Rolling Stones finally rock Glastonbury

Last updated 11:58 30/06/2013

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Rolling Stones at Glastonbury

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This could be the last time, as Mick Jagger once sang. For the Rolling Stones, it was definitely a first.

The veteran rock rabble-rousers played Britain's Glastonbury Festival overnight (NZ time), their debut appearance at the country's most prestigious rock music event.

A majority of the 135,000 festival ticket-holders crammed into the fields in front of Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage for the gig, which opened with a rousing Jumpin' Jack Flash.

As on recent tour dates, the Stones gave fans a fistful of classic hits - including It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It), Paint it Black, Wild Horses and Gimme Shelter - as well as newer songs.

Jagger, who turns 70 in July, has lost none of his swagger, strutting the stage in a sequined green jacket.

In a pre-show BBC radio interview, Jagger gave no clue about whether the band he started with Keith Richards in 1962 will ever call it quits. He said, "I've no idea," before telling an interviewer that he'd probably continue as long as he was wanted.

The band recently played a string of North American dates on its "50 and Counting" tour and is due to play two concerts in London's Hyde Park next month.

The Stones turned down offers to play Glastonbury for years, but appeared to embrace the down-to-earth spirit of the festival, held on a farm in southwest England.

Yesterday, Jagger tweeted a picture of himself outside a yurt, a Mongolian-style felt tent where he reportedly spent the night.

Guitarist Richards said the band was "destined to play Glastonbury."

"I look upon it as a culmination of our British heritage really," he said. "It had to be done, and it's going to be done, and we'll see what happens, you know."

The Glastonbury Festival was founded by Michael Eavis in 1970 on his Worthy Farm near Pilton, 193 kilometres southwest of London. It is famous for its eclectic lineup - and the mud that overwhelms the site in rainy years.

Other performers overnight included Elvis Costello and Primal Scream. But for many festivalgoers, the Stones were the main event.

The three-day festival wraps up tonight with a headlining set from Mumford & Sons.

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- AP

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