Entertainment & Arts

Glastonbury 2017: Clean Bandit release song after 'abusive' tweets

Clean Bandit Image copyright John Phillips
Image caption The band received two Brit Award nominations for Rockabye earlier this year

After a wait of two years, pop group Clean Bandit have released a sought-after song called Disconnect, to coincide with their set at Glastonbury.

The song, which features pop star Marina and the Diamonds, was first played at the 2015 Coachella Festival.

Ever since, fans have begged the band to release the track - with some of their messages "bordering on abuse".

"We got such creative abuse," they told the BBC. "Very inventive and new swearing terms".

Cellist Grace Chatto explained that the song had been through several permutations before they got it right.

"Everything takes so long because we obsess [over it]," she said, "especially because we make our own music videos.

"Each single project takes us about half a year. And everything else gets put to the side."

The band released the song on Friday afternoon, and Marina joined the band on stage to perform it during Clean Bandit's Glastonbury set on the John Peel stage.

The band, who formed at Cambridge University, have become one of the UK's most successful acts, blending dance beats and chamber orchestra strings.

Last year's single Rockabye, which talked about the "daily struggle" of single mothers, topped the charts for nine weeks. The follow-up, Symphony, also reached number one, only dropping out of the top 10 last week - three months after its release.

The group - completed by brothers Luke and Jack Patterson - spoke to the BBC about their success, and plans for a new album, backstage at the Glastonbury Festival.

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Media captionClean Bandit on Glastonbury and the whereabouts of their second album

What's your best Glastonbury experience been?

Grace: I saw No Doubt play when I was 16 and had come to Glastonbury for the first time. I crowd-surfed to the front, and was so close to Gwen Stefani. She sang Don't Speak with a single tear running down her face. It was very emotional.

You're basically squatters in the top 10 these days - is that a blessing or a curse? Presumably you'd like to get more music out there.

Jack Patterson: It does slow things down a little bit - but we've actually got a bit of a surprise today. We may have some new music out today.

Can you spill the beans?

Jack: It's a brand new song called Disconnect. Well, it's actually not that new. We started writing it two and a half years ago with Marina (And The Diamonds).

Image copyright Atlantic Records
Image caption Clean Bandit's hits include Tears, Rather Be and Rockabye

Fans have been clamouring for that song for years. What was the delay?

We tried loads of different versions before we got it right. And also, everything takes so long because we obsess - Rockabye took months to make, especially because we make our own music videos, as well. Each single project takes us about half a year. And everything else gets put to the side.

After we released Symphony, we were able to focus on loads of other songs we'd started a couple of years ago. And that one, we're so happy to finish. Because really, everyone who heard it online, from the Coachella performance, hounded us in almost abusive ways.

Marina has a very passionate and devoted fanbase, doesn't she?

Grace: Yeah, some of them get quite cross. So they'll be really happy today.

Jack: We get such creative abuse from her fans. Very creative and new swearing terms.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The band are all classically-trained, and perform each single with guest vocalists

Speaking of which, where is your new album? It's been three years since New Eyes.

Jack: It's on the way!

But you told me that last year.

Jack: Really? When did we say?

You reckoned it'd be out in the autumn.

Grace: Well, any autumn soon it'll be ready.

With the way streaming works now, have you ever thought of abandoning albums and just releasing a string of single?

Jack: I think it [the album] still really matters. I think we'll try and do both - releasing singles and playing live - but the album is slowly getting there,.

Grace: The first album, New Eyes, took years, And when we put all the songs together they didn't necessarily all fit. Whereas this one, we've been thinking much more in terms of The Album That Will Be.

Rockabye was Christmas number one last year. Are you going to try to get three in a row, like The Spice Girls?

Jack: Yeah, definitely. I hadn't thought of that before, but I think we should.

Grace: We should make an actual Christmas song, not just any old single.

Just take your best song and put sleigh bells on it

Jack: We've got a sleigh bells version of Rockabye but we weren't allowed to put it out. Sean Paul's management vetoed it. It maybe was a step too far.

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Image copyright BBC Glastonbury logo

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