Going out in style?
This was billed as being "possibly their last ever performance" by Radio 2 presenter Janis Long who was introducing the acts on the Main Stage on Friday. If that was the case then it would have been rude not to play a blinder.
A regular observation from the weekend is that many of the acts playing major stage slots had a limited number of crowd pleasers. Not so the Lightning Seeds, for this was a set bursting with the things. They opened with 'Sense' and 'Change', as good a way to hit the ground running as any: and the hits just kept on Coming!
'Sugar coated iceberg', 'Marvelous', 'Perfect' and 'Lucky You' were all included and as the set wore on it was clear no major track was to be forgotten.
During this set the crowd really came to life for the first time, and by the time the oldest in the setlist, 1989's 'Pure' was pulsating it's way across Stoke Park everyone was on their feet.
The Lightning Seeds will be remembered for two things, their ability to write great pop music, and their connection with football, a combination that brought them their only chart topper.
As the set drew to a close, the track which for many will always mean 'Goal of the Month' the 1992 hit 'Life of Reilly' was being belted out, for once the phrase 'like it was for the last time' actually had some meaning. At the same time the anticipation was rising for there was still time for one more, would they be put off by England's glorious failure the previous month?...not a chance!
A few random facts from Frank Skinner's autobiography. 'Three Lions' was originally meant to have the line 'Butcher ready for war', but the FA didn't like that idea and so 'Bobby belting the ball' was added. When the German's won Euro 96, guess which song was played as part of their victory ceremony, and even though it was number 1 in 1996 it wasn't until the re-issue in 98 that the collective went on 'Top of the Pops' as the full set.
Alright so from an English point of view the World Cup was a total balls up, but like that mattered on Friday night.
The Lightning Seeds' singles album is selling well once again, and given the reaction they got from this enthusiastic Guilfest crowd, a farewell tour would be greatly appreciated by many. That may not actually happen but for those present this was a great opportunity to be reminded about how many excellent songs that band have made and what fine servants to British pop music they've been.