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Previous: Glastonbury 2009: The Festival Starts Next: Sunday at Glastonbury

Saturday at Glastonbury

The site awaits the Boss

As Saturday dawned, revellers, most of whom had only been able to snatch a couple of hours sleep, woke to a bright, hot sunny morning. The stifling heat was a perfect atmosphere for sitting down and wondering what the hell Spinal Tap were doing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, and then actually coming to terms with the fact that at Glastonbury anything can happen… and often does. This act was going to make it hard to watch Status Quo with any level of seriousness! The madcap crew were joined on stage by Jarvis Cocker who played bass on bass on Big Bottom ending with the stage being invaded with a host of dancers. Jamie Cullum played keyboards on Short and Sweet - just one of those ‘Glastonbury things’ always expect the unexpected.

The highlight of the set had to be ‘Stonehenge’, as a small inflatable Stonehenge model was paraded around the stage by two dwarfs, recreating the classic scene in the rockumentary, a proper crowd pleaser for an audience who were totally up for it in the sun at Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Crowd
Glastonbury Crowd

Reggae collective Easy Star All Stars are starting to get themselves noticed, their covers of Floyds 'Dark Side Of The Moon’, Radiohead’s ‘Ok Computer’ and The Beatles 'Sergeant Pepper' is kicking up a bit of a storm among those in the know, it isn't going to be long before there's an awful lot more in the know as the Easy Star All Stars effortlessly draw out the crowds in the Park Stage area.

‘Paranoid Android’ Easy All Stars stylee is something to behold while ‘Lucky’ and ‘Let Down’ seem to be a perfect fit for the band and the setting. Keep an eye out; we think you're going to be hearing a lot more from and about Easy All Stars.

As for The Script the Irish lads are emerging triumphant having honed their performance skills they are more than ready to thrill the Glastonbury massive, and that's just what they do on this hot and sunny Saturday on The Other stage. Drawing a great audience they do a crowd pleasing set that finishes with a cover of Bowies' 'Heroes'

By Saturday afternoon the Pyramid stage is heaving, you literally cannot walk around the arena; even the edges of it are crammed to capacity – and the cause of all this mayhem? Mr Dizzee Rascal himself who bounds on stage looking every inch the city gent, suited and booted and looking like he’s actually ready to set off for a day’s work in the city!

Dizzee Rascal has been causing quite a stir and this was born witness by the size of the crowd the man pulled. You get used to huge crowds being drawn by the plethora of stars performing on the Pyramid stage, but even so this was massive and worthy of note, it felt like the whole of Glastonbury had turned out, not bad for an East End boy done good and this year he’s hitting the mainstream with a vengeance and without losing any street credibility.

The music and the sheer force of the man’s personality carried the crowd along and whipped up quite a frenzy. The Glastonbury crowd are always up for anything but you have to have something a bit special going for you to bring them out in droves when there’s so much else going on around that site. Clearly Dizzee does and the spectacle of a crowd of this size bouncing in unison to the beat was yet another example of the true joy of Glastonbury and said something about the performers they pick for that stage.

Of course it wasn’t long into the set before the ‘city gent’ look was abandoned and the Dizzee we’d all gone to see emerged to complete a triumphant set. The new single, ‘Holiday’, which he duly premiered at Glastonbury is going to be as big as ‘Bonkers’ and will add to the Dizzee phenomenon currently sweeping the UK.

Dizzee Rascal did one of the most memorable tributes of the weekend as he shouted to the crowd:

"We lost a legend this week, so I think we should do a little something to remember all the great music he brought us" prior to launching into a medley of Michael Jackson hits and had the crowd singing along with an emotional chorus of ‘Thriller’. The tribute was truly inspired and the memory of that crowd and the ‘Thriller’ chorus is something that will stay in the memory – Jacko himself would have been touched.

The controversial, talented and often deep performer/ poet whose private life often appears to reduce his talent to a mere tabloid saga is emerging like a phoenix once again. Step forward Mr Peter Doherty. Talent will out and talent he most certainly has, one that will clearly transcend all the nonsense that seems to surround him. Arriving on stage to cheers and sporting a rather fine black and gold knitted jacket Peter waved to the expectant crowd before launching into 'The Last Of The English Roses'. Accompanied by two amazing ballet dancers, there is something utterly beguiling and captivating by his performances and this one was no exception.

He was joined on stage by John 'Bandit' to perform 'I Am The Rain', which the duo co-wrote for Doherty's solo album 'Grace/Wastelands' and Dot Alison dueted on a version of 'Sheepskin Tearaway'. Peter forgot the words when singing his cover version of ‘Psycho Killer’ telling the crowd in true Doherty stylee “I'm fucked if I know the second verse,", of course he was forgiven and of course the set continued with an electrifying performance which left the crowd chanting for more – they never got it but then again they always say that you should leave them wanting more, don’t they? A sterling performance from Peter Doherty, may there be many more.

Over on the Pyramid stage those aged hippies Crosby, Stills and Nash (minus the Young who had strutted his stuff the night before), were yet another of the legendary acts booked to play Glastonbury. They took to the stage with exactly the kind of ease of style you'd expect from an act of this calibre.

The Stewards were in turmoil as traffic was being held up around the Pyramid Stage ... by Michael Eavis. One buggy driver's hand hovered dangerously over the horn, torn between the devil and the deep blue sea

Of course Michael Eavis himself was there for this one, you're not going to miss out on the chance to see a band like this in action are you? not likely, this is one super group who despite many controversies along the way have earned their place in music history, they don't have to try too hard - they just do and they just are, its just natural.

This was a colossal performance and one that you just feel privileged to have witnessed, never dreaming that you would get the chance to sing along to such tremendous choruses as "Stop! hey what's that sound, everybody look what's going down…."

'Almost Cut My Hair' , 'Wooden Ships', 'Southern Cross', 'Guinnevere', 'Chicago', 'Marrakech Express', 'Uncle John's Band', 'Rock And Roll Woman' and 'For What It's Worth' with a cover of the Stones 'Ruby Tuesday' thrown in, it was all there, it was poignant, it was beautiful and it was pure Glastonbury, guaranteed to run you through the gamut of emotions and back again, perfection.

You just have to ask how on earth they do it, how can one festival, leave aside the fact that it is undoubtedly the best festival in the world, keep on producing world class performances all over that massive site? But we have to be honest here, there wasn't one act throughout the weekend that disappointed, many could have easily held the headline slot, but this was a Glastonbury where the acts on offer were just so brimming with wonder and talent that it actually hurt, not the usual Glastonbury moment you get here and there, this was Glastonbury on fire with Glastonbury moments coming so thick and fast you really thought you must have died and gone to heaven.

Saturday continued in full swing, the sun beat down and happy festival goers were merrily picking and choosing from a list of acts that seemed impossible to have all together in one festival, let alone trying to find the time to sample the huge range of other entertainment on offer in every corner of the site.

Maximo Park strutted their stuff on the Other stage and drew a good crowd despite being up against the mighty Kasabian. Fresh from having opened the festival with a set chosen entirely by their fans, the fact that the opening was delayed because of the number of fans wanting to see them, yup, they brought Glastonbury to a standstill for a while. The guys were totally buoyed and riding the wave of adrenaline that can only come from such a remarkable weekend. They did it again, and everybody loved them for it.

And so to Pendulum. Riding high at the moment, these guys really delivered with a totally frenetic set that hyped up an already excited crowd with a pure, raw frantic performance backed up with solid music. The crowd simply couldn't get enough of the guys who played a solid 1 hour set. "You people are amazing! This is the best festival in the world!" came the understated cry from charismatic front man Rob Swire before launching into 'Tarantula'.

Pendulum live are an experience, bringing anticipation, excitement, insanity and great crowd interaction. This is a band at the top of their game and it shows in the slick, professional performance handled with ease, potent and memorable this was not a set for the feint hearted, this was stuff that took you to another dimension, leaving an exhilarated crowd breathless. Pendulum took it to Glastonbury and Glastonbury took it, such is the power of Pendulum live.

This was not an easy act to follow, but such is the pull of Glastonbury that as the Pendulum fans dispersed happy and exhausted the Franz Ferdinand fans replaced the frenetic activity with an altogether different vibe. The guys had to draw the most unwanted slot of the festival for they were up against the Boss playing the Pyramid stage, though with so many people who weren’t even alive when Bruce was first singing “Born in the USA” they attracted a great crowd and as always they stepped up and took the challenge head on opening with their anthemic 'The Dark of the Matinee'.

Of course the fans were there for them and when Alex Kapranos shouted out "Shamone motherfuckers!" in tribute to Michael Jackson he had them in the palm of his hand. "I arrived with my Wellingtons and my raincoat, I don't need them," he told the appreciative crowd before launching into all things Franz Ferdinand. The band encored with 'Jacqueline' and 'This Fire' having played a top set that included all you wanted from the guys including 'Walk Away', 'Take Me Out', 'Jacqueline', 'Outsiders' and much more.

The night was, however, overtaken by the boss as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took over with an awesome set that ran over by 9 minutes costing Glastonbury bosses a £3,000 fine, but in the words of Michael Eavis himself  "It's not a lot of money, come on - the last nine minutes were absolutely spectacular"

At 59 Bruce Springsteen could put many a youngster to shame with his sheer energy, another great veteran trailing that blaze for generations to come. Effortless would be one way of describing how the boss brought his music to the Glastonbury massive to close Saturday night on the Pyramid stage. For almost 3 hours Glastonbury was filled to the brim with the sound of this legendary performer, and boy could the man perform.

Springsteen opened with a tribute to the late Joe Strummer, 'Coma Girl' was performed to rapturous applause in a set that was probably one of the most eagerly anticipated of the festival - a performance that had the lot and delivered to the best festival out there.

Joined on stage at one point by Gaslight Anthem singer Brian Fallon to share vocal on 'No Surrender' (having earlier put in a guest appearance in a surprise take your breath away drama typical of Glastonbury)  this wasn't just any old set, this was Bruce Springsteen in his first ever UK festival slot having it large. Many words will be written about the Boss at Glastonbury, but a crowd of the magnitude he drew cannot be wrong - Springsteen did just what it says on the tin and he did it with panache.

As the night drew to a close we began to realise that this was fast turning into a classic Glastonbury, proving to be a year that will be talked about and remembered for a very long time to come.

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Review of:
Glastonbury 2009
29th June 2009
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Saturday at Glastonbury
Review Pages Index
Part 1. Glastonbury 2009 Review
Each year it seems that the world famous Glastonbury festival has reached its zenith, it can’t possibly get any better can it?
Part 2. Glastonbury 2009: The Festival Starts
Sun, mud, Neil Young and the death of Michael Jackson. It could only be Glastonbury
Part 3. Saturday at Glastonbury
The site awaits the Boss
Part 4. Sunday at Glastonbury
All good things must come to an end
Glastonbury Festival

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