CORNBURY FESTIVAL

PAUL Simon and Crowded House were the billed main headliners but if the phalanx of photographers snaking its way across the field during The Bangles’ Saturday set is anything to go by, the biggest star at this, the fifth Cornbury Festival, is an inconspicuously turned out gent and a lady we take to be his wife who are making their way, as casually as possible, down into the throng around the stage.

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PAUL Simon and Crowded House were the billed main headliners but if the phalanx of photographers snaking its way across the field during The Bangles’ Saturday set is anything to go by, the biggest star at this, the fifth Cornbury Festival, is an inconspicuously turned out gent and a lady we take to be his wife who are making their way, as casually as possible, down into the throng around the stage.
Blimey, it’s David Cameron. But hey, that’s the sort of festival Cornbury is. Last year Kate Moss was knocking around, the year before that Prince Harry, and only 10 minutes ago we were supping shoulder to shoulder with Jeremy Clarkson in the Pimms and Champers VIP bar.
Billed – somewhat ironically as it turned out – as “The Complete Summer Weekend”, the Cornbury Festival takes place on the beautiful country estate of Lord and Lady Rotherwick near Charlbury in Oxfordshire; the sort of place where fallow deer graze peacefully under ancient giant oaks. Past line-ups have seen Amy Winnehouse, Blondie, David Gray, The Waterboys, Proclaimers and Joe Cocker perform and here’s how this year’s most family fun you can have in the Cotswolds shook down.
BEST BITS:
1. Toots & The Maytals doing ‘Monkey Man’ as the sun did battle with the blackening sky and, sadly, lost.
2. The Bangles – that’s the Petersen sisters plus Susanna Hoffs – playing a perky ‘Going Down To Liverpool’ and ‘Eternal Flame’ – the latter a real lighters aloft moment.
3. Carbon/Silicon on the Second Stage, Mick Jones toothily grinning in the face of the driving rain as Tony James and co delivered a dapper ‘Why Do Men Fight’.
4. Paul Simon. Just Paul Simon. It was weird he was here, especially as Hugh Phillimore, the guys who runs the show, had originally tried to book ZZ Top! Anyway, the titchy half of the most successful duo of the 60s saw us all home in good humour on Saturday with a set smattered with solo hits like ‘Me & Julio’ and ‘Slip-Slidin’ Away’ plus S&G greats like ‘Mrs Robinson’.
5. 10cc. There’s only Graham Gouldman left from the original line-up but the set is still a jukebox of hits – ‘I’m Not In Love’, ‘Rubber Bullets’ and the exquisite ‘I’m Mandy, Fly Me’ – all immaculately played.
6. KT Tunstall – braved the elements which had, by Sunday evening, assumed the characteristics of Noah’s mythic flood, to put on a plucky and ecstatically received show.
BUMMERS
SO now we know where all the traditional Glastonbury weather went.

STEVE SUTHERLAND

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