Lou Reed sings for Gorillaz at Glastonbury

Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:21pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

PILTON, England (Reuters) - British band Gorillaz brought Arabic flutes, heavy rap and veteran rocker Lou Reed to the Glastonbury music festival on Friday in an eclectic set played before tens of thousands of revelers.

The group fronted by Damon Albarn of Blur fame was recruited at the last moment for one of the music world's biggest events after Irish rockers U2 pulled out when lead singer Bono had emergency surgery on his back.

Around 150,000 people gathered on a dairy farm in southwest England to see Gorillaz and the likes of Shakira, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Muse and Kylie Minogue, who were all expected to take the stage by the close on Sunday night.

Sweltering temperatures meant that 2010 has not featured the rain and mud baths for which Glastonbury is famous. Instead it is bare chests and bikinis as revelers soak up the sun, atmosphere and plenty of beer.

Albarn, who has headlined at Glastonbury twice before with Blur, was joined on the main Pyramid stage by Bobby Womack, Reed and Shaun Ryder, as well as a female string section and an Arabic orchestra.

Giant screens beamed images from the stage interspersed with video footage featuring Gorillaz and their cartoon alter egos.

Albarn told Reuters backstage before the performance that his collaboration with so many artists in making Gorillaz's latest album "Plastic Beach" had been particularly rewarding.

"That's the nice thing. You sort of get these friendships going and everybody just piles into these places all over the world. It's a really nice carnival atmosphere offstage and onstage."   Continued...

<p>Festival-goers sit around candles and set of paper lanterns at the stone circle at the Glastonbury Festival 2010 in south west England, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>