Special Guests N*E*R*D get cut off at Glastonbury

Regina Spektor, Michael Jackson covers and more on Friday

Special Guests N*E*R*D get cut off at Glastonbury

Photographer: Sara Bowrey26 June 2009

There was plenty of fidgeting before their performance as the American hip hop troupe kicked off a good 30 minutes after they were due on stage. However all was forgotten as the band ploughed through a set to the biggest crowd of the festival so far.

The budding restlessness was soon quashed as an energetic Pharrell Williams warmed up the crowd. “200,000 people have come to see N*E*R*D,” he claimed, “that makes us feel invincible.” Which they were as they run through hits like ‘Rockstar’, ‘Killjoy’ and ‘Maybe’. The band also sent their blessing to Michael Jackson before some fans were invited on stage to rock out in style. But punctuality caught up with the band when the soundsystem was snipped and the crowd were left with Pharrell sticking his middle finger in the air, a gesture the crowd duly saluted.

Bringing her insatiable charm, wit and musical talent to the festival, Regina Spektor delivered a remarkably personal set on the Pyramid Stage. Gracefully rolling through hits like ‘On The Radio’ and ‘Fidelity’ with a drummer and string section in tow, the New York chanteuse went solo for ‘Apres Moi’. The fans lifting plastic pigeons in the air from the crowd were fitting for the line, “that time she had to bury an amputated bird,” during an elegant rendition of ‘That Time’.

Earlier in the day on the Other Stage, the party swelled for The Whip whose New Order-infused dance punk meets electro house and punch-you-in-the-guts bass fuelled on a full-on soggy rave. The atmosphere soared and the sky began to brighten behind a sea of flags – perpetuated by the pulsing post-punk grooves and cutting beats of the drainpipe wearing quartet The Rakes.

Wearing a golden sailor’s hat and a white floaty dress, Gabriella Climi whipped through her more popular hits as the heavens opened on the Pyramid Stage. Adding a couple of bars of ‘Billie Jean’ in memory of the sudden death of Michael Jackson and her own 'Sweet About Me’ proved crowd pleaser, while a cover of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ by Led Zepplin was met by a rapturous response.

Despite the pelting rain and an early start (10.50am) an impressive turnout greeted the arrival of Mr Hudson and The Library. Mr Hudson was clearly moved by the reception and thanked the crowd, stepping up to deliver an energetic show that had the wellied throng on their feet.

Waking up the wet fans on the Pyramid Stage this morning (Friday) was the ultimate ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again and the truth is, you can’t go wrong starting your day with hits like ‘Waterloo’, ‘Supertrooper’ and ‘SOS’. ‘Dancing Queen’ was another singalong track for the band who were in waterproofs along with some 30,000 fans who’d made it to the main stage from their tents.

Elsewhere Hugh Cornwall was busy flicking between his own material like his recent download ‘Going To The City’, a track which the former Stranglers frontman calls, “recession free music,” having been made available as a free download. It was his former band numbers that received the biggest cheers with ‘Nice And Sleazy’ proving timelessly popular.

Glastonbury Festival 2009 continues today with performances from The Specials, Lily Allen and headliner Neil Young.

Click here to watch BBC Glastonbury Festival highlights on Virtual Festivals.

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