By Paul Sandle
GLASTONBURY, England (Reuters) – Barry Gibb brought some Sunday afternoon fever to the legends slot at Glastonbury Festival when he entertained a huge crowd with Bee Gees hits “Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep is Your Love”, “Night Fever” and “Tragedy”.
The songs all featured on the soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever”, released 40 years, and festival goers at the Pyramid Stage were dressed up and ready to play homage to the movie and music that defined disco.
“Stayin’ Alive”, the first of a string of hits Gibbs played from the movie, had the whole field of revelers and the stage’s security team disco dancing in the afternoon sunshine.
Gibb formed the Bee Gees in 1958 with his two brothers Robin and Maurice, who have both died. The group has sold more than 220 million records.
The Sunday afternoon “legends” slot has become one of the most popular at the festival, and previous occupants including Dolly Parton and Lionel Ritchie have drawn huge audiences and seen record sales surge after appearing.
Gibb dedicated the song “Words” to the people of Manchester and London after terror attacks in both cities and a devastating fire in London in recent weeks.
Glastonbury, which is known affectionately as “Glasto”, opened on Friday with a minute’s silence to reflect the events, and many performers have dedicated songs to the victims and those affected.
The mood on the Pyramid Stage quickly lightened when Gibb donned a gold lame jacket from an audience member to sing disco hit “Tragedy”.
“Thank you for the experience of a lifetime,” the 70-year old said.
The disco theme continued with a performance by U.S. band Chic, with a set including “I’m Coming Out”, the Diana Ross hit written and produced by band members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, and “Le Freak”.
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran will close the festival on the Pyramid Stage on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old first performed at Glastonbury on the tiny Croissant Neuf stage in 2011, a few months before the release of his debut album “+”, which went on to sell more than 4 million copies.
His third record “divide (symbol)” became the fastest-selling album by a British male artist when it was released in March, and all 16 of the tracks were in the top-20 simultaneously as they were streamed by millions of fans.
(Editing by Susan Thomas)