McCartney hailed by reviewers and fans alike for ‘thrilling’ Glastonbury set

·3 min read

Comedian and TV star Steve Coogan has described watching Sir Paul McCartney’s history-making Glastonbury headline set as “quite overwhelming”.

Alan Partridge star Coogan, 56, was among the thousands of people in the crowd for the performance by Sir Paul, who at 80 became the festival’s oldest solo headliner on Saturday night.

Sir Paul performed Beatles and Wings songs in a set lasting more than two hours, and he was joined on stage by surprise guests – Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen.

Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen
Sir Paul McCartney, left, was joined on stage by Dave Grohl, centre, and Bruce Springsteen (Joel C Ryan/AP)

While the crowd sang Hey Jude in the background, Coogan told the BBC: “I don’t know what to say, it’s quite overwhelming.

“I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world who can just give such unadulterated joy to people… very, very privileged to be able to see that.”

The Guardian review gave Sir Paul four stars out of five, with The Telegraph honouring him with a full house of five out of five and suggesting Glastonbury may have to be renamed “Maccabury”.

The newspaper praised the musician for delivering “one of the most thrilling, uplifting, banger-filled, star-studded sets this 50-plus-year-old festival had ever seen”.

The performance paid homage to those near and dear to the Beatle, with Sir Paul dedicating a song to his wife of more than a decade Nancy, and to former bandmate, John Lennon, who was killed in 1980.

Using special technology which could isolate Lennon’s vocals from old recordings, Sir Paul was able to duet the Beatles’ track I’ve Got A Feeling alongside his former bandmate on the Pyramid Stage as part of the encore.

Speaking on-site after the show, fans were full of praise for Sir Paul.

Jake Richardson told the PA news agency: “I think I’ve probably just seen one of the most legendary performances ever.

“This is my first time at Glastonbury, I’ve never been before. I’m a huge Beatles fan, I’m a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, I’m a huge Foo Fighters fan, I got everything I wanted tonight.”

Despite the majority of the Glastonbury headline performances being shown live on BBC iPlayer, Sir Paul’s show was not aired on the broadcaster’s channels until an hour into his set.

The BBC said it was not broadcast live due to the “complexity” of broadcasting an event of that scale and volume, adding in a statement that “there is sometimes variation between performances taking place and their transmission.”

On Friday night, Billie Eilish became the festival’s youngest solo headliner as she took to the Pyramid Stage.

Speaking ahead of her performance, she praised the impact the Beatles’ music has had on her, telling NME: “The Beatles were what raised me. My love for music I feel 95% owes to the Beatles and Paul.”

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