by Ian Davis / DotMusic
25th June 2000
As the piano intro starts, a dreadful thought occurs. Has Bowie pulled out and been replaced by Elton John?
….A precautionary search for car keys is conducted, post haste. But no need to worry as, soon enough, the man himself appears on-stage and there is absolutely no mistaking that voice – even if the body from which it emanates resembles no-one more than Robert Plant.
….The piano prelude doesn’t bode well, and a long drawn out, and a little known number opens the set, but this state of affairs is soon rectified as Bowie rattles through a selection of his greatest hits – China Girl, Changes, Ashes To Ashes, endless classics. The crowd is silent, awed, as he performs a sensational Life on Mars?.
….He is clearly enjoying himself as Bowie regales the crowd with anecdotes of his previous appearances at the festival, and even his outrageous arrogance in declaring Absolute Beginners, his favourite love song of the eighties, is easily forgiven.
….The only downside to the set is that his backing musicians are nowhere near the standard he himself sets – this is particularly clear in Rebel, Rebel, where the song’s trademark riff is almost lost in their aimless noodling, indistinguishable and murky.
….But apart from that, an excellent close to the festival. David Bowie’s ageless charm has justified Michael Eavis’ claims of a best Glastonbury at the final hour. Hoorahh!