Jamie Cullum plays ‘Thriller’ tribute to Michael Jackson at Glastonbury

Jazz man gets help from Spinal Tap, Clint Eastwood, Rihanna and a trumpeter in the crowd

Jamie Cullum paid a musical tribute to Michael Jackson at Glastonbury this afternoon (June 27).

Fresh from his guest spot with Spinal Tap on the Pyramid Stage earlier this afternoon, the singer made the gesture while performing his own set on the Jazz World Stage.

Midway through his performance, the crooner climbed up on top of his grand piano to lead his band through a jazzy version of ‘Thriller’.


Cullum relied on a printed-out lyric sheet before breaking the song down with some human beat-boxing towards the end.

Earlier, the set had kicked off with a laid-back cover of Rihanna‘s ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music’, after which Cullum launched into new song ‘So They Say’, although he told the audience that its satirical lyrics “made more sense when George Bush was in power”.

Cullum then spoke to the crowd about his guest spot with Spinal Tap.

“About three hours ago I was onstage with Spinal Tap,” he declared. “That was probably the defining moment of existence, sharing a stage with Derek Smalls!”

The singer, who was watched by supermodel girlfriend Sophie Dahl from the side of the stage, then played a set mixing up jazz standards, new songs and ‘Gran Torino’, which he co-wrote with Clint Eastwood for the movie of the same name.

He also played his regular Jimi Hendrix cover, ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, during which he was joined by his brother and Egg bassist, Ben, for a piano duet.


Cullum then brought his set to a climax by covering Radiohead‘s ‘High And Dry’, during which he was joined by a trumpeter in the crowd – who improvised along, much to the band’s enjoyment.

Jamie Cullum played:

‘Please Don’t Stop The Music’
‘So They Say’
‘Get Your Way’
‘Gran Torino’
‘The Wind Cries Mary’
‘I’m All Over It Now’
‘High And Dry’

NME.COM is coming live from Glastonbury throughout the 2009 festival. Stay tuned for the latest news, pictures, blogs and video interviews.

Head to our NME Festivals section for the latest Glastonbury picture gallery, and check out the NME Festivals Glastonbury blog for dispatches straight from Worthy Farm. For all of our coverage go to the Glastonbury 2009 homepage now.

Plus make sure you get next week’s issue of NME, on UK newsstands from July 1, for the ultimate Glastonbury 2009 review.