Nick at the Glastonbury Festival,
Friday 25 June 1999 - by Linda Carter

For those of you unable to be there, this is what the official programme said: "Nick Harper: When your dad is a living legend and you make your debut recording with Jimmy Page, you're always going to have a lot to live up to. But Nick, son of Roy, doesn't merely follow in his old man's footsteps. His new album Smithereens annoyed some traditionalists with its modern take on the folk template, but live he's as chatty as he is challenging." The festival souvenir revue did not report the performance of Nick or Roy but Nick was used in an illustration of people caught in traffic jams, and I quote: 'The inevitable traffic jam led to the traditional Glastonbury one upmanship competition: "Who did you miss? Nick Harper? Oh really?'

I watched Nick follow Mark Nevin on Friday afternoon. Mark (Fairground Attraction founder) played to a small but appreciative crowd. When Nick appeared the acoustic tent began to fill, and as his fingers flew over the strings more curious faces joined from outside. If they had not heard of Nick before they will follow him now. He stood as a performer in his own right. A brilliant set - not long enough by any means but included Headless, Kilty Stone, Out Of It, Building Our Own Temple as well as Radio Silence and The Magnificent G7, prior to which Nick gave his views on 'Dropping the Debt'. Sporting an appropriate Red Greenpeace T-shirt he amazed the crowd with his sensitivity, thoughtfulness and sheer talent. He left the stage to a standing ovation. It wasn't just the crew with tears in their eyes. "Let anyone here at Glastonbury follow that", I heard someone say as I left. "Roy Harper? Who's he?" [note: Linda did have a great time watching Roy too, to be fair! - the ed.]

I sincerely hope the Harpers return to Glastonbury in larger marquees next year but I was just delighted to be present at this one.

Created 14 September 2002
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