Prince reigns over festival crowd

PUBLISHED: 11:25 11 July 2011 | UPDATED: 13:58 11 July 2011

Prince at Hop Farm Festival

Prince at Hop Farm Festival


»This year’s Hop Farm festival in Kent was an homage to rock’n’roll stalwarts.

There was no room for the fetish of youth where the average age of the headline acts was just below the retirement age.

Starting with The Eagles and Bryan Ferry on Friday July 1, the farm played host to some veterans of the seventies New York punk scene on Saturday.

Lou Reed followed a captivating acoustic set by Patti Smith, who encouraged the audience to “let the government know that we are here! You are free!”

Iggy Pop has honed the art of entertainment over his 40-year career. The topless livewire swore and danced and wiggled his way through stompers I Wanna Be Your Dog, Fun House and Raw Power.

Saturday’s headliner was ex-Smiths man Morrissey, who delighted fans with a selection of solo material and well-worn but timeless pearls from his Smiths era.

An adoring crowd sang along to classics Every Day Is Like Sunday, Alma Matters and the anthemic Panic, and were encouraged to “break the bad habits of a lifetime and enjoy yourselves” by the Mancunian.

One act, however, which stood out in terms of spectacle, musical perfection and stage presence was Sunday’s headliner Prince – the pint-sized genius and musical impresario who was to the eighties what Bowie had been to the seventies.

At 53, he looked 35 at most and he pirouetted his way through some of his greatest hits, while showing off an impressive command of the guitar – all of which he masters wearing his trademark high heels.The two-hour set passed too quickly and proved that genius can age gracefully.

Sukran Sahin

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