When Dave Grohl took one step beyond in Gothenburg and landed himself in a hospital operating theatre there was a certain inevitability that the prospect of him and his fellow Foos bestriding the Pyramid Stage might be in jeopardy.
Of course, one of the most exciting parts of the build up to Glastonbury Festival is the frenzied rumour mill that cranks in to overdrive as everyone from the bookies to the media and Joe Public try to second guess the headliners. When the news broke that Friday night now had a vacant space at the top of the pile, it was all hands to the pump to saturate social media with as many acts as possible that could possibly fill two and half hours of prime stage time on Worthy Farm.
From Muse to Taylor Swift with an Oasis reunion thrown in for luck, there seemed to be a plethora of potential stadium fillers that would be able to keep 100,000 festival goers entertained. There was one name though that was already up in lights on the bill that was seemingly overlooked apart from those organising the festival that could make the step up with a minimum of fuss.
It must have been a bit of a surprise for all those concerned when the announcement that Florence + The Machine was met with such derision online. There was a point when the hysteria had reached a point that you would’ve thought that the ego had landed and Emily Eavis was offering up Kanye West for a second bite at the headlining cherry.
Why was there such universal disappointment at Florence Welch taking on the top slot? Of course, Foo Fighters are a popular band but if they hadn’t have been approached at all and Florence + The Machine had been the number one choice from the start, it’s almost certain they would’ve been embraced more wholeheartedly.
Maybe we should calm down and carry on as it’s not like there isn’t enough in Florence’s back catalogue to justify the promotion. She came out punching above her weight from the start with ‘Kiss with a fist’ and has notched up plenty of awards and critical acceptance with her albums ‘Lungs’ and ‘Ceremonials’.
It has been the release of her third album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ that has lifted the band in to the upper echelon of acts that can call themselves festival headliners. Who can deny that Florence doesn’t have the voice and stage presence to hold the Pyramid Stage crowd in her hands?
It is often the case that last minute replacements become festival legends and there’s no reason why we should pour scorn on the elevation of Florence. Emily Eavis reckons that Welch will “smash it” and her judgement is rarely wrong. Some recent stellar live performances support this claim and with the prospect of her ankle fully repaired after her own stage jumping experience, Florence may sparkle so much that Kanye will have to turn to a higher source to ensure that his star is still the brightest come the end of the weekend.