Glastonbury 2004 Headliners: Paul McCartney

Unquestionably one of the most influential performers of all time, Macca proves he still has a lot to teach those pesky Gallagher Brothers!

[r-zone1]It’s weird that we end the day as we started, at 22.20. Paul McCartney (10.20pm, Pyramid Stage) pulls out the mother of all cover sets: White Stripes versus The Beatles? Of course not. That’s not to say that while what follows is undoubtedly historic, there’s still a few very awkward ‘your dad with a guitar and a bottle whiskey’ moments. Take opener, ‘Jet’, for instance – a long rambling, very dated piece that’s inspired a quite tired band of the same name, or much of his between-song rambling about ‘rocking you all where the leylines converge’ and ‘Glastonburgers’.

[l-zone2]But for all the cheese, there’s many more spine-tingling, truly monumental moments. The solo ‘Here Today’, dedicated to John Lennon, the cover of George Harrison‘s ‘All Things Must Pass’ and the intensely moving ‘Hey Jude’ is the tip of a clutch of Beatles classics. The firework display that accompanies ‘Live and Let Die’ is wonderful, and for many, the reality of singing along with a real-life Beatle is life-changing.

[r-zone3]Still, there remains something a little distant about McCartney. The set-list, despite the obvious classics is less consistent than his recent world tour’s and many would perhaps have preferred a few more (of John Lennon’s) Beatles songs as a more fitting outpouring of ‘lurve man’. Finishing with the career spanning quartet of ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Let It Be’, ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Sgt Pepper’s…’ is a touch of genius that obviously comes so easily to Macca.

What did you do at sixty-two? Oh, I headlined Glastonburgers.

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