Izzie Derry & Dolly Mavies to play Glastonbury 2024

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Izzie Derry & Dolly Mavies to play Glastonbury 2024

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So many musicians whom we write about can in some way or another be said to be moving forwards and making progress: artistically, careerwise or in their public profile.

Some movements forward though are of a very big scale indeed: career changing as much as anything.

When these happen to artists whom we've covered & championed over the years, it's natural that we delight in these moments & wish to celebrate them with you.

When they involve artists who are not just committed, hardworking, talented and original but genuinely nice people, open & generous to fellow artists, audience members & reviewers, well that adds icing to the celebratory cake.

I don't think that anyone could doubt that being invited to play at the Glastonbury Festival counts as a game changer (and that's not an expression I much like using: it's one for where it actually fits).

So huge congratulations to both Izzie Derry and Dolly Mavies on being named for the Glastonbury 2024 lineup and it's double congratulations as they are both playing on two separate days.

They are not the first local musicians to be picked of course, bands like The Primitives have trodden that road before and Nizlopi played so often that when I double checked with John Parker (who was playing with The Silver Wye on the CVFolk Stage at Motofest on Sunday), he couldn't be sure if it was six or seven times…

Spare a thought too for The Specials whose planned Glastonbury big moment fell victim  to COVID19.

Then there was YNES who in 2022 was invited by Billy Bragg himself to join him on his Left Field. Now that was truly special.

Now invitations like that one come along we know & I spy a few Neponames on the 2024 list but generally speaking Glastonbury selection is meritocratic (more so than many of our local events!) and Izzie & Dolly cannot be certain as to precisely how they got the nod this year, but it's worth considering:

Long years of gradually building audiences & reputations through hard work

Accumulated bodies of top quality original music cumulating this year in highly popular & critically acclaimed albums (Izzie Derry's ‘Til We Reach The Sun' and Dolly Mavies' ‘The Calm and the Storm') which are ideal calling cards.

More and more prestigious airplay: both have been featured extensively by BBC Introducing Coventry & Warwickshire in particular.

Lots of high quality festivals of the level just below Glastonbury: Dolly Mavies has played Wychwood this week with more to come this month and Izzie Derry is a Big Feastival regular and has just played the Great Escape Festival.

I know Izzie is on the radar of both Fairport Convention & Alex James through prestige gigs: both are probably on that of other prominent musicians too.

 Personally, I am certain both are there on merit & just as sure that the experience will be transformational: people will see them as "Glastonbury level" names and adjust their expectations and reactions accordingly. They have had plenty of other doors opened for them as outlined above, but now many others will be accessible.

I spoke with both of them over the past few days (Izzie via online as she's just finishing her MA in Music and Dolly very kindly spared me time at Motofest on Sunday).

Both are actually very grounded as far as their responses went: neither really reacted at the excessive level of my excitement. Obviously they (and their bands) are very excited by the prospect and clearly they are looking forward to the experience as much, if not more, than calculating the career prospects. Without a doubt, this perspective, of quiet satisfaction and not going overboard is in keeping with the things they write and sing about: these are emotionally mature artists.

Izzie went first for looking at her journey, especially how the Godiva Festival was a step on her personal road:

"I have played at the Godiva Festival for about 10 years now. It was one of the first places I performed when I was just starting out and I've made it back most years since. It will always be a special show for me as I have so many fond memories both performing and watching. This year I play Glastonbury Festival for the first time. I can't help but think all the years playing Godiva helped me master my craft and help me prepare for Glasto!"

Dolly too was keen to explore context and perspective:

"Obviously it's always a dream to play at Glastonbury and every year we hoped that this might be the year and we're so excited this year that it is. We've released an album and got new music and it feels like the right step in the right direction.

We're really proud of the album and we've had really nice feedback from people.. it's really nice that people are listening to it. People come to shows, come to festivals, then come and chat to us afterwards and it's just really nice that people connect to those songs and hopefully they're here for the rest of the journey."

In fact, she took a holistic view of the Glastonbury opportunity and I think she places it within a broad context of just wanting more people to listen to the songs & to connect with them (and it's worth saying that both Izzie & Dolly are working on new material but neither want to rush the process: an emphasis on quality control which has certainly paid off to this point). And who knows what Glastonbury might do to inspire more songs: after all "getting out and about is really inspiring: your brain gets sparked in the right direction and suddenly your songs come out of nowhere".

As I say, I'm delighted for both artists & their bands: they deserve this opportunity and they deserve our congratulations. By next month, they'll both be experiencing a new chapter in their artistic story: and it'll be a most exciting one for each of them. Though I urge you to see them live & local before they go all live and (inter)national!

Izzie plays the Croissant Neuf Bandstand on Wednesday 26th June at 1330 and Thursday 27th at 1415

Dolly Mavies plays the Bimble Inn on Saturday 29th June at 1745 and the Lunched Out Lizards Stage on  Sunday 30th June at 1900

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