HEY HEY, MY MY WHAT A GIG!

Thunderstorms and torrential rain turn Finsbury Park to mulch, but the veteran rocker still manages to whip up a storm...

NEIL YOUNG played his first LONDON show with CRAZY HORSE in several years yesterday (June 16), headlining the FLEADH festival in the city’s FINSBURY PARK.

Much of the audience stayed away until late in the day, as the north London festival site was hammered with torrential rain and thunderstorms throughout the afternoon.

Early in the day, Starsailor used their mid-afternoon placing on the second stage to retaliate at Ash, whose singer Tim Wheeler – who was at the festival – has been criticising the band from the stage while on tour, asking their fans to “put your hands up if you hate Starsailor.”

Introducing hit single ‘Good Souls’, the final song in their set, Starsailor frontman James Walsh said: “This is for Tim Wheeler from Ash. This is your first fucking lesson in humility. The second will come from Neil Young later on.”

Evan Dando, appearing on the second stage after Teenage Fanclub – who had played their song ‘Neil Jung’ and dedicated it to the day’s headliner – was introduced by Marianne Faithfull. His set, which saw him playing an acoustic guitar with a second guitarist on stage, included old Lemonheads single ‘Confetti’.

The Waterboys’ line-up saw the return of their former fiddle player Steve Wickham, to the audience’s – and frontman Mike Scott’s – obvious delight.

The set culminated with several songs from the band’s back catalogue, including ‘The Pan Within’, ‘All The Things She Gave Me’, ‘We Will Not Be Lovers’, ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ and, inevitably, ‘The Whole Of The Moon’.

Among the celebrity guests spotted backstage were Kate Moss, who was with Marianne Faithfull, comedians Neil Morrissey and Sean Hughes, veteran indie DJ Janice Long, Glastonbury festival organiser Michael Eavis, members of Pulp and Supergrass.

The field only finally filled up for Neil Young, who took the stage for a stunning two-and-a-quarter hour set which included classics such as ‘Cinnamon Girl’, ‘Hey Hey My My’, ‘Powderfinger’, ‘Cortez The Killer’ and ‘Piece Of Crap’, which he dedicated to US president George Bush.

Neil Young wound up his only London show on his current UK tour with an epic rendition of ‘Like A Hurricane’.

To read the full review of the day’s proceedings, click here.