Blondie at Glastonbury Festival 2014 review

'Blondie start Mile High, but lose steam'

Photographer: Trevor EalesAli Ryland on 27 June 2020

Whispers and rumours are afly that punk legend Debbie Harry is stumbling around backstage, a “trainwreck” and altogether not up to play due to her “pensioner” status – the Courtney Love effect strikes again, demonstrating the vilification of female rock sensations. However, as soon as the 68-year-old steps up to the stage, the rumours are proved just that: rumours.

Kicking into 'One Way Or Another', fans of the peerless pioneers of new wave whoop into action as the sun breaks out over the too-small Other Stage. The hit classic itself has all of its bite, and Harry's blonde bob keeps its rock star sway to follower Rave, and the world-famous 'Hanging On The Telephone'.

Unfortunately, while Blondie start 'Mile High', the song of the same title sees them lose steam, descending slowly from the clouds. The outstandingly packed crowd become restless and lose interest, as Misfits cover 'Hollywood Babylon' fails to gain the peripheral audience back. And, this happens to be the majority of onlookers; Blondie's popularity was either not accounted for, or organisers merely carelessly forgot the rock and roll hall of famers when sorting the Pyramid stage bill.

Beastie Boys's cover '(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)' is a let-down as Harry's voice wavers and sound problems plague the volume settings, while 'Atomic' has none of the nuclear reaction expected of it, nor does it blow the crowd away. It's a crying shame that Blondie started with a bang and are going out with a quiet squeak, as they can and have done better. Finisher 'Heart Of Glass' at least brings back some of the old polish, as no one can deny that Debbie Harry and Co. don't put on a show.

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