When the announcement came that the legendary Stevie Wonder was to headline this years’ Bestival, we could scarcely contain our excitement and amazement. I mean, STEVIE WONDER. The man who basically created the soundtrack to millions of weddings the world over. It was too exciting for words. Now, the day is here, and Bestival’s main stage has never been so rammed full of eager bodies. Stevie’s band file out to rapturous applause but the noise becomes a wall of sound as the man himself saunters on in a red & black Captain Jean-Luc Picard jacket/keytar combo, looking completely at ease and every bit the superstar he is.
Stevie bobs along through the intro of ‘Master Blaster’ flashing a dazzling smile to the already Jammin’ crowd., before dropping into a cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘How Sweet It Is’ and then seamlessly back into ‘Master Blaster’ again. Michael Jackson cover ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ elicits squeals from the seventies and eighties kids in the crowd whilst the huge ‘Signed Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours’ prompts a lot of comedy action dancing in the form of licking envelopes and posting letters.
‘Uptight’ is rolled out to a deafening roar, and Stevie is almost drowned in sound during his cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ but it is the iconic ‘Superstition’ that really gets everyone fired up. If you weren’t squished shoulder to shoulder with your mates, head tipped back, singing your heart out at the stars for this, there’s something wrong with you. ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ sees pairs around site attempt a bit of waltzing but it’s the guy standing next to us who really takes it one step further by dropping to one knee to ask his stunned girlfriend to marry him! Of course she said yes, I mean come on, it’s Bestival and Stevie Wonder.
Back on stage, Stevie calls over daughter Aisha (one of his lovely backing singers) to sit by his side as he sings her song ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ which draws a tear to the eye of every daughter in the audience, and Beatles cover ‘She Loves You’ probably receives a better reception than if McCartney was singing it himself. Closing with the obligatory but sort of odd ‘Happy Birthday’, Stevie dedicates it to all those celebrating today. The man is undoubtedly a legend, but this performance is beyond legendary. Followed by a huge fireworks display which is the icing on the cake, no-one is going to forget this night.