With U2 forced to cancel on their first-ever Glastonbury headlining gig due to Bono’s emergency back surgery, Damon Albarn and Gorillaz will fill in as Friday night headliners at the festival, Glastonbury organizers announced today. “We’re like some great big horrible warship pulling in to the bay of Glastonbury to save the day,” the animated Gorillaz member and spokesperson Murdoc said on the band’s official site. “It was us or the Beatles and they split up years ago.” Prior to the Gorillaz announcement, Kylie Minogue, Coldplay and even Led Zeppelin were rumored to have the massive undertaking of replacing U2 at the U.K. festival.
Hours after U2 announced the postponement of Glastonbury and the U.S. leg of their 2010 360° Tour, the Edge went on the band’s website to check in with the fans and give them an update on Bono. “I was, up until a few days ago, getting stuff ready to go on the road, until I heard the news that our fearless leader has done himself some serious damage,” The Edge said. “Knowing him again, he’d probably want to take some short cuts [to recovery] and get ahead of himself but from what I understand he needs to do this in a methodical way, so we’ll be there to chain him down if need be.” The Edge speculates that something in Bono’s “intense preparation” for the tour likely triggered the injury, and thankfully Bono sought medical help before the injury got any worse. Now that the first leg has been postponed, the Edge tells fans he’s already back working on new U2 songs, and that maybe this postponement will allow U2 to debut some new songs when the European leg of the tour begins in August.
For Gorillaz, the headlining gig at Glastonbury comes just months after the band closed out this year’s Coachella Festival and it marks the second consecutive year that an Albarn-led band has headlined at Glastonbury, following last year’s Blur reunion slot. “It’s a terrible thing for U2,” Albarn said after Gorillaz were announced. “Glastonbury is magical. Gorillaz will come to life on that stage, but we wish Bono all the best.” Some of the guests (Snoop Dogg, Mos Def) who appeared on the band’s latest album Plastic Beach, are also on the Glastonbury bill, so expect an all-star performance from the cartoon band.