It’s been nearly four years since New York’s coolest sons graced a UK stage – enough time for Post Malone to become a thing, ‘Baby Shark’ to become a thing, and that yodelling kid to grow past waist height and then become a thing. But now – praise indie Jesus – the five men who essentially saved alternative rock back in 2001 are gearing up to come back and do it all over again. Or at least, y’know, play a pretty damn good festival set.
The Strokes are joining this year’s big-hitting All Points East line-up – with stunning supports including Interpol, The Raconteurs, Johnny Marr, Jarvis Cocker and Courtney Barnett. It’ll be the quintet’s first show since 2015’s Hyde Park headline slot, in which they unequivocally pulled it out of the bag despite mixed reviews of their last two records and some truly confusing follicle choices from frontman Julian Casablancas. (Half-pink, half-black mullet? You wot, m8?)
What to expect this time around? Well, in the interim, Casablancas has continued to channel the sartorial style of a greasy Hell’s Angels mechanic and the sonic style of a man who couldn’t give two shits about having another hit: witness his obtuse side project The Voidz. Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr, meanwhile, spent the best part of 2018 serving up a concept album based on his stillborn twin. Anyone holding out for ‘Is This It? Part Two’ should probably just chill.
But even if there is no new music, even if the new music is a bit rubbish and even if Julian decides to braid his hair into some kind of rat-tail situation, The Strokes will still play at least 75 percent stone-cold classics and they will still be at least 95 percent cooler than pretty much everyone else in the room. And that, my friends, is just maths.
The Strokes play All Points East on May 25. Check out more great festivals taking place in London this summer here.