMS PRINCE is still to be convinced of the merits of a set at Worthy Farm as, after much speculation, The Who announced they will be the mystery third headliner at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
The band confirmed they will take the Sunday night slot (June 28), which had been previously billed as Special Guests, while this month’s MOJO cover star Paul Weller will play before them.
The Somerset festival was able to make the long-awaited announcement after news that The Who’s BST Hyde Park Show on June 26 – which also features the former Jam leader on warm-up duties – sold out.
The show, which sees the band taking the same slot they did when they closed the 2007 festival, is the final scheduled UK date of The Who Hits 50! Tour.
“It’s great to be ending this part of a 50-year career at the most prestigious and respected music festival in the world,” said frontman Roger Daltrey in the announcement. “We'll do our best to close this year’s event with a bang, unless of course the fireworks get wet!”
The band's half-centenary celebration tour began last November in Abu Dhabi and according to MOJO’s Pat Gilbert, who reviewed their date at the Nottingham Capital FM Arena on December 5, these shows are likely to constitute “one of the last opportunities to witness perhaps the most extraordinary rock group of all time.”
“We'll do our best to close this year's event with a bang”
If the Glastonbury headline slot follows the pattern of previous shows in the tour, it promises to be a non-chronological ‘greatest hits’ set that includes big-screen video contributions from late members Keith Moon and John Entwistle.
According to Gilbert, Daltrey and Pete Townshend pull no punches, noting that, in spite of the intervening years, “the group transform into the mean and ferocious beast of lore.”
It seems, particularly in light of the marker set down by The Rolling Stones in 2013, that Glastonbury is set for an interesting, powerful and possibly very emotional closing performance this year. For now, though, remind yourself of the The Who’s first appearance at the event eight years ago...