Splendour In The Grass is still six months away but the rumour mill has already started and who are we to deny the chance to add fuel to the flame. The ten acts below are basically unfounded predictions but we think that Splendour has the potential to have a huge year with the plethora of big acts releasing albums this year. Below are a few huge headliners, a few up and comers and a few big risks that Splendour could take.
Mark Ronson is probably the first proper rumour that has arisen for Splendour 2015. The producer has had a massive year with his album Uptown Special and he's just been in the country for a quick promo trip. While here he told Matt and Alex that he could neither “confirm nor deny” rumours that he would be making a return to the country in July. Usually, that means he could confirm but the festival and his management team would kill him. So lock him in? Not so fast. He’s currently got zero live shows booked and he also told triple j, “If I can figure out a great show, I’m going to be here." He clearly hasn’t worked out just how he’s going to tour the album yet and it may not be enough time to pull it together. If he doesn’t end up on any festival lineups before Splendour is announced you can almost bet it’s game over.
Hot Chip are frequent visitors of the country. Last year in June, they toured their DJ set and were also here in early 2013 playing Falls Festival and Field Day. Joe Goddard was also just here playing as The 2 Bears at Sugar Mountain in Melbourne. They would no doubt be looking for the perfect excuse to head down-under again and their newly announced album, Why Make Sense?, is the perfect one. A headline set on the mix-up stage would perfectly round up one the days at Splendour particularly if they have a whole lot of new additions to their catalogue to spruce.
Florence and the Machine
Florence and the Machine’s inclusion on the Coachella lineup marked her live return and since then details have begun to seep through about her third album. It’s rumoured to be called What Kind of Man and has been teased today with a video entitled How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Florence and the Machine has played Splendour only once, in 2010, and gave one of the most valiant performances in the festival’s history. Splendour would no doubt be looking for a euphoric headliner whose style goes hand in hand with the aesthetic of the Byron Parklands and Florence fits that brief perfectly. If you look at her fast filling tour dates, July is wide open.
Years & Years
Looking at past years of the festival, Splendour has traditionally picked up on acts who are just about to make it big. It’s usually based off the BBC Sound of... which predicts the artists set to make a splash in the year ahead. Last year the festival booked Sam Smith, the year before they had HAIM on the lineup and in 2012 Azealia Banks appeared. We think it might be Years & Years’ year this year.
TV On The Radio
TV On The Radio have had a pretty shit few years to put it bluntly. Their bassist Gerard Smith died from lung cancer in 2011 and just recently they had to cancel their European tour after drummer Jahphet Landis was hospitalised. They haven’t toured Australia since 2013 when they played Splendour and we reckon it’s about time they made a trip down-under. They’d be playing songs from their 2014 album, Seeds.
Azealia Banks hasn’t had a great history with touring Australia. When she played Splendour in 2012 she was criticised for only performing for 20 minutes. When she toured with Future Music she fought with Rita Ora and The Stone Rose. And when she toured with Listen Out she left the stage mid-set twice, after objects were thrown at her. Lately, she’s had a beef with Igloo Australia (Iggy Azalea) which has probably tarnished her view of Australia even more but maybe Splendour have the guts to bring her back. Her debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, turned out to be brilliant and she’s finding herself on festival lineups again. Although, she is playing in Japan at the end of March so does that mean she’ll extend the trip for some headline shows here in April?
British songstress Jessie Ware was a favourite when she toured with Laneway Festival back in 2012, so much so that we were surprised that she didn’t end up on it again this year. It makes sense, however, when you consider she’s just married and embarking on a national tour in her home country. There will be no excuses come July though. She’d fill a mid-afternoon slot expertly with tracks from her latest album Tough Love and it would give her the push she needs down-under.
This will happen, right? Splendour has always been a place for bands to return to after immense overseas success and Tame Impala have enjoyed that in droves. They’re the second headliner at Coachella, below AC/DC, and with a new album on the way they’re the perfect candidates to potentially headline a night of the festival. They’re well acquainted with the festival, having played in both 2010 and 2012, so it would be a heartwarming return to see them on the mainstage as a more than worthy headliner.
Lana Del Rey
Enough playing LDR. We thought she would play Falls Festival, then Laneway and we’ve also speculated about solo shows but it’s time she just got the hell down here. 2012 was the last year she played Splendour, with good friend Azealia Banks, and she was a shy, amateur at that stage. Her latest album Ultraviolence is a massive improvement on Born To Die and her festival sets everywhere from Glastonbury to Coachella have been praised. If Banks ends up on the lineup again the pair could buddy up at Splendour once again. If not, we’ll probably have to accept she’s not going to make it down here this time round and forever call her Madonna.
Kendrick Lamar toured with Eminem in Australia back in 2013 but now with a new album on the way he’s due for another visit. Splendour has a good history with booking big hip-hop acts. Last year Outkast headlined and Childish Gambino tore the mix-up tent apart and in 2011, Kanye West headlined. He’s playing Bonnaroo, Wireless and Sasquatch so his festival set would be well oiled by the time he got here in July. He also doesn’t have anything booked after 4th July. Lock it in.