Amy Winehouse booed at Bestival

After troubled singer keeps fans waiting

Photographer:Paul Kerr

08 September 2008

The troubled star was more than half an hour late for her Saturday night headline show, despite it being the only festival of the summer she had personally requested to play.

Despite a crowd pleasing DJ set beforehand, which mixed party classics like Jackie Wilson's 'Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher' with more recent tunes such as Soulwax's mix of 'You Can' Always Get What You Want', the crowd of around 20,000 grew restless.

The first boos began sounding out after Amy Winehouse's backing band emerged on their own, dressed in white sailors suits in keeping with the day's nautical dressing up theme.     

The singer failed to appear for another 10 minutes as the band stood awkwardly on stage, while the crowd grew ever more impatient as they sloshed around in mud caused by three days of rain.

Finally, she appeared to a mix of cheers and boos before launching into a shambolic set which will only increase concerns about her health.

The controversial star looked gaunt and unhappy to be on stage, struggling to sing into her microphone and missing key lines as her band filled in the gaps.

By the time she performed third song 'Tears Dry On Their Own', many of the crowd started to leave for other arenas.

Pete And The Pirates proved a good alternative, the Reading band putting in an energetic and note perfect performance in the Club Da Da tent, complete with a 15 foot tilt wearing pirate parading through the crowd.

Babyhead followed and treated fans to an energetic show of their ska pop, demanding the packed tent dance for the last performance of the night, before being joined by members of Hot Chip and Crome Hoof for a final wig out.

Earlier, Hot Chip drew one of the biggest crowds to the main stage for their headline warm up show, playing all their hits plus a cover of Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares To You'.

The electro band, long championed by festival boss and DJ Rob Da Bank, played the first ever Bestival in 2004 and proved how far they've come with a sensational display.

As first revealed on Virtual Festivals, Grace Jones and a reformed Specials were the surprise afternoon acts on the main stage.

Terry Hall and his friends were reunited for an exclusive festival performance before the band reform properly next year for a full tour, pulling a huge crowd for hits like 'Too Much Too Young' and 'A Message To You Rudy', despite relentless rain.

Following that, Grace Jones completed her live comeback with a hypnotic set which saw her change outfits between every song.

For many though, the day was all about the '30,000 Freaks Under The Sea' fancy dress theme with at least 80 per cent of fans dressing up as everything from sharks to sailors, jellyfish to fishermen, and a whole lots more.

Check back for photos and full reviews throughout the week.


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