The Libertines in, Wurzels out for Glastonbury

Carl Barat and Kate Moss's boyfriend are planning to perform together on the acoustic stage. Yay! But the band behind the smash hit The Combine Harvester have pulled out. Boo! And the terrorists stopped Muse from paragliding. Um... Booyay?

It's only three days till a city the size of Sunderland appears in the fields of Pilton and newspaper editors are desperate for a Glastonbury scoop. We've got the big one - the Glasto drainage pipe exclusive - leaving our feeble competitors to make do with scraps. Like Pete and Carl performing together on the acoustic stage, stuff like that.

Yes, yes, you want us to tell you more. And there is lots more to tell. But before we get onto exactly WHICH type of piping the festival has chosen to install and just how deep the trenches are, let's just quickly get that Libertines reunion out of the way.

"We can exclusively reveal," revealed 3am exclusively this morning, "that the turbulent couple will be playing a momentous acoustic set on the Saturday."

Quickly, the action cuts to a "festival insider" who reveals the following (marked as bullet points for easier digestion, so as to speed us back to those pipes):

· "The lads have been talking about it for months."

· "The Hackney Empire gig reminded them of how well they used to work together."

· "They wanted to see if they could recreate that chemistry at Glastonbury."

· "Pete and Carl are still arguing about what songs they're going to perform."

· "Whatever songs they settle on, it's going to be incredible."

We'll tell you what's incredible: the speed at which that rainwater's going to be sluicing off Worthy Farm. People will be talking about it for years! Which also puts Vicky Newton (who is now so gothic that she wears a castle's turret on her head like a hat) and her 'exclusive' into the gloomy monk-harbouring shade.

"Cider-swilling rockers The Wurzels have pulled out of the Glastonbury Festival," Vicky reports, the decision coming after the band were told they would have to play their many hits, including that one about cider, on a bandstand, not a stage.

So incensed was frontman Tommy Banner that he, to be quite frank, "raged": "We don't want to be a sideshow. The likes of Rolf Harris played a proper stage - we want the same."

The festival has responded, says Vick, by pointing out that the bandstand is actually located rather prominently - only 70 yards from the pyramid stage. Which is not only a highly specific distance, but also in imperial measures and therefore not in step with EU law. The bandstand is also near to the "cider tent" apparently, which seems almost eerily appropriate. If said tent existed.

Faced, full on, with the might of our piping piece, Kim Dawson - she of the Star's Mott-free Playlist - has chosen to avoid Glasto altogether and instead tells the tale of a para-gliding dream that wasn't meant to be.

The story begins with Muse, who played Wembley stadium at the weekend and had intended to make a big impression. As a source explains it to Dawson, and in turn, her readers:

"The guys were excited about playing two nights at the revamped Wembley. But Muse are not the kind of band to rest on their laurels. Even though they were in a legendary venue they wanted to pull out all the stops."

Which is where the whole paragliding thing comes in.

"The band wanted to paraglide onto the stage."


"But were told that they couldn't because of the no-fly zone around Wembley."

Damned terrorists! Is there no aspect of our decadent Western society that hasn't been curtailed by their reign of fear! Or, as Dawson puts it: "Clearly that would have been amazing and it's a huge disappointment that strings couldn't have been pulled." Anyway, back to the pipes.


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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