Sunday 21 July 2019

Blondie, Jerry bring Glasto glamour

Debbie Harry of Blondie oozes glamour on the Other Stage at Glastonbury Festival
Debbie Harry of Blondie oozes glamour on the Other Stage at Glastonbury Festival

Blondie's Debbie Harry and supermodel Jerry Hall brought an injection of glamour to Glastonbury as some of the first acts to perform.

A year after her ex-husband Mick Jagger headlined the Pyramid Stage with the Rolling Stones, Jerry played the tiny Spike stage within the festival's Glade area with her new band Paris-Texas And The Uke.

The striking blonde looked unsurprisingly mud-free as she performed in a black pencil skirt and white blouse alongside bandmate Jeanne Marine, also known as the partner of Bob Geldof.

Meanwhile the Other Stage was opened with a surprise performance by the Kaiser Chiefs, warming up ahead of their headline slot on the John Peel Stage.

Lead singer Ricky Wilson performed an energetic set, with the enthusiastic crowd singing along to their hit Ruby.

The rockers were followed by Blondie, with lead singer Debbie Harry looking as glamorous as always aged 68.

Attracting a huge crowd to the Pyramid Stage later on were American hip hop trio De La Soul.

The vast area in front of the stage became a sea of people with hundreds holding colourful flags aloft underneath bright sunshine.

Following them were Rudimental who called for those watching them to climb on each other's shoulders and then later asked them to jump up and down to the music. But as they began their hit Waiting All Night the heavens opened and a thunder storm sent many running for cover.

Glastonbury's Left Field opened with a tribute to Tony Benn, who appeared as one of its guest speakers ever since its first incarnation at the festival in 2002.

The late Labour stalwart was described as the stage's "ultimate headline act" by curator Billy Bragg.

Also paying tribute was festival organiser Michael Eavis, who appeared to loud cheers from the packed big top, which is the Left Field's largest yet.

Spectators who were sitting on the grass were asked to stand up to allow more people in, with those gathered cheering and clapping loudly as Mr Benn's encouraging attitude was heralded.

Eavis described the former Cabinet minister, who died in March aged 88, as a "fantastic fella" and "highly principled politician".

"We're going to miss him so much because he was so much a part of this and he was very popular," he said. "How do we replace him?"

Bragg described Mr Benn as a "great friend of Glastonbury". He said he was a popular draw to the Left Field, described as the "meeting place of pop and politics".

"He always filled the tent for us," he added.

Many members of the crowd looked visibly moved as the tribute ended with Bragg leading a singalong of Jerusalem, with some reduced to tears. The 90ft (27m) Left Field tower, which has become a landmark feature of the festival, has been renamed in memory of Mr Benn this year.

PA Media

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