Are The ChurnUps merely an assortment of common people? Are they named after a pre-Nirvana Dave Grohl band? Or is it all just a bit of a Blur? Here are the fan theories on the mysterious band set to play The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.
Just after 6pm, as the sun sets (or, more likely, the heavens open) on the Friday night of this year’s Glastonbury, The ChurnUps will take to the stage to commence their more-than hour-long set. Judging by the way many are eagerly chatting about it online, and the fact they’ll be playing on The Pyramid Stage no less, the set is likely to be a big one. The only caveat is, as it stands, no one knows who they are.
Glastonbury has a long history with secret sets. From The Last Shadow Puppets rocking-up in 2008, joined by Matt Helders and Jack White, to The Libertines filling-in for Florence + the Machine’s slot (who in turn had been bumped-up to headliners after Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl broke his legs), they are a tantalising aspect of the prestigious Worthy Farm get-together. Last year, Jack White (again) popped-up out of the blue to play an exhilarating Park Stage performance.
The difference here, of course, is that by offering a mysterious moniker on the full set times – sandwiched between Glaswegian longtimers Texas and festival moaners Royal Blood – it’s left many trying to piece together who this unknown outfit could be. The fact that, heaven forbid in this day and age, The ChurnUps have no online presence has only led people to try even harder to seek out who they might be.
So, who are the contenders?
Who could The ChurnUps be?
The first and rather obvious suggestion is Pulp. The Jarvis Cocker-led outfit last performed at Glastonbury in 2011, which was also a secret set on the Park Stage.
— Gl⛺️stobation 💦 (@glastobation) May 30, 2023
As one equally tongue-in-cheek-titled Twitter page, ‘Glastobation’, has noted of this mysterious band’s name: “When something is churned it becomes Pulp.”
It also makes sense given the Britpop outfit have kicked-off their run of reunion shows, albeit in the wake of the sad news of bassist Steve Mackey’s death in March.
Here’s some clarifications
The Wednesday of which I speak is Sheffield Wednesday FC. League 1 play-off winners.
Though it’s very tempting to tease you lot again. I know nothing of the ‘Churnups’ band. Ok?
Over and out. (For now)
— Nick Banks (@therealnickbank) May 30, 2023
However, Pulp drummer Nick Banks has all but quelled that rumour, saying: “Though it’s very tempting to tease you lot again. I know nothing of the ‘Churnups’ band. Ok?”
So who next, according to fan theory? Well, one eagle-eyed source gatherer has spotted an old Seattle Times article in which the Foos’ Dave Grohl says he used to be in a band called Churn.
So Dave Grohl used to be in a band called Churn?
I don’t know what to think anymore 😁 pic.twitter.com/z1K09qzB8X
— The Glasto Thingy (@TheGlastoThingy) May 30, 2023
The new Foo Fighters album, But Here We Are, arrives this Friday, just a few weeks out from Glastonbury. Created in the shadows of two deaths – drummer Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl’s mother, Virginia – it’s a heavy, spirited ride, meaning if Foo Fighters were this mysterious band, they’d sure be churning our emotions.
Of course, Grohl made an appearance at last year’s Glasto – without a broken leg – by joining Paul McCartney onstage for a truly historic set. Perhaps Macca will return the favour?
Another Britpop act has also been touted as a possibility, with Blur also in the running. The theory on this one is fairly loose, save for the fact Damon Albarn and co. have also reunited recently.
Unless there’s some bizarre, elaborate, ABBA Voyage-style duplication of any of the other acts also performing at the same time, judging from the setlist, we can safely rule out Chvrches, Krept & Konan, Joey Bada$$, Gabriels and The Courteneers. There, hope that helps.