Nick Cave, Tom Jones & Sunday Glasto Madness!
'Remembrance Sunday' continues on the Pyramid Stage
Steve Jenner - 28 June 2009
An enormous turn-out had assembled under Sunday afternoon's hot and humid skies for Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Many were clearly there to stake their places for headliners Blur, who were up next. Cave had, sensibly, anticipated this and he pleased the crowd with a selection of his more popular, accessible songs, dedicating the set to the recently departed Farrah Fawcett (who had been largely ignored so far at the event under the larger shadow of Michael Jackson).
One spectator in a small micro-light aircraft had the best seat in the house, gliding around the Pyramid Stage throughout the uplifting set which included opener 'Tupelo', a murderous 'Henry Lee', exhilerating 'We Call Upon The Author', anthemic 'There She Goes My Beautiful World' and dramatic finale 'Stagger Lee'.
Previously, Madness brought their infectious party back to the Pyramid Stage for the first time since 1986, delivering a spirited greatest hits set spruced up with some tracks from recent album 'The Liberty Of Norton Folgate'.
A tribute to tonight's Other Stage headliners The Prodigy, in the form of a cover of Max Romeo's 'I Chase The Devil' (containing the "I'm gonna send him to Outer Space" lyric sampled in their hit 'Out Of Space') received frenzied applause. Other highlights included opener 'One Step Beyond','My Girl', 'House Of Fun', 'Our House', 'It Must Be Love' and 'Baggy Trousers' which saw sax-player Lee Thomspon hoisted up the air on a harness.
"Anyone watch Bruce Sprongstonk?", quizzed Suggs at one point, "If he's the boss, I wanna know who's the secretary!"
For many of the ladies, especially, the most fun was to be had during Tom Jones' set. The usual flags were outgunned by chains of assorted knickers on poles in the front few rows. One enterprising girl next to us shamelessly removed her leopard-print undergarments, tied them to a pair of inflated condoms she had with her, and launched them stagewards.
"Who's in charge here?", asked Jones, looking to the back of the stage, after cries of "Turn it up!" followed opener 'I'm Alive'. Emily Eavis, watching from the side of the stage raised a coy hand.
"Can you tell them in the sound desk over there to turn it up?", he requested authoritatively but politely. Judging from the screams of ecstacy that met 'Green Green Grass' and 'Delilah' next, the audience were satisfied with the result and Jones crooned effortlessly through a masterclass of Sunday afternoon singalongs such as 'She's A Lady', 'Sex Bomb, 'Mama Told Me Not To Come' and 'What's New Pussycat'.
At one point, a huge pink paper-mache pair of knickers transcended the stage barrier, to a grateful retort of "Wow, thanks!" from the singer.
After an initial encore of Prince's 'Kiss', featuring some bizarre, borderline body popping in the mid-section from Jones, he announced: "The first time we came here in 1992, we played a song with EMF. We liked it so much we want to do it again." Tom Jones ended the set with 'Unbelievable'. For one sobbing mature lady next to us, it clearly had been.