Gorillaz wow Glastonbury with Stylo-ish show

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Daniel Fahey, Ali Kerry, Kai Jones, Dan Davies | 26 June 2010

Following a day that had already given Glastonbury several 'were you there?!' sets by Femi Kuti, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Willie Nelson and a top-secret gig by Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood at the Park, Gorillaz cut through the Factor 50 chucking on one jaw-dropping musical legend after another.

Mark E Smith delivered a salacious ‘Glitter Freeze’ in his idiosyncratic Northern drawl, Snoop Dogg rapped the lyrics of ‘Drop it Like it's Hot’ during ‘Clint Eastwood’ (after strangely not appearing for his own ‘Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach’ earlier in the set), while Shaun Ryder dedicated a riotous ‘Dare’ to fellow Mancunian Frank Sidebottom who died earlier this week.

But it was Velvet Underground uber-legend Lou Reed that caused probably the biggest collective jaw-drop, coming on for ‘Some Kind of Nature’ and providing Glastonbury with one of 'those' moments that only those of us who have experienced this special festival can understand.

And all this with De La Soul, Bobby Womack, Mick Jones from the Clash on guitar and Albarn mostly conducting events from the background, looking equally humble and proud at giving Glastonbury memorable headline sets two years running.

Mother-fuggin Snoop in the house! Hey Snoop we were in a massive field but we'll forgive your location illiteracy as your filthy lyrics and temptuous basslines were making our butts shake with pleasure. Talk about playing the field - most of Snoop's between-song banter involved smooching with the entire female audience, but then he segued a toxic version of House of Pain's ‘Jump Around’ into ‘Drop it Like it's Hot’ and you sensed the male presence here were just as up for it. As Snoop said himself, grinning at the over-flowing Pyramid field: "Yeah, mother-fuckin' yeah."

Back at Glastonbury for the first time in 10 years, the country blues legend Willie Nelson arrived on stage five minutes early and played a staggering 30 songs in 80 minutes. At 77 years of age with such stamina in this searing heat, retirement seems a long way off and from this wonderful performance that can only be a good thing.

Set highlights included ‘Crazy’, ‘On The Road Again’ and ‘Always On Mind’ where he appeared quite humbled by the enormous crowd singing along. A wonderful Hank Williams cover of ‘Jambalaya (On the Bayou)’ followed, as well as ‘Georgia’ and ‘I Saw The Light’.

Nelson’s guitar looked as old as he did. Covered in graffiti, it appears to be held together with nothing more than blood, sweat and tears from his colourful past. It’s a joy to see a true living legend play a perfect afternoon set on the Pyramid Stage.

As the sun began to set the party heated up with Dizzee Rascal playing surely his biggest gig to date. The Pyramid field was rammed. No one was left disappointed with his mix of energy, sunshine and atmosphere. Playing with a full band, guest vocalists and DJs, he kicked out the chart topping hits ‘Dance Wiv Me’, ‘Dirtee Disco’ and ‘Holiday’, plus an amazing cover of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.

For the penultimate song Dizzee was joined by Florence Welch – straight from her set on the Other Stage - for their now infamous party trick duet of ‘You Got The Love’. Cue a massive crowd sing-a-long with Florence while she belted out her part as Dizzee rapped over the top.

Finishing with ‘Bonkers’, everyone from the front of the stage right to the top of the field, were jumping along. A spectacular sight and a spectacular set. Dizzee Rascal’s talent of mashing up rap, pop, rock and dance has taken him out of the underground and straight to the forefront of UK music. This surely career defining moment has proved how worthy he is to be there.

Thom Yorke supplied one of the defining moments of Glastonbury Festival 2010 so far with his secret show at the Park Stage. Thousands of people basked in the sunshine as the Radiohead man wowed fans with ‘The Eraser’ and ‘Black Swan’.

He was then joined onstage by Jonny Greenwood for ‘Idioteque’ before a joyous ‘Karma Police’ was sung by the crowd after the song finished. Ending with ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ the special guests really lived up to their name. Now where are Coldplay?...

After Yorke’s classic Glastonbury moment, Fatboy Slim’s tradional Dance Village show failed to light up the reviews. Benni Banassi’s ‘Satisfaction’ and a mash-up of ‘The Rockafeller Skank’ with the Rolling Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ left fans satisfied (sorry), but a ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ remix was just awful.

It’s with a heavy heart that we were dragged from Thom Yorke’s special appearance in The Park toward Hot Chip. And the departure from the squinty angel-voiced Yorke (and friends) unfortunately marred the impact of fun-boys Hot Chip. It’s not that there was anything particularly wrong with Chip’s appearance. It’s just that even with his sweetest, most falsetto’d poetry Alexis Taylor ccouldn't begin to reach Yorke’s heights - or depths. Especially with Alexis wearing a Pearly King style baseball cap which made him look like he was on day release from a cockney asylum.

In fact, by Hot Chip standards, this was a pretty restrained fancy dress outing. But in the mood we were in, if Alexis came in with full-on prosthetics and started zapping the crowd by puking lasers a la ‘I Feel Better’ it would still probably have failed to impress.

There was no attempt at tenderness, no soft eyed cover of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ or mournful ‘Made In The Dark’ material. As the big bear Joe bounced around the stage we surrendered to the party by joining in some spontaneous synchronised dancing with a group of 20 strangers. As the steel drums trill added especially to ‘One Life Stand’ kick in we were in full on carnival mode.

When a hype man stepped onto the Pyramid Stage at the beginning of Rolf Harris’ set we began to wonder whether rumours of the octagenarian’s bad throat were true. But then the Aussie animal lover wanged away his didgeridoo and launched into ‘Tie Me Kangeroo Down’ with full force. A pleasant arm-waving 40 minutes flew by as Rolf treated the crowd to his expansive back catalogue with the only wobble coming from his customary board.

Highlights included ‘Irish Rover' with Animal Hospital interlude and his infamous version of ‘Stairway To Heaven’. Finishing with a very British ‘’Tie Me Kangaroo Down’ to the tune of ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’, the crowd were now in full flag waving mode. The Australian institution had once more been accepted into Glasto’s bosom.  

Everyone at Glasto might have been anticipating the arrival of Snoop and the missing Mos Def but the understated presence of Chali 2na mustn't go without a VF shout-out. Old Jurassic 5 relics such as ‘If You Only Knew’ had their DNA extracted and turned into full blown brassy dinosaurs by the live Breakestra band. J5 were always big fans of ripping up live samples but Breakestra made that scratched analogue sound physical.

2na continued to reel us in, even stepping out of his trademark LA laid back staccato and moving into a bit of ragga. But during a cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring Of Fire’ the balance once more began to shift – and also gave previous West Holts band Mariachi El Bronx a run for their money. Almost like a comic spaghetti western shoot out of the old East Coast West Coast shizzle. Afrodite took centre stage for the last track but as band went on a James Brown style funky parp it’s still Breakestra that were on the good foot.

Stay posted to our continuing coverage of Glastonbury 2010.

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