The fourth sold out day of Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park welcomed legendary Grammy Award winner Michael Bublé – who put on a historic performance to start the second weekend of the festival.
As the grandiose opening chords of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” chimed out, Bublé emerged onto the sparkling stage, receiving a deafening cheer from the packed crowd. With barely a pause for breath, the Canadian heartthrob and his orchestra rolled straight into “Just Haven’t Met You Yet”, one of the star’s most cherished tracks.
Walking down the platform towards the audience, he deadpanned: “This is exactly how it was in my mind! It’s been two years since I’ve been on stage, and like any human of course I worry that whatever I had at one point might have gone. But after two songs, I’m even better than before.”
There was even a shoutout for ITV phenomenon, Love Island. “This isn’t a concert, this is Love Island…. and just like Love Island, incredibly sophisticated people are going to come together to connect, to meet…. and maybe do it in a swimming pool.”
The flickering rain only added to the spectacle, as Michael skipped, strutted and paraded along a ramp extending into the audience, covering music from the likes of Ray Charles, Otis Redding, James Taylor, Bobby Darin and Van Morrison – of who Bublé commented: “He’s been a huge part of my romance with music. It meant so much to me today to be here and share a stage with him” – and also treated the Hyde Park audience to several tracks from his anticipated forthcoming LP, as well as classics such as “Everything”, ’Home”, “Nobody But Me” and “Cry Me A River”.
During his performance, Michael Bublé passed the microphone to his four-year old son Noah to finish off a track from movie The Greatest Showman, a film they’d had watched multiple times together.
“There are no words for how much love, affection, gratitude, that I have in my heart on behalf of myself, my family, for your love, for your prayers, for your support. I want to thank you not only for tonight, but for every night, for everything you’ve done for me. Each one of you has made such a difference in my life.”
It was only fitting that warming up for Michael Bublé was his musical icon Van Morrison, who treated the packed audience to an inspiring set from his extensive back catalogue - alternating between his timeless voice, the punchy tones of the saxophone and the rich nuances of the harmonica throughout the set.
Van Morrison’s band of bass, guitars, horns, drums, strings, percussion and backing singers also impressed, in particular during the iconic 1970 track, “Moondance” and crowd favourite “Brown Eyed Girl”
Bananarama brought the 80’s nostalgia to the Great Oak Stage to Hyde Park with their sequinned outfits and girl group dance routines. This was their final ever London show as a trio and they received a rapturous reception to classics including “It Ain’t What You Do It’s the Way That You Do It” and “Robert De Niro’s Waiting”.
They referenced the bright sunshine and scorching heat before performing summer anthem “Cruel Summer”, stating “The great British summer at last! It’s very rare this song about a hot summer rings true!"
The Feeling opened their set with “I Want You Now” – one of the many hits from their 2006 album, Twelve Steps And Home. The colourful artwork of the aforementioned LP was projected behind them as they powered through several others off the debut including “Fill My Little World” and “Sewn” – the closing track. They also treated the sun-blushed audience to an array of tracks from their 2016 self-titled album.
Country’s newest star Megan McKenna kicked off the proceedings on the Great Oak Stage, running up and down the main stage’s ramp in her glittering outfit. In between tracks, Megan spoke to the crowd about her whirlwind year in which her two debut singles (“Everything But You” and “History”) smashed the iTunes chart and racked up millions of plays via Spotify, also speaking about her stint on popular UK reality TV show, The Only Way Is Essex.
The Barclaycard Stage was kicked off by a spellbinding performance from Jazz Morley, also welcoming country pop’s The Adelaides, the dulcet tones of Catherine McGrath, rising jazz musician Zara McFarlane and The Shires – who thanked the thousands of “troopers in their ponchos” who braved the rain for their epic closing performance.
Elsewhere, the Summer Stage hosted a series of crowd-pleasing artists including UK indie outfit The Tailormade, ethereal folk-rock band Gypsyfingers, singer-songwriter Nathan Ball and Rob Green – who demonstrated to the packed audience why he has been dubbed the “Soul Prince of Nottingham”.
Tomorrow will see bonafide superstar Bruno Mars headlining, followed by Paul Simon’s farewell UK show closing the festival on Sunday.