Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Jun 25th 2010 7:15PM by Stephen Dowling
When U2 had to duck out of their Friday night commitment to headline the Pyramid stage, Michael Eavis had to turn quickly to some heavyweight back-up to make sure the festival's 40th anniversary didn't begin with a damp squib. Step forward, Mr Albarn.
Gorillaz filled that U2-shaped hole with a set of dizzying variety, rich visuals, and a rotating cast of guest stars.
After the success of this year's 'Plastic Beach' -- an album that includes the likes of Bobby Womack, the Fall's Mark E. Smith and Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys -- Gorillaz are certainly one of the year's most talked-about bands.
Albarn's second bite of the Glastonbury apple in as many years was always going to be ambitious. Starting with 'Plastic Beach,' the stage revealed banks of instruments, a strong section and backing singers, and two-thirds of the surviving members of the Clash -- Paul Simonon and Mick Jones -- alongside the Horrors' Faris Badwan and Albarn himself. Not a bad bunch to cobble together at the 11th hour.
From Snoop Dogg the Gorillaz drew on Bobby Womack, imperious in a black outfit, for the woozy funk of 'Stylo' -- without Mos Def, however, who had to pull out of Glasto for family reasons. 'Superfast Jellyfish' had De La Soul trading lines over Gruff Rhys' bouncing vocals, while Mancunian survivor Shaun Ryder came onstage to pay tribute to departed comedian Frank Sidebottom with a version of the Gorillaz' previous chart-topper 'Dare.'
Mark E. Smith, looking more and more like an evil baby with every passing day, grimaced and glowered through 'Plastic Beach's 'Glitter Freeze,' with fellow rock curmudgeon Lou Reed playing some deliciously scuzzed-up guitar alongside his oh-so-dry vocals on 'Some Kind of Nature.' And for 'Clint Eastwood?' Snoop Dogg, shades and puffa jacket and some West Coast hip-hop support for Albarn's eclectic collective.
U2, you would have bet, would have filled the field for a raft of singalong classics, a TV-friendly, mainstream festival triumph. Gorillaz' set was a more curious affair, but just as impressive for it.