The Festivals (1998)
Stepping into previously uncharted territory, Robbie donned waders and a brave face as he kicked off a string of summer festivals. With the legendary Glastonbury Festival topping the list, Robbie's new stomping ground was a daunting prospect.
But, at an unexpectedly rainy Glastonbury, Robbie brought the house down, drawing in huge crowds and providing a welcome boost for its mud-addled revellers.
The tour soon became an indication of Robbie's unfolding success. Managers David Enthoven and Tim Clark took a step back to gauge the crowd's reactions. "Rob has an ability to entrance people," said David, "and not many people have that discipline. Maybe Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Bono and Liam Gallagher at his best. Rob's like a thoroughbred; the stage is his natural habitat."
The V98 and T In The Park festivals also attracted massive crowds, winning rapturous applause and rave reviews from critics. A final show - Robbie's first stadium gig - in Slane, supported The Verve and playing alongside the Manic Street Preachers and James, finished off a hugely successful summer for Robbie. Leaving the stage, the Manics' James Dean Bradfield was heard to say: "We're not going on after that twat again!".
Life Thru a Lens
Win Some Lose Some
Phoenix From The Flames
One of God's Better People
Stand Your Ground
Ego a Go Go
Old Before I Die
Should I Stay or Should I Go
Band Line Up:Gary Nuttall
UK, Glastonbury - 27th June
"I think we're safe with Robbie Williams. Everybody in the whole word wants to shag him. Even my Auntie Maggie, unrogered since 1978, would kill to get her gnashers round his tentpole. The only living things that don't want to hump his brains out are the cows in the Green Field, and even their udders are semi-erect at the prospect..."
Melody Maker, July 1998
"Saturday was declared Robbie Day as crowds danced around in the mud to the best solo artist to come out of Take That...He jumped around the stage and even managed to have a go at a certain ex-Take That member, dedicating one of his tracks to "a person with a very big ego."
The Daily Star. June 1998
""I'm shittin' meself," he tells us, but he ought to know, he is the consummate ‘90s pop star, and has a frankly massive audience waiting for the festivities to begin. That doesn't stop him continually bantering about Take That, his showbiz rehab period ("Got any smack?"), the Spice Girls and anything else to make us like him."
NME, June 1998
T In The Park - 11th July
"Take That star Robbie Williams suffers a hair-raising moment after a fan hurls a toilet roll at him...It was one hit Robbie, 24, could have done without as he took to the stage at the ‘T in the Park' rock festival in Scotland yesterday. But the star went on to win huge applause as he belted out his chart smashes Angels and Let Me Entertain You."
The People, July 1998
V98 - 23rd August
"Robbie Williams warmed the hearts of soaked fans at the weekend's V98 festival in Chelmsford, Essex - by telling them how he serenaded his All Saints girlfriend Nicole Appleton to win her back after they split up... Many excited fans had to be pulled from the crush at the front of the stage during Williams' performance, which followed a day of heavy rain and strong winds."
BBC online, August 1998
"So screw that "he's such an entertainer" cliché spewed out by everyone who falls victim to his cannonball genius. He's not an entertainer, he's entertainment itself, everything enjoyable rolled into one, manic Tasmanian Devil of spectacle. Robbie Williams is mass culture. He will take over everything. Expect the Bacon McRobbie when he consumes McDonalds. Expect Robbie Soft Explorer when he chews up Bill Gates. Expect the New Robbie Testament when he guzzles down God."
Melody Maker, September 1999