Bloody hell, how did Hop Farm Festival manage it?
They finally got Prince to leave his Minneapolis throne, descend his satin, purple-coloured staircase and play a UK festival.
For years the presence of his Purpleness has been the mainstay of the Glastonbury rumour mill for good reason. Because along with the other oft-speculated headliners (David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and Dolly Parton) he’s perfect festival fodder.
He’s got an audacious back-catalogue of generation-spanning hits, a legendary mastery of stage craft and the ability to connect person to person even in a nose-bleed inducing stadium.
I remember being transfixed watching his ‘Parade’, ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ and ‘Lovesexy’ tours on TV as a child. It was like seeing a master at work; a brutal guitar player, speed demon dancer and an understanding band leader (who had enough ego control to let outstanding talents like Wendy & Lisa and Sheila E have their moments in the sun).
I finally got to see him in the flesh during his O2 residency and he didn’t disappoint. Aided by his large band and the fairly ridiculous Twinz he played an otherworld mix of The Hits (‘1999’, ‘Let’s Go Crazy’, ‘U Got The Look’) but it was he hunkered down for the solo roll through the likes of ‘Raspberry Beret’ and weepy ‘Parade’ album closer ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’ that made the evening for me.
Magnetic, thrilling and with the audience in raptures even before he hit the stage, it was one of the best nights of my life. Glastonbury, you must be well jealous.