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Blondie At Glastonbury 2023, Reviewed

Heart of Glastonbury: Debbie Harry and Blondie deliver joyous greatest hits set

mojo4music.com – 26th June 2023

By Ian Harrison

These are crowds like Paul McCartney had last year: enormous, impossible-to-penetrate and populated with parties with rugs, chairs and crates of beer who are clearly settled in for the long haul. And well they might: there are legends playing today, and in the first rank of them are Blondie.

Debbie Harry may be 77, but in a CBGB t-shirt and avant-garde sun vizor, she is still defiantly herself. Her voice has become less elastic over time, but she remains one of the all-time magnetic fronters of bands, and today’s punchily presented set has a dizzying hit rate. Complete with rhyming – it’s good to know that Flash is still fast and cool – Rapture is present in all of its old, dangerous New York glory, while Atomic sees original drummer Clem Burke getting some typically metronomic soloing in. There’s also some recent material made after the band’s first incarnation, with a celestial Maria proving that bands can create some of their defining songs long after their first flush of success. There are also wisecracks: Debbie says they played Call Me and Hanging On The Telephone early on in order to get all the songs involving landlines out of the way. We must point out, however, to not play a song like Sunday Girl takes some nerve.

As beauteous closer Dreaming articulates, it’s the kind of feeling festivals were made for. But if you had to pick a moment it would be Heart Of Glass. Covered earlier in the day by Toyah and Robert Fripp, Blondie’s latest version segues into the electro bass pulse of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, and is that the same guitar feedback off Bowie’s “Heroes,” which was played by Robert Fripp? To finish it there’s a brief wordless blast through the Pistols’ God Save The Queen (well, Glen Matlock is on bass). What Queen? You know which one. Blondie in 2023: not fading away, still radiating.


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