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Glastonbury 2004 Headliners: Paul McCartney

By Andrew Future || 25 Jun 04
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Unquestionably one of the most influential performers of all time, Macca proves he still has a lot to teach those pesky Gallagher Brothers!

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’.

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.

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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