Glastonbury - the greatest music festival in the world - starts on Thursday. Empire won't be there, because we can't stand the thought of slumming it in a tent and having to go number two in a plastic prison, but we did get to thinking, in our top movie magazine kinda way, about the line-up we'd like to see on the Pyramid Stage if - and this is where it gets high-concept, folks - the groups involved were movie bands. From out of the movies. So get out your lighters (or your lighter apps on the iPhone) and push your way to the front for this little lot.
Kicking things off with a slice of fabulous old-style rhythm & blues, Marvin Berry and his band will get the crowd swaying with a succession of mid-tempo numbers, including Earth Angel and Night Train. They'll finish up with a raucous version of Johnny B. Goode (as made famous by Marvin's cousin, Chuck), which might get a little heavy for the delicate ears of some members of the audience, thanks to the rather over-enthusiastic fretburning of guest guitarist, Mr. Martin McFly. But trust us - your kids are gonna love it.
They are Melody (drums), Valerie (bass) and Josie (guitar/vocals), purveyors of perky power-pop that would give the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a run for their royalties. And they're not bad to look at, either. Kicking off with signature tune, 3 Small Words, they'll soon have the crowd eating out of the palms of their dainty hands. But just wait until boy band par excellence, Du Jour, waltz on stage for an unexpected duet on their number one hit, Backdoor Lover - when that happens, the roof will blow off the place. If Glasto had a roof. Altogether now: "I'm your backdoor lover, coming from behind with the lights down low..."
Time for things to get weird now, as brain surgeon, physicist and rock star Buckaroo Banzai takes to the stage with his jazz/funk/rock combo, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, for a short set studded with sax, piano and a whole heap of attitude from the swaggering Buckaroo. Highlights include a heart-rending rendition of Since I Don't Have You. Interesting fact: Buckaroo and his pianist, New Jersey, sometimes like to perform in a jazz band under the ridiculous pseudonyms, 'Jeff Goldblum' and 'Peter Weller'.
Right, we've had too much noodling and enough prog to make Alan Parsons proud. Are you ready to ROCK? Turn your amps up to the number which denotes the point at which they will go no farther, manipulate your fingers into that pointy-eared devil sign that looks like a Vulcan salute gone wrong, and prepare to welcome... a bunch of kids on stage. Oh. But don't be fooled by the angelic appearance of the School Of Rock. As led by wild frontman, Dewey Riley, these cherubs can throw down with the best of them, from Keith Half-Moon drummer, Freddy Jones, to wizard fretmaster, Zack Mooneyham. Raise your goblet of rock, fill it with Ribena, and salute them as they play their classic track, erm, School Of Rock.
Grow your hair long, sprout a 'tache (or, if you're a lady, grow your hair long and then draw it across your upper lip for roughly the same effect) and manipulate your fingers into that 'V' sign that looks like a pointy-eared devil salute gone wrong, and peace the fuck out for the hard rocking '70s sounds of Stillwater. They'll play all their greatest hits, from Love Thing to Fever Dog, but the defining moment of their set - much to their chagrin - will be an epic singalong to a song they didn't even write: Elton John's Tiny Dancer.
Who says white guys don't have soul? Tell that to Dublin R&B group, The Commitments, who'll have you bopping around like a rare eejit as the sun goes down. From Mustang Sally to Try A Little Tenderness and In The Midnight Hour, they might be a little heavy on the covers, but their blend of horns, guitars and a good old-fashioned hooley should melt the crowd in no time. Oh, and their lead singer, Deco Cuffe, has lungs that would shame a blue whale. Awesome.
They're not a band as such, but when the Irish guitarist (Guy) and the Czech singer slink on stage to perform one song, and one song only - the lush ballad, Falling Slowly - the crowd will sway and swoon as one. Gorgeous, and something of an amuse bouche to cleanse the pallet before...
Giving '80s music a good name, the former pin-ups - led by keyboard player Alex Fletcher and his writing partner, Colin Thompson - will unleash a barrage of impossibly catchy numbers, including Way Back Into Love, the aching ballad, Don't Write Me Off and then - putting the bounce back into the crowd - Pop! Goes My Heart. Kick off your shoes (although watch for the mud), and have a good time.
It's a combo that shouldn't work, on paper. But, somehow, does. Three escaped prisoners, inexplicably finding a gift for three-part harmony that would turn Teenage Fanclub green with envy, join forces with an African-American guitarist, who may or may not have sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for fretbusting skills that would bag him the high score every time on Rock Band (even on Expert), to produce a noise that really should be the worst thing to assault human ears since Peter Ebdon's I Am A Clown. And yet, again somehow, just isn't. In fact, the resulting bluegrass is beautiful, toe-tapping, transcendent - even when they sing I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow, you'll be anything but.
And this is it. The headline act. And boy, have they earned it, persevering through travails that would have floored lesser bands - the disastrously small stage props, the inability to find the stage, the exploding drummers - to record and release an ever-growing list of stone-cold metal classics. Sex Farm. Big Bottom. Stonehenge. Tonight I'm Going To Rock You Tonight. (Listen) To The Flower People... We could go on. And we will. Gimme Some Money. Hell Hole. Bitch School. Clam Caravan... They've got more hits than Simon and Garfunkel combined with Simon & Garfunkel. They are, quite simply, Derek Smalls, Nigel Tufnell, David St. Hubbins and whichever poor doomed bastard is sitting on the drum riser tonight. They are Spinal Tap, and if you were to pose the question, 'How apt is it that they should close Empire's Movie Glastonbury?', the answer would be none. None more apt.