Neneh Cherry’s Glastonbury performance gained some unexpected attention from the tech world at this year’s festival, after the laptop playing the evergreen singer’s backing visuals crashed and rebooted mid-set.
The main point of interest came from the fact the laptop was running Windows XP, an operating system right on the cusp of retro status, but not quite there yet. It’s like football shirts. If it had been Windows 98, for example, everyone there would have probably celebrated the throwback aesthetic as a knowing nod to the past. But XP? It just looks like you don’t look after yourself.
It gives us an early taste of the future of entertainment. The last generation’s insatiable thirst for being reminded about the days before we had any computers at all will pass the baton to a generation that in a few years will sell out Peter Kay’s Windows Vista-inspired comeback tour. “Who remembers opening Windows Sidebar and finding gadgets?” he’ll ask a hysterical audience in front of a Sony Vaio projecting its own disk defragmentation.
“That Neneh Cherry’s been at it again at Glastonbury,” he’ll go on. “She brought t’CD-ROM with her, you remember t’CD-ROM? She tried to give her laptop a last-minute upgrade this time, but needed to get on stage with Windows 7 seconds away…”