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Glastonbury 2014: Dolly Parton's enigmatic set 'biggest attraction since the Rolling Stones'

Glastonbury Festival 2014: Dolly Parton's enigmatic set at Worthy Farm Close

Dolly Parton performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival

Dolly Parton performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival

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Dolly Parton with guest Richie Sambora performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival

Dolly Parton with guest Richie Sambora performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival

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James Hetfield of Metallica performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 28, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

James Hetfield of Metallica performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 28, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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James Hetfield of Metallica performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 28, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

James Hetfield of Metallica performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 28, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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The crowd watch Metallica perform at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 28, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

The crowd watch Metallica perform at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 28, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: James Hetfield of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: James Hetfield of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: The crowd watch as Metallica perform on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: The crowd watch as Metallica perform on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Robert Trujillo of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Robert Trujillo of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: James Hetfield of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: James Hetfield of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs on the Pyramid stage during Day 2 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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Edwin 'Win' Butler, lead singer of Arcade Fire, interacts with the crowd as he performs on the Pyramid main stage at Glastonbury music festival, England, Friday, June 27, 2014. More than 175,000 are expected to arrive at Worthy Farm in Pilton to watch hundreds of acts amongst headliners, Arcade Fire, Metallica and Kasabian.(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Edwin 'Win' Butler, lead singer of Arcade Fire, interacts with the crowd as he performs on the Pyramid main stage at Glastonbury music festival, England, Friday, June 27, 2014. More than 175,000 are expected to arrive at Worthy Farm in Pilton to watch hundreds of acts amongst headliners, Arcade Fire, Metallica and Kasabian.(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs on The Pyramid Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs on The Pyramid Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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Lily Allen performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

Lily Allen performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

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A giant mechanical spider shoots out flames during a music and special effects show at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

A giant mechanical spider shoots out flames during a music and special effects show at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

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Arcade Fire performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury

Arcade Fire performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury

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The giant mechanical spider at Arcadia is silhouette at sunset at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

The giant mechanical spider at Arcadia is silhouette at sunset at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

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Festival goers watch Blondie performing on the Other Stage, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

Festival goers watch Blondie performing on the Other Stage, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

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Festival goers watch Blondie performing on the Other Stage, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

Festival goers watch Blondie performing on the Other Stage, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

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The crowd watching Blondie performing on the Other Stage, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

The crowd watching Blondie performing on the Other Stage, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

PA

Ricky Wilson (centre) performs a surprise set with the Kaiser Chiefs, as the first act of the festival, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

Ricky Wilson (centre) performs a surprise set with the Kaiser Chiefs, as the first act of the festival, at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

PA

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Paolo Nutini performs on The Other Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Paolo Nutini performs on The Other Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Danielle Haim of 'Haim' performs on The Other Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Danielle Haim of 'Haim' performs on The Other Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: The crowd enjoy the atmosphere at The Other Stage during day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: The crowd enjoy the atmosphere at The Other Stage during day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Chris Stein and Debbie Harry of Blondie performs on The Other Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Chris Stein and Debbie Harry of Blondie performs on The Other Stage during Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 27, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 26:  A sculpture by Banksy, entitled 'The Sirens of the Lambs', depicting a truck full of shrieking cuddly animals being driven to slaughter, driving around the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Pilton on the second day of the 2014 Glastonbury Festival on June 26, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. Gates opened today at the Somerset dairy farm that plays host to one of the largest music festivals in the world. Tickets to the event, which is now in its 44th year, sold out in minutes even before any of the headline acts had been confirmed. The festival, which started in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid £1, now attracts more than 175,000 people.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: A sculpture by Banksy, entitled 'The Sirens of the Lambs', depicting a truck full of shrieking cuddly animals being driven to slaughter, driving around the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Pilton on the second day of the 2014 Glastonbury Festival on June 26, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. Gates opened today at the Somerset dairy farm that plays host to one of the largest music festivals in the world. Tickets to the event, which is now in its 44th year, sold out in minutes even before any of the headline acts had been confirmed. The festival, which started in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid £1, now attracts more than 175,000 people. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Festival goers enjoy the atmosphere during the  Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 26, 2014 in Glastonbury, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Festival goers enjoy the atmosphere during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 26, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

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Dolly Parton performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury this year has been notable for its patchy early line-up, mud, more mud, and at least until Metallica's heavy-metal rearguard action, the sense that it was slightly underwhelming compared to previous years. That was until Dolly Parton came to town.

Her appearance in a sparkling white pantsuit and with massive (fake) hair was, without exaggeration, the biggest attraction since the Rolling Stones packed out the Pyramid Stage last year, her swaying fans and their flags seeming to run right back to the barn doors of Worthy Farm. And what followed was a country hoedown worthy of Dolly’s Smokey Mountain hometown in Minnesota. It came after a Saturday dominated by mud as much as metal, whereas Dolly was treated to fine weather and a series of crowd-pleasing warm-up acts.

It was as if Michael Eavis has lined up the acts, including the English National Ballet, The 1975, a secret Kooks gig and feel-good folk from Lucy Rose, to give the inhabitants of Glastonbury time to recover from the night before and polish their cowboy boots (or at least knock the worst of the mud of their wellies).

The queen of country, who said she grew up on a farm just like “Mr Eavis” so was used to mud, was soon dancing and prancing across the vast stage to her feel-good hits including “Why Don’t You Come In here Lookin’ Like That”, “Jolene” and soulful “Islands in the Stream”. She may have had a showy sparkling banjo to pluck, but it was her powerful voice that really impressed.

Even “Blue Smoke” (the title track from her new album, which she plugged heavily) was quickly picked up by the crowd, who had clearly never heard it before.  “Here You Come Again” was a big hit too before “Nine to Five” heralded a mass sing-along, easily embarrassing Metallica and Arcade Fire’s attempts earlier in the weekend.

Earlier in the day, Warwickshire vocalist Lucy Rose had delighted on the Other Stage. She was clearly nervous in front of such a big crowd, but it was perfect cider and picnic music and her winsome tones (a gravely, faster Laura Marling) will surely get her a bigger slot next year.

Elsewhere The 1975 offered a rocky warm-up to Dolly, with an exuberant if unpolished and slightly immature set that baffled gathering Dolly die-hards. Their mud-splattered, sweaty, scraggly appearance could be more different from the American superstar who followed.

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Dolly wasn’t the only American star either; she was joined on stage by Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Samora for a rocky “Lay Your Hands On Me”, which she called, “just a conversation with the Lord”.  The crowd loved its fast-pace, rocky tempo and slashed guitars, though it was so vast that some at the back will have struggled to know what was going on.

Fans who did battle in to the front, will have been treated to a conversational Dolly, who ended with “I Will Always Love You”. The Glastonbury hoedown continued with Kasabian headlining, but Dolly will surely know that she brought more than enough country charm to leave Glastonbury smiling. She had just the superstar quality it was missing.

Source: Independent


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