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Robbie Williams + Guests: BST Hyde Park London, Saturday 6th July 2024


While the England football team were battling to beat Switzerland in the Euros football tournament in Germany last night, a certain Robert Williams of Stoke-on-Trent and his musical mates were smashing it in London’s Hyde Park – and a massive crowd were there to witness his triumph, and aptly remind us of one of Robbie’s hit album titles: “Sing When You’re Winning!” And sing they sure did…

Our boys in Europe eventually did the business on penalties, after 90 minutes and 30 mins of extra time [through to the semi-finals on Wednesday against The Netherlands], while Robbie and his very special guests scored big on that green, green grass of home on that famous park in England’s capital city on a warm summer’s night in July.

Day five of the annual gathering for American Express presents BST Hyde Park followed headline shows from SZA, Kings Of Leon, Morgan Wallen and Andrea Bocelli and now it is the former Take That member’s turn to make the short drive from his grand home in Holland Park for some fun in the sun.

Along with what was billed as his “extraordinary special guests” such as Seal, Gaz Coombes, Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape, Kate Nash and more, Robbie pulled a sold out 65,000 strong audience and gave them a spectacular two hour set on the main stage [Great Oak stage].

Arriving with a troupe of 10 dancers, the singer-songwriter legend kicked things off with a bang with “Let Me Entertain You”, followed swiftly by the 1962 Chris Kenner classic, “Land Of A Thousand Dances” – which was a huge hit for soul star Wilson Pickett, “Strong” and the much revered “Come Undone”.

“Thank f*** England won!” he announced – with a nod to England’s Euro 2024 football team winning their quarter final game that evening. “How are you feeling everybody? Are you excited to see me?”

Pausing to introduce the audience to the story of his life, Williams took the crowd back to 1990 when his original group, Take That, produced their first music video, “Do What U Like”. With the video playing on the big screen, he reminisced about the ups and downs of being in the band, before launching into Take That’s 1992 hit “Could It Be Magic”.

Then, telling the story of how he suddenly quit the band in 1995, he saluted the Brit Pop era, with a cover of “Don’t Look Back In Anger” by Oasis, followed by Supergrass’ “Alright” – the latter a duet with ex-Supergrass man Gaz Coombes.

Then, Blur’s “Park Life” – with Williams joined on stage by Eastenders’ actor Danny Dyer. “It’s the double act you didn’t know you needed in your life,” Robbie declared, as Dyer appeared. “Let’s ‘ave it, Hyde Park,” exclaimed Dyer. The performance was accompanied by the 44-strong brass band of Beefeaters, consisting of Coldstream and Welsh Guards, who filled the catwalk, led by Williams and Dyer.

“Back For Good” was a nod to Williams’ reunion with Take That in 2010, and then came a tender moment where Williams thanked his wife, Ayda, and children for turning his life around. “I’ve been with my wife for 18 years. I am the man that I am because you have allowed me to grow with you,” he declared, looking up at his family in’ the Tree Top’, as the first few notes to “Love My Life” started.

“And Teddy, you were the first of your kind and you absolutely blew my friggin’ mind. Daddy is super, super proud of you. I’m going to dedicate this next song to Beau, aged four, Coco, aged five, Charlie, aged nine and Teddy, aged 11.”

From there, Williams threw hit after hit at his fans, from “Candy”, “Supreme” and “Millennium” to “Feel”, “Kids”, “Rock DJ” and “No Regrets”. He even stepped into the crowd to serenade one fan with “She’s The One” – the lucky lady was Laura from Rome, Italy.

Thrown into the mix was a dedication to the great artists who we have lost over the years, including Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Prince, Tina Turner, Bob Marley and more – their faces emblazoned on the screens.

Speaking candidly, Williams opened up to the crowd: “At 50, I’m still here and I’m extremely grateful… Tonight I was the happiest and most chilled I have ever been coming on stage. Maybe it was England [winning], maybe it was you guys, but I’m really f****** happy… Thank you for helping me remain on the planet. I love you guys.”

With a barrage of fireworks and a superb performance of “Angels”, Williams’ headline set came to an end – with 65,000 backing singers on every word. To the final chorus, as his fans sang his lyrics back at him, Williams turned around to embrace his eldest daughter Teddy and wife Ayda on stage. Holding them closely, he bid us “thank you and goodnight”.

Having already blown BST Hyde Park away as one of Andrea Bocelli’s special guests on Friday night, legendary British singer-songwriter Seal returned to the Great Oak Stage to support Williams. “It’s good to see you, it’s good to be back in my hometown,” the singer smiled, before going on to reveal that he was invited to play at BST while he was holidaying in the South of France “in his Speedos.”

Dazzling the audience with his vocals, he performed his ultimate hits, such as “Crazy”, “Kiss From A Rose” and “Love’s Divine”, alongside a cover of T Rex’s “20th Century Boy”.

It didn’t take long for Supergrass frontman, Gaz Coombes, to note that the England football team was playing a crucial match today in the Euros. “”Hello, how are you doing? What are you all doing here? Isn’t there a game on?” he quipped. “If they score, give me a sign, let me know. If the other team scores, don’t tell me – it will put me off!”


Giving a nod to his Supergrass days, Coombes said: “Here’s one I wrote with some friends of mine in my old band. It goes like this…” before launching into the 1999 classic “Moving”. Dressed all in black, with a flat cap and sunglasses and playing his trademark guitar, the alt-rock singer progressed through his catalogue, making sure to also give the crowd another taste of the 90s with “Caught By The Fuzz”, before also playing “Feel The Loop (Lizard Dream)” and “Don’t Say It’s Over” from his 2023 LP, “Turn The Car Around”.

Earlier in the afternoon, Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape celebrated their three decades in the music business with a set saluting every era. Starting off with 90s hits, including “In The Name of The Father”, Ryder and his musical partner Paul Kermit played 45-minutes of their catalogue, also showcasing their latest album, “Orange Head”.

“So, we’ve got a new album out,” Kermit grinned as the artwork filled the screen. Speaking recently about how Ryder and Kermit christened their band back in 1993, Ryder revealed: “The simple reason is, we had the album done, wrote all the tunes and we didn’t have a name. [The record label] wouldn’t release any money until we… gave [them] a name. Paul walked into the studio carrying a can of black grape. We just wanted the money…”

Celebrating her 37th birthday by opening the Great Oak Stage, Kate Nash kicked off proceedings with a dedication to headliner Robbie Williams. “Thank you for being with us in the meantime, while we wait for the King of Pop to arrive,” she said, to the cheering crowd.

The singer also shared some new tracks with fans, including “Millions of Heartbeats”, taken from her brand new album “9 Sad Symphonies”. The West London-born singer shared some classics too, such as the candid “Dickhead” from her 2007 album “Made of Bricks” and the evergreen “Foundations” from the same era.

Headlining The Rainbow Stage was English pop-rock duo, Soft Play, who have racked up three top ten albums in the UK. “Hello London… We are a two man boy band from the garden of England,” they chimed. “There’s a reason why there’s only two of us on stage today.

“When we wanted to start a band, no one wanted to join the f****** band, but we carried on.” Consisting of Isaac Holman on lead vocals and drums, and Lauren Vincent on vocals and bass, Soft Play went all out getting the audience ready for their EMI label mate, Williams, entertaining with the likes of the recent release, “Everything and Nothing”, “Mirror Muscles” and “Punk’s Dead”. “All hail the king… Robbie Williams!”

Singer-songwriter and guitarist, James Smith from Northampton couldn’t hide his excitement at supporting Robbie Williams at BST Hyde Park. The young musician, who has recently performed in New York and Austin, showcased a selection of his songs such as “Molly”, “Somebody To You” and “Sunshine”. The young singer wrote on Instagram: “BST BABY. I’m supporting bloody Robbie Williams. 65,000 people. What a dream.”

Dubai-based singer and pianist – Robbie Williams’ good friend -Ryan Gibb, opened American Express presents BST Hyde Park. When organising the lineup for tonight, there was no doubt Williams would include Gibb on the list, after he impressed Robbie at his 25th anniversary show last year.

Brit-pop singer Ellur, Dutch singer and youTube fan Davina Michelle, and up-and-coming pop-punk star, Ben Kidson, completed a day of classical prestige.

  • American Express presents BST Hyde Park continues today, Sunday 7th July, with headliner Shania Twain, The Corrs, Anne-Marie, Elle King, Natalie Imbruglia, Cate, Nell Mescal, Dea Mattron, Hannah Grae, Natalie Shay and Germein.


Photos: Dave Hogan

Words: Steve Best



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