First in our previews for the weekend’s big event

In the latest attempt by the BBC to show Glasgow in the worst possible light, the company will be setting up camp in the city centre this weekend, no doubt looking to find as many people out of their face on goofballs and Buckie as they can to fill the scenes between bands playing at the music event. We’re on to you BBC with your glut of poverty porn and subtly playing out an agenda in the lead-up to the referendum…

Sorry, we got the site we were writing on mixed up there – we’re supposed to be doing a music preview as opposed to a po-faced attack on the BBC. Look, the BBC has got its critics and rightly so (it gives Billy Dodds a wage while drastically reducing air time for Cat Cubie – what sort of organisation is being run here?) but there are some things that the Beeb does better than anyone else with the Big Weekend being a perfect case in question.

There are tons of great bands on the bill this weekend, and tons of not so great bands, and we’re going to have a look at them, today, we’ll start with the Main Stage for the Saturday night.

Coldplay
As I type this, the new Coldplay album is supposedly the number 1 selling album in over 100 countries. Never mind going to war for oil or the alleged presence of weapons of mass destruction, this should be the call to arms for World War III. You may think this is a flimsy reason for starting a war but don’t forget that World War I started because someone spilled the drink of the bass player from Franz Ferdinand in the Art School. A precedent has been set people…

So Coldplay then, not the most exciting of bands but bloody huge so they must be doing something right. And they are, in fact, they’ve done a few things right. Yellow was excellent, The Scientist was even better and the one they nicked from Kraftwerk was enjoyable, even if the best bits were the Kraftwerk bits. As for the rest, look, this is what sells in big amounts and getting the chance to see Coldplay in this sort of setting for free is huge and they’ll be a massive draw. The band has played outdoor shows in Glasgow before so they’ll know what the score is and even though they come across as being so bland and boring that even Gwyneth Paltrow had enough, the band is more than experienced at putting on a big live show.

For this style of event, they are an excellent headliner and fans of the band will be able to bore the rest of us all summer long with “no seriously, the band’s really good” conversations.

Calvin Harris
Right now, no matter the time you read this, Calvin Harris will be having a quiet chuckle to himself at how big he is at the moment. A billion singles off of one album? Not a problem. Massive headlining shows all across the country and Europe? Done and dusted pal. Stunning girlfriend who is also in the biz? Checkmate.

Calvin Harris has come a long way in a short period of time and while Scotland loves rooting for a local hero; his success always puzzled me a bit. I can recall a friend of mine raging (actually genuinely angry and vexed) about the fact that in all the girls that Calvin claimed to get (and to be fair, he did say that he gets ALL the girls), there was no reference to redheads. That’s a pretty damning slight on the women of Scotland and it was a blow that I wasn’t sure he would be able to bounce back from. To be fair to the redheads of the country, they have put their differences with Calvin aside and this Saturday you’ll find the redheads bopping and singing along with all of the other girls with different hair colours. However, don’t be surprised to find that the sales of pink cowboy hats sky-rocket just before Calvin takes to the stage as the scarlet locked lassies of the land attempt to cover up their hair so they can whoop and holler like the rest of the girls.

Financial Tip: May is definitely the month to increase your shareholding in shares of pink cowboy hats. Admittedly the absence of tax-dodgers Take That appearing at a football stadium near you this year may dent consumer confidence in this product, summer time is always a strong market for this product. Buy medium, sell high!

One Direction
Given the venom and hatred that the fanbase of this band deliver on people who accidentally sneeze in the vicinity of this band, it is probably best to avoid saying that they are a fairly talentless yet inoffensive group of lads who are making a considerable and enjoyable living out of having good looks and a great marketing team behind them. (Our team are making a miserable living out of questionable looks and a dispirited marketing effort, so clearly we’re the losers here!)

Mind you, one of the last times one of the band was in Glasgow he did about 10 minutes of running and then threw up, so the group have a strong affinity for the city and the active lifestyle we aim to lead.

The area in front of the stage will be mobbed when they’re on, so if you don’t like them, go and see something else or have a pint (are they selling alcohol at the event?) If you do like them, cheer, go nuts and try and not moan or boo the other acts who commit the cardinal sin of not being One Direction. Play nice people, play nice.

Ed Sheeran
Fuck off Ed.

Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Willliams will draw a huge crowd, he’ll ensure that he is topless for at least a quarter of his set and he’ll play a load of hits that the audience loves. He is a fantastic attraction for the afternoon / early evening of the event. His commercial stock seems to be as high as ever but creatively, there was more passion, energy and excitement in him years ago than there is now. Still, it’s not as if making blander, weaker yet more polished music has ever been a handicap for making a lot of money in the music business, so good for Pharrell.

He has also managed to avoid most of the fall-out from Blurred Lines. We all know that Robin Thicke is an utter bastard but it’s not as if Pharrell knew nothing about the song or happened to stumble into the videoshoot being totally unaware of what was going. Then again, you can imagine that Pharrell spends a couple of days a week in a room where naked supermodels cavort around him. It is a tough life.

Bastille
Dear God, this band are quite big aren’t they? An act that has honed their career on making music for adverts, TV idents and background scenes. Do they even make full length songs or do they only make the bits that everyone remembers? There’s probably scope for a band like this, churning out albums with the feel and mood of a Stars on 45 record. Why bother with piffling matters like intros, verses, bridges and outros, all choruses, all the time.

If you are keen to see if the band has more in their locker than 10 second bursts go along and see them although it would probably be a lot better if they did one medley and then got off the stage.

Lily Allen
Poor Lily. When an artist comes out and admits that her recent singles have all been a bit rubbish, it’s fair to say that they’re in a bad way. Now, this is probably part of a longer game she is playing with the record company but given that she has a habit of shooting from the hip and giving a bit of lip, maybe not. When Lily Allen keeps things simple, she’s great and her first two albums had a number of really good songs. She was excellent at the Academy way back in 2009 and she had the potential to map out a strong career spanning a number of areas of work.

She’s lost all this momentum though and none of her new material is of any cop, with the Keane cover being the actions of a woman that is keen to sell every ounce of her soul in the hope of remaining in the public eye. That wasn’t a good move, especially for someone who claims to be as ballsy as Lily. Still, she has enough alright tunes in her back catalogue to make this set of interest to folk that get along early and with a bit of luck, she’ll say something controversial that will draw attention to the set and herself.

Jake Bugg
In many ways, Jake suffered the trials and tribulations that we all did was teenagers. Who can forget the heady days when we were shoved into the spotlight as being the next best thing in the country, lauded everywhere, placed on a plinth alongside our biggest heroes and then having that difficult second album that no one really cares about because you’re no longer a small child. Life can be tough Jake but stick in there kid, it gets better.

First on the bill for the Main Stage is probably about right for Jake at the moment. He has slipped back a bit from his first album but he’s still got plenty of decent tunes, he just needs to reconnect with an audience again. Playing first also gives him plenty of time to go and enjoy the shows before his bedtime. Lay off that candyfloss and let that Irn Bru be is our advice to Jake on Saturday.