Lauper’s Glastonbury set beset by sound problems

6 hours ago

By Mark SavageMusic Correspondent

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Cyndi Lauper played on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, marking her first appearance at the festival since 2016

Cyndi Lauper’s return to Glastonbury was beset by sound problems that left the audience struggling to hear her vocals.

For the first few songs, the star’s voice was drowned out by rumbling bass. When fans could hear, she seemed to be struggling to find her pitch and timing -particularly on a wayward version of Rocking Chair.

The issues appeared to have been resolved by the time she got to the power ballad I Drove All Night, with her voice suddenly resonant and powerful in the mid-afternoon sun.

But she faltered again on Time After Time, with the delivery on one of her earliest hits from 1984 lagging behind the band – suggesting she was having trouble with her in-ear monitors.

At times, the singer appeared to be in dispute with members of the production team by the side of the stage.

Viewers at home noticed the issues, too, and posted critical comments on social media.

“I think the music is going faster than she is, she’s not in time and out of tune in places… Not good at all,” wrote one.

“Cyndi Lauper certainly isn’t miming, although I kinda wish she was,” wrote another.

“Artists of a certain generation just don’t know when to stop and it’s sad,” added a third.

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The set was reminiscent of Diana Ross’s performance in the Legends Slot two years ago, when fans complained about bum notes and wobbly vocals.

As with that show, the crowd came to the rescue, lifting Lauper up with a fulsome singlong to hits like True Colors and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

And, with more than 40 years of stage experience under her belt, Lauper rallied through the performance with the sheer force of her personality.

She took to the stage in a stunning silver outfit, paired with a powder blue great coat and matching hair.

“How are you doing?” she asked the audience, which stretched to the back of the Pyramid Stage field. “I see you. I love you. You are everywhere.”

Opening with the 1980s soundtrack classic The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough, she segued into the censor-baiting She Bop – a track about the joys of self pleasure.

During the 2008 track Into The Nightlife, she even broke out a recorder solo.

‘I had fun’

But the 71-year-old also used her stage time to make a passionate plea for women’s rights.

“It is time that world leaders understand that women are half the population of the world,” she said, “and we deserve to be treated equally.”

Ending the set, she thanked the audience and said, “have a great party, kids”.

But her expression acknowledged it had been a challenging show.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast afterwards, she admitted there had been “technical difficulties” to endure.

“Sometimes you’re up there and the sound is like, ‘What?’” she said, in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday morning.

“But it doesn’t matter because the spirit is there… The spirit of those people. That was great. I had fun.”

Lauper is joined on Saturday’s line-up by acts including Jessie Ware, Disclosure, Little Simz, Keane, The Streets and Gossip.

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Nigeria’s Ayra Starr brought the summery vibes of Afrobeats to a scorching hot Pyramid Stage

Before her set, the Pyramid Stage opened with an infectious performance from Femi Kuti, who got the midday crowd dancing to the jazzy, soulful grooves of songs like Pà Pá Pà and Corruption Na Stealing.

He also brought out his son, Fela, who stunned fans by holding a single note on the saxophone for almost two minutes.

Fellow Nigerian singer Ayra Starr was next up, making history as the first Afrobeats artist to play the Pyramid Stage.

She took to it like a natural – delivering powerful vocals and slinky dance moves on sunkissed songs like Rush, Woman Commando and Bloody Samartian.

The recent hit Commas went down so well she performed it twice, before finishing with the uplifting singalong Sability.

“The next time I come here I’m going to be headlining, OK?” she said as she left the stage.

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The Staves’ soothing melodies were a welcome start to Saturday for revellers who’d been up all night partying

Folk duo The Staves were the first act onto The Other Stage, easing festival-goers into Saturday with a bucolic set of folk-rock harmonies.

The sisters – Camilla and Jessica Staveley Taylor – played songs from across their 12-year career, from the gentle acoustic melodies of In The Long Run, to the more strident feminist anthems Good Woman and All Now.

Meanwhile, BBC News presenter Ros Atkins made his Glastonbury debut with a heavily-trailled set of drum and bass bangers in the Stonebridge bar.

Coldplay will headline the Pyramid Stage on Saturday night, for a record-breaking fifth time.

Frontman Chris Martin was rumoured to be out and about on Worthy Farm in the morning, handing out LED wristbands for their show, and encouraging fans to vote in next week’s general election.

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