Guns of Navarone on Glastonbury Festival 2024

Dorset’s finest Ska band, The Guns of Navarone have been travelling the UK and Europe, performing in pubs and clubs and treading the boards of many a festival stage for over 14 years.

Playing classic Trojan Ska and Reggae from ‘60s Jamaica with a crossover of upbeat ‘80s Two-Tone thrown in for good measure, the ten-piece band consists of members from various iconic Dorset acts including Pronghorn, The Cropdusters and The Highliners.

Ahead of their return to Glastonbury we caught up with the band, who answered our questions collectively, to find out what it’s like to be back in the Theatre & Circus fields on Worthy Farm.

Q&A with Guns of Navarone

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into live performance?

We are The Guns of Navarone. We are an 12 piece SKA band from Dorset and we play traditional tunes from the 60’s Jamaican independence era. Right up through the 80’s Two Tone Scene and One Step Beyond onto the third wave of East Coast SKA. We formed around 15 years ago as a bit of an experiment to see if we could combine members from three different bands that we were all in.

These bands were: Pronghorn, still going strong to this day and also performing for Theatre and Circus at this year’s festival [and] The Highliners, also still going strong and performing across Europe and the UK at many Psychobilly festivals. [As well as] The Cropdusters – the original Folk Punk crossover band championing the Folk Punk Genre from the early 80’s. We decided to keep The Guns going as it was such a massive success, all involved loved it and the audiences were amazing. So, Yes, we do love playing live.

What’s it like to be performing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival?

We have been playing at Glastonbury Festival and the Theatre & Circus area for 14 years now, and we never tire of it. It is always a pleasure to return and play as many shows as possible. We also venture out into the late-night areas of the festival and perform in The Shangri La, at Gaz Mayors Rocket Lounge. Playing Glastonbury is like no other festival, it is very special indeed.

What can you tell us about your plans for the show?

We are planning late-night shows for 2024 on the Glebe Stage and also in Sunny’s Bar which is the backstage tent for all of the artists, Walkabouts, circus performers and comedians alike. The Glebe Stage will be around 23:30 each night for a full trip down the memory lane of Ska! Suited and Booted with dancing is firmly at the top of the agenda. Sunny’s bar is usually later than this, around 02:00 AM, and always kicks off in the right direction.

So, if you fancy a late-night skank! Please do come and find The Guns of Navarone! Your feet will never forgive you otherwise!

How do you approach performing at a festival like this?

We make sure we turn up with the correct attitude and, of course, very well rehearsed. We treat every show the same, no matter how big or small the event. We will warm up with a couple of fine ciders from Sunny’s Bar, and then smash it. And always remember that it’s all about the audience.

Will you be checking out any other acts across the weekend?

We tend to stick around The Theatre & Circus Areas because there is so much to do, see and hear. The diverse and eclectic mix of the most impressive talent you’ll find on-site is in this area and is, without a doubt, the best in the world. So why would you want to leave? But if you have to nail me down to an answer! I would have to say the Skatalites on The West Holts Stage and of course Shangri La from time to time.

Guns of Navarone play The Glebe, Rimski’s Yard and The Rocket Lounge at Glastonbury Festival 2024, running from 26 to 30 June