In a large clearing in Sherwood Pines in Nottingham, the 4500+ crowd of mostly 40+ years sat (in camping chairs with beer holders in the arms) and stood waiting on Friday, June 14th. A few cross-dressed men with Blondie wigs and dark glasses wandered around the waiting people.
The Lightning Seeds warming up the clearing in the dense Sherwood Forest with their acoustic versions of classic pop tunes. “Pure” by the way, was delicious.
Then while the stage was changed over thumping rave tunes started, and the daddy dancing began. It was magical to watch… like a clip from Cocoon as people were given an evening of their youth back.
One by one the band took to the stage followed by Debbie Harry, arm outstretched, with a happy grin on her face. Dressed in a neon orange three-piece tracksuit and a camouflage-netting tailcoat over it (to blend with the surroundings of the forest) and Ivy crawling up her thigh. She commanded the stage. She LOOKED FANTASTIC.
Chris Stein, no smiles – far too in the moment (and cool, let’s face it) but played like a dream.
“The Tide Is High”, “I’m not that kinda girl who gives up just like that…. ARE YOU?” *mic to crowd* reply, “NO!”
“Atomic” was AMAZING! The background visuals of a platform computer game, the bright orange lights, Harry’s jumping around and obvious enjoyment of every moment was infectious, and the crowd jumped too! Tommy Kessler on guitar went crazy; it was utterly, utterly brilliant!
Moments of changing from pitch perfect singing to talking the rest of a line didn’t hamper the performance, just made it more ‘real’ as she performed, as expected, like someone that was born to do this forever.
Behind a Perspex screen bathed in green light, Clem Burke beat and banged and twiddled his drumsticks. Marvelous stuff.
The other obvious highlight was “Heart of Glass”. Dusk had hit by then and the green floodlit pine trees seemed to glow even brighter. The hypnotic video of what looked like snow falling if you were lying on your back just added to the utter madness and out of this world performance. A mixture of mostly back in the day songs with a woven few new ones, a great atmosphere and the threatening rain stayed away until the very end.
I was going to say I thought it was a tad inappropriate her singing Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax”, but f*** it she’s Debbie Harry, the original queen of cool… She can do what she wants!
One Way Or Another
Hanging On the Telephone (The Nerves cover)
Union City Blue
The Tide Is High (The Paragons cover)
A Rose By Any Name
Wipe Off My Sweat
Take Me In the Night
What I Heard
Heart of Glass
Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover)