Rick Astley delighted fans at the Glastonbury festival with an unexpected “secret” second set. Teaming up with the renowned U.K. band Blossoms, Astley took to the tented Woodsies Stage and delivered a mesmerizing performance of 16 cherished songs by The Smiths. This collaboration comes as no surprise, as Astley and Blossoms previously played two full shows dedicated to Smiths covers in Manchester and London earlier in 2021.
The remarkable setlist included unforgettable renditions of iconic tracks like “What Difference Does It Make?,” “Girlfriend in a Coma,” “Barbarism Begins at Home,” and the timeless classic “How Soon Is Now?” The surprise performance received a mixed response from Morrissey and Johnny Marr, with Morrissey expressing support, stating, “Anything that generates interest in that tired old Smiths warhorse is testimony to the wallop it packed. THANK YOU.” On the other hand, Marr initially commented, “This is both funny and horrible at the same time,” but appears to have moved past his initial criticism.
Interestingly, there is a connection between Astley and Morrissey. Morrissey had used a photo of himself and Astley from the late ’80s on the sleeve of the reissued single “The Last of the Famous International Playboys.”
Check out the complete setlist and enjoy selected videos from Rick Astley and Blossoms’ captivating Glastonbury performance below, with more footage to come. The unexpected collaboration continues to delight fans and keep The Smiths’ timeless music alive in the hearts of audiences.
Setlist: Ricky Astley with Blossoms, Glastonbury, UK — 6/24/23
1. “This Charming Man”
2. “What Difference Does It Make?”
3. “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
4. “Cemetry Gates”
6. “Hand in Glove”
7. “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others”
8. “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side”
9. “Girlfriend in a Coma”
10. “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
12. “William, It Was Really Nothing”
13. “Barbarism Begins at Home”
14. “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”
15. “How Soon Is Now?”
16. “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”