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Gliding across the stage in diamond Wellingtons, Dame Shirley Bassey looked elegant and winning as she performed before an enraptured audience at this weekend’s Glastonbury. The Welsh songstress may have been safe from the elements on stage, but she wasn’t so lucky with her commute home. In the midst of a terrible thunderstorm, Bassey endured a turbulent helicopter ride and a mechanical failure forced an emergency landing. Thankfully, the Dame and her crew of five escaped injury. The Mirror has exclusive accounts from locals in Surrey who watched the helicopter go down:
The shaken pilot emerged to ask locals: “Where am I?”
He apologized for scaring them before admitting: “That was terrifying.
“I was losing power and the mist was so thick I couldn’t see where I was going.
“I’ve got a special passenger. We have had an almighty let-off. Thank God.”
Locals then watched gobsmacked as Dame Shirley Bassey clambered from the chopper in wellingtons.
She said: “We are so sorry to have bothered you. May I please use someone’s toilet? And a cup of tea would go down a treat.”
OK, this woman is FIRE. She emerges from a near-death experience in diamond Wellingtons and calmly asks for toilet and tea. For me, a toilet wouldn’t have been necessary because I would have peed my pants long before.
On Friday, Arctic Monkeys paid tribute to Bassey when they covered her signature tune, “Diamonds Are Forever.” They also played their own hits “Brianstorm”, “Mardy Bum”, and their best song to date, “Fluorescent Adolescent”. They are quite surely becoming a kick-ass live band, and Alex Turner‘s between-songs banter has improved amazingly. And they are smart enough to keep the riff-raff off stage.
Speaking of keeping the riff-raff out, Peaches Geldof got booted from the backstage area when she locked horns with the UK band The Enemy. Frontman Tom Clarke explained all to The Mirror:
“If someone talks to me like a c***, then I treat them like one. And that Peaches nobody is exactly that. She kept coming into our trailer all high and mighty nicking all our food. We were p***ed off with her for that, but then she started taking the p*** singing our song ‘Away From Here’ and that was that.I told her to f*** off, that she was a nobody and should stop acting like a slag all the time. She muttered something like don’t talk to me like that, but I didn’t give a s*** and booted her out.”
Some other Glasto highlights, already popping up on YouTube:
- An unsteady-looking Amy Winehouse (is there any other kind?) introducing her quite talented band. Also, she performed “Rehab” and “Back To Black”.
- The Coral channeling Eric Burdon and the Animals with “Dreaming of You.”
- The Killers rocking through “When You Were Young” and “Smile Like You Mean It.”
- Bloc Party doing an extremely energic “Helicopter.” Maybe they’ll be a great stadium band after all?
- Paolo Nutini, hiding behind a sweaty, sticky mop of disheveled hair, performing “Last Request” and “Jenny, Don’t Be Hasty”.
- Arcade Fire thumping out “Tunnels” and “Wake Up”.
- The View blasting off “Wasted Little DJs” and “Same Jeans”.
- Kaiser Chiefs and somewhat out-of-breath Ricky Wilson playing “Ruby.”
- Maximo Park doing “Our Velocity.”
- A bit of Pete Doherty and Babyshambles performing “Albion Back From the Dead.”
- Also: NME has complete coverage of the event.
- Lily Allen re-opened her feud with Girls Aloud‘s Cheryl Tweedy at Glasto.(Daily Record)
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.