LIVE BLOG: May Ball Lineups

EXCLUSIVE: A couple of last minute teasers by Sidney and King’s complete most of the line-ups.

Bands Ellie Goulding Laura and the Tears May Ball St John's College The Cheek

To the unitiated, May Ball line-ups are a bit of an enigma. Rumours start to circulate at Christmas; some outlandish, some almost believable. We’re fairly sure U2, The Rolling Stones, and yes, Elton John, won’t be performing. Other than that, it’s anyone’s guess.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you exclusive announcements as they happen, with committee reaction, backstage rumour, and maybe even a bit of healthy banter between presidents. Let us know your thoughts in our comments section below, or email [email protected] if you fancy throwing some unsubstantiated rumours into the mix. We’ll also be reporting breaking news on our Twitter feed.

Wednesday 16th June – SIDNEY AND KING’S

A couple of last minute announcements ahead of tonight’s proceedings. Sidney have added Chipmunk and Goldie Looking Chain to Two Door Cinema Club, bulking out the main stage.

The consistently excellent King’s Affair never usually releases their line-up before the event. However, we can exclusively reveal that tropical dubstep pioneer Joy Orbison has a set, after turning down six May Balls. He accepted King’s based on the already confirmed line-up, which according to a committee insider, is stuffed with the best of UK D n B and dubstep.

Monday 14th June – PEMBROKE

The Pembroke line-up follows an age-old formula of up-and-coming act, band DJ set, and cover band. Swindon’s Beatbullyz, fresh from their Maida Vale session, headline, with the imaginatively-titled Kings Ov Leon in support.  They even look like them and everything. Filthy Dukes DJs complete the line-up – here’s to hoping they’re as explosive as their legendary live performances.


Beatbullyz perform at Maida Vale

What are your thoughts so far? Been to Robinson or Emma? Sound off. The next couple of days should sort the men from the boys, so to speak – will Faithless live up to their billing, or will Ellie Goulding or even Toploader steal it? We’re looking forward to seeing Chew Lips at Catz.

Saturday 12th June – CAIUS

We were at Robinson last night, and let’s just say anyone with tickets to a Two Door Cinema Club ball are in for a treat. Caius, however, have gone down a different route.

“Naturally, our first choice was Two Door Cinema Club, but sadly a certain college or four pilfered them from under our noses.”, said ents officer Paul Britton. Instead, they have DJ sets from Hot Chip, Grandmaster Flash, and live music from one hit wonders Toploader. ‘Celebrity’ DJ sets are often a bit risky, but Cauis make up for it in what looks to be the best comedy line-up in May Week. They welcome Russell Kane, Tim Key, Matt Green, and Totally Tom, of High Renaissance Man fame.


Part 1 of High Renaissance Man, which is, like, SO much better than Gap Yah

Friday 11th June – SIDNEY

More still from Sidney: after confirming Two Door Cinema Club, we can reveal there are more headliners to come. The committee today announced that American rapper Metis, who recently supported La Roux, will be performing live with full band. Check out his Myspace for his Cambridge-checking freestyle. The rest of the acts will be released on Monday.

Thursday 10th June – CHRIST’S AND EMMA

We’ve just had final confirmation of the line-up for Christ’s l’Spirit Nouvau: after widespread rumours The Rumble Strips were due to be headlining, we can exclusively reveal they have pulled out of the ball.

“Two of The Rumble Strips have decided they want to go AWOL this summer, so they pulled out”, said ents officer Mike O’Halloran

“There was nothing we could do from a contractual standpoint”.

They are replaced by Everything Everything, who describe themselves, brilliantly, as ‘Bizarre’n’B’, General Fiasco, McFly-a-likes Theory of Six Degrees, and yes – Two Door Cinema Club. We’d be absolutely sick of them if they weren’t such a great May Ball band – infectious, upbeat, and above all, not liable to dive off after two songs. Spreading the cash across a wider variety of band also looks to be a smart choice, after The Rumble Strips’ atrocious performance at Magdelene last year. Maker and Mayer and DJ Redlight complete the line-up


Everything Everything with Suffragette Suffragette: so good they, er, named them both twice.

Down the road, Emma have gone undoubtedly heavy: dubstep with Kasrave, electro with Neon Lights, and mash-up with Rattus Rattus. But we’re most excited about Animal Kingdom, often touted as Britain’s answer to Sigur Ros. How well they’ll go down remains to be seen.

Are Clare still top dogs? Or are you swayed by Catz? Rumble Strips fan? Let’s hear your thoughts. More announcements on the way soon.

Wednesday 9th June (pm) – CATZ AND SIDNEY

Underdogs Catz have pulled off an interesting line-up: Chew Lips headline the main stage with party band Man Like Me, and with Jack Beats behind the decks, it seems ents officer George Woodhams has assembled a connoisseurs’ choice of indie and fidget.

“Although S Club 3 – yes just the three of them – are making an appearance in the early hours”, he said, almost a little too gleefully. You have beeen warned.


Meanwhile Sidney have laughed off the fact that three other colleges have secured their headline act, Two Door Cinema Club, as second of third string acts.

“They’re a great band; it’s very nice of other colleges to give us the publicity”, said ents man Joe Mitchell. That’s them told then. Emma are announcing tomorrow, and one of the most interesting announcements is still to be made: King’s Affair is renowned for its ents.

Wednesday 9th June (am) – JESUS AND ROBINSON

Jesus have confirmed Mr Hudson as their headliner. He will be supported by Sub Focuscorrectly predicted by us over a month ago – and Two Door Cinema Club.


He feels like taking off. Better stay indoors then.

Jesus, who last year boasted an impressive line-up of The Go! Team and VV Brown and DJ sets by Hadouken and Little Boots, are thrilled with this year’s acts. Ents representative, Mark Pick, said, “Jesus always pulls it out the bag in terms of ents and this year we’ve stepped it up with three of the biggest names in music today”. “Three of the biggest” might be a bit generous, but yet again the college look like a likely candidate for best line-up.

Rumours continue to chatter that Two Door Cinema Club – Jesus’ third act – are headlining smaller college, Sidney Sussex’s event on 16th June. Robinson, who kick off May Week this Friday with their cheaper-than-the-average ball offering, have also booked them. Two Door Cinema Club now seem to be having a busier May Week than any student we know – let’s hope for Sidney’s sake that if they are headlining their ball, they’re still in a fit state to do so by the Wednesday of May Week, after Friday and Monday night exertions.


Two Door Cinema Club with I Can Talk

Alongside Two Door Cinema Club, Robinson are also running with Alex Metric, presenter of Radio 1’s ‘In New DJs We Trust’ and John’s main stager, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, and Australian stand-up comedian Brendon Burns, winner of an if.comedy award in 2007 for his show So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now.

Who do you think has the best line-up so far? Comment below. Christ’s to come later in the day.

Tuesday 8th June – CLARE and TRINITY

Clare today issued one of the biggest challenges to John’s traditional May Week supremacy, by confirming Faithless as their headliner, The Tab can exclusively reveal. The electronic three-piece, consisting of Rollo, Maxi Jazz and Sister Bliss, play the college in between a huge festival run to promote their new album The Dance, including Glastonbury, T in the Park and Oxygen.


A storming live performance from Faithless at Alexandra Palace

One of the most credible rumours of May Week was finally confirmed this afternoon, despite attempts from the committee to throw us off the scent with Shakira earlier this month. “We’re thrilled that news of Faithless has finally slipped out”, said ents officer Zainie Jamali. She also confirmed the trio will be supported by rising star Tinie Tempah.

She laughed off suggestions that John’s had come off best: “Our two headliners are miles better than Ellie Goulding.

“John’s should watch out – our line-up has clearly blown them off the top spot”.

Meanwhile, Trinity released another hit and miss line-up, after last year’s terrible twosome of Wiley, who stuck around for only two songs, and dreary balladeers Athlete. Scandanavians Alphabeat are a safe choice, but paired with novelty rockers Wheatus, looks a little uninspired. Those looking for something more serious will be pleased with the inclusion of ‘the UK’s premier ABBA tribute band’, ABBA UK. They are about to be sued though, so don’t hold your breath. Dancing Pigeons, Breeze, Cantabile and Greg Davies complete the roster. What do you think of the line-ups so far? Are we being a bit harsh on Trinity? Or does Tinie Tempah make you wanna pass out? Answers in the comments box.

Check back tomorrow for confirmations on Jesus, traditionally one of the strongest colleges, and Christ’s. One well-known indie band are playing FOUR events, but who is it? Rumour has it they have amusingly been confirmed as Sidney Sussex’s headliner, despite being Jesus’ third act.

Sunday 6th June – JOHN’S

John’s has confirmed British Breakthrough Act of the Year, Ellie Goulding, will be headlining this year’s festivities. Goulding, whose album, ‘Lights’ has hit number one in the charts, will be the main act, supported by The Cheek and Laura and the Tears. It might take a choice blow job here and there to get you a John’s ticket, but with one of the UK’s most promising up-and-comers set to perform, it might be worth it. She may not be able to rival Calvin Harris from last year though – he reportedly trousered £25 000 for his stellar performance. The announcement also reveals we were right back at the start of term, in predicting dubstep flavour-of-the-month Jakwob was in the mix. He headlines the dance tent. Told you so.

Other acts on the main stage include Alex Metric, Radio One DJ and all round safe choice: make sure you check out his essential mix with Kissy Sell Out from back in March.  Clean Bandit, who your may remember from Kambar a few months back, fill out the line-up. Also expect traditional performances from Blueprint and the Gents of St. John’s.