Bastille’s Festival CV: “Barry Manilow has to be on our festival bill”

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Bastille 2018

Bastille are right in the middle of their festival tour of 2019. In this Festival CV, we talked with drummer Chris “Woody” Wood and bass player Will Farquarson about their upcoming shows. Which artists would they book for their own festival? What can we expect from their show at Rock Werchter?

Who are Chris “Woody” Wood and Will Farquarson?

  • Chris Wood was born in Plymouth, Devon, Engeland on July 6 1988. Will Farquarson was born in London on September 22, 1983
  • Chris Wood and Will Farquarson play drums and bass for Bastille, a English alternative rockband which was founded in 2009
  • Their greatest hits to date are ‘Happier’, ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Good Grief’
  • Will play at Rock Werchter, Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, TRNSMT Festival and Reading & Leeds, amongst others, in the summer of 2019
    < ?xpacket begin="" id="W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d"?> < ?xpacket end="w"?> Pinkpop

    Chris: “Yesterday (10 June 2019) we played at Pinkpop and it was really great. We are really fortunate to have such a strong following coming from the Netherlands and we always get treated very well here. We also realised that the Dutch festival organisers are really good at their job. In the UK there are soms festival that feel a bit ramshackle, but the facilities here are always amazingly well organised. The crowds are great as well!”

    Will: “At Pinkpop we were also sandwiched between Slash and Fleetwood Mac, which was kind of surreal for us. This caused our guitarist Charlie to be really excited to go on stage and play. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as excited to go and play after he saw Slash yesterday.”
    Chris: “Yeah, he temporarily lost his mind haha!”

    < ?xpacket begin="" id="W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d"?> < ?xpacket end="w"?> New Songs

    Chris: “By the time we play Rock Werchter in Belgium, the new album will be out. So everyone who will be there can expect to hear some new songs live.”

    Will: “We have been rehearsing the new songs for a while now, so we’re really itching to play them. The album will be out on Friday 14 June, so by then we are allowed to play anything we want.”

    Chris: “There are some songs that people haven’t heard yet, which we are really looking forward to be playing. For example, a song called ‘Another Place’, which is quite upbeat. it’s a lot of fun to play on the drums and it’s a song I’m really looking forward to.”

    Will: “For me it has to be ‘Million Pieces’, because I find it quite dancy and 90s. When we started the album it was quite heavily influenced by 90s dance music such as ‘Born Slippy’ (by Underworld).”

    < ?xpacket begin="" id="W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d"?> < ?xpacket end="w"?> Your Own Festival


    Chris: “If we were able to host our own festival, we’d have to invite Europe haha!” Will:”Yeah, we have to have Europe on board. Just so that they can play ‘The Final Countdown’, before the headliner begins.”

    Chris: “I’d like to have Amon Amarth up there as well. We saw them at Rock am Ring, and they where just unbelievable!”

    Will:”Queens of the Stone Age have to be on there as well.” Chris: “Definitely agree with Will on that one. I’d like to have Snoop Dogg on our bill too, because he will definitely get the party started. And as a ‘big boy opener’ we want Barry Manilow.”

    Chris: “And as a closing artist we want Elton John!” Will: “Yes, I totally agree with that.” Chris: “Just imagine all those different types of fans trying to mix it up with each other. It could be a fucking car crash haha!”

    Photo: Ben Houdijk
    < ?xpacket begin="" id="W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d"?> < ?xpacket end="w"?> Best Festival Show

    Chris: “I would say that Rock Werchter in 2014 was our best show ever. It had just stopped raining and the crowd went so far back that we could see the delay in the speed of sound reaching them. We would see the people at the front jump first and then see the people behind follow in a sort of wave form. That was really cool!”

    Will: “For me it has to be the last time that we did Glastonbury, in 2016. We were headlining a stage and I remember vividly that the sun was setting during the time we were playing. It really was one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments. And we’re British, so playing Glastonbury is always a special feeling.”

    < ?xpacket begin="" id="W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d"?> < ?xpacket end="w"?> Best Audience

    Chris:”I’d have to come back at the Werchter audience again.” Will:”Or anyone in Poland.” Chris:”Yeah the people in Poland are crazy!”
    Will:”The Polish people are probably the most enthusiastic crowds that we’ve ever played for. And they, together with the Belgians, carry a special place in our hearts.”

    < ?xpacket begin="" id="W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d"?> < ?xpacket end="w"?> Interesting Acts

    Chris:“This year, for me, it has to be Amon Amarth. They definitely made a big impression on us when we saw them in Germany. At one point during their show, 5000 people just sat down ‘rowing’ in front of the stage. I have just never seen that before!”

    Will:”One of my funnest festival experiences came when I saw Justin Timberlake a couple of years ago. He was really amazing and I didn’t know I knew all his songs until he started playing. I was really drunk too, but I remember I really loved that show. Queens of the Stone Age were amazing as well. They’re just a band who sound exactly the same in the studio as they do live. Someone from our label once said: “Queens of the Stone Age are just the kind of band who roll into town, fuck your wife, do a show and then just leave!”

    < ?xpacket begin="" id="W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d"?> < ?xpacket end="w"?> Dilemma

    Would you rather headline a small festival, or open at a really big one?

    Chris:” I would say open at a big festival, because we can get some beers and watch all the other bands who are playing.” Will:”Yeah I agree, you see the problem with headlining is that A: You’re tired of waiting and it’s late in the day. B: All the bands have gone home already, so for us there is nothing else left to see. And for us that is still one of the highlights of the festival season. Watching these other bands who you don’t get that see that often when you’re touring. So we would rather open at a festival and then get drunk, than headlining.”