Nile Rodgers of Chic said his stay in the UK had been the “most inspirational period” of his life as he took to the stage at Glastonbury, praising the way the UK had responded to the Grenfell tower fire. The US star, 64, told the crowd he was among the volunteers after the blaze and had been moved by the “unreal” spirit of the helpers.
“I have been here in London, in England, for about 10 days and I’ve got to be honest with you, it has been the most inspirational period of my life,” he said.
You guys have been f****** unbelievable.”
Rodgers said he arrived the day after the fire and went to help out. “I never saw such spirit,” he said, admitting it “brought a tear to my eye”. He said: “People’s spirit, instead of what I was seeing on the television when I was flying over, seeing a bunch of people being angry and stuff, I saw a bunch of people who were full of love, filled with hope.”
The star – who also took part in the Grenfell charity single – said he was put to work packing and sending out clothes as soon as he volunteered. He said a woman told him when he turned up: “Nile Rodgers, I’m happy you are here, here’s a pair of gloves, get to work.”
The US group had a slightly tricky start to their set on the Pyramid Stage, when the opening montage did not quite go to plan. A string of images started flashing across the screen behind Rodgers – to total silence. He then laughingly told the crowd: “There’s usually some really good audio that goes with this…” before it kicked in.
But Chic soon had festival revellers in a party mood with their disco-tastic set of 70s hits, including Everybody Dance, I Want Your Love and Upside Down. Rodgers also spoke to the audience about beating cancer.
The star announced in 2011 that he had aggressive prostate cancer and told the Glastonbury audience that a doctor had told him to return home and get his affairs in order.
He said in 2013 that he had beaten the illness and during Sunday night’s set told the audience how lucky he considered himself to be, shouting: “Six years later I am cancer free!” to huge cheers.