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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire Features »
August 2003
Knebworth was a blast!
Rob at Knebs
Show time!

Let us entertain you..

The record-breaking Knebworth concerts established Robbie as the biggest star in Europe at the monent, and maybe (soon?) the world...

Eman wrote this review - but what did you think?

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KNEBWORTH
FACT FILE

· More than 100 major rock acts, including Queen, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, have played at Knebworth Park since it became a music venue in 1974.

· The first concert that took place in the grounds of stately home Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, featured The Allman Brothers, Van Morrison and The Doobie Brothers.

· Knebworth House is home to Lord and Lady Cobbold, who were first persuaded to lease the park after being approached by festival promoter Freddy Bannister in 1974.

· Pink Floyd performed for 100,000 fans at the outdoor venue the following year, supported by The Steve Miller Band, Captain Beefheart, Roy Harper and Linda Lewis.

· The Rolling Stones attracted huge crowds at Knebworth in 1976, while Led Zeppelin played their last ever two concerts there in 1979.

· In 1986 Queen performed their last gig at Knebworth in front of a 120,000-strong crowd, supported by Status Quo and Big Country.

· A four-year gap followed until 1990 when Knebworth returned with a star-studded charity event with acts including Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Status Quo and Elton John.

· In 1996 Oasis sold out their two shows at Knebworth in just nine hours.

· ...But Robbie Williams beat Oasis' record this year, selling all tickets for his initial two dates at Knebworth in seven hours, and added a third date due to the overwhelming demand.

· In August 2001 the traditional rock venue become a Mecca for dance music fans for one night when super club Ministry Of Sound launched a major event headlined by funk act Jamiroquai.


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As Robbie Williams descended the stage hanging by a wire (like the cover of Escapology) dressed in a black shirt and white tie, the hundreds and thousands of fans went wild on the first night of the three nights of concerts and he opened with ‘Let Me Entertain You’.

"Good evening. My name is Robbie Williams. This is my band and for the next two hours your ass is mine," he informed the fans.

All day bash
The performance started at 3 but the gates opened at 12 because of the rush of fans. Amongst the supporting acts were Kelly Osbourne, Ash, The Darkness and Moby.

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And not one fan was disappointed by the day-long performances.

Robbie
The line-up of songs included ‘She's The One’, ‘Rock DJ’ and ‘Feel’, plus tracks from his latest album Escapology, and a great finale with the Angels.

Robbie stripped of his shirt (phwar!) and sang the song ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen (who also performed at Knebworth in 1986).


Though he's already halfway through a 15-date European tour, The Robster looked relaxed from the outset, relishing the opportunity to play up to a home crowd. Sometimes he looked a bit tired to me, but, well, he's allowed on such a huge occasion.

What i thought was really great was that the excitment never dropped right through the whole two hours. I dunno, but he doesn't really seem to have to try - everything just works for him, doesn't it, and the audience can just go with it!

Er, what was that about the drugs?
The Channel Four broadcast showed him acting up with a pretty wierd audience participation thing about drugs and alcohol (did you understand that?), but also being really soft-hearted with a young couple standing just outside the barrier.

The new material stood up well alongside more established tracks. Me and My Monkey was the real show-stopper, while on the first night Jan, robbie's mum, turned up.
Mr Bojangles worked a lot better than I thought it would too.

The dancers were however totally abysmal - making that part of the show seem like some dodgy musical. Robbie, you don't need them!

Take that, Take That
He dedicated the song No Regrets to the guys of Take That and ended the gig with a medley of Take That songs ending with the classic ‘Back For Good’.

It was an absolutely brilliant performance; those who bought the tickets (and made it to the concert) got their money's worth and those who saw it on Channel 4 will be green or dead with envy...

... and those who were stuck in the traffic jam and heard about the concert from their mates will have lost all faith in God and will also be wanted for murder!

Eman


More
See BBC photos from Knebworth
And
reviews and pictures from BBC Three Counties.
The traffic chaos stories are also important see Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning news.

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