Robbie Williams, Knebworth Park, Stevenage

Charismatic Robbie hypnotises fans with group therapy session
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Let him entertain you. After a warm-up in front of 70,000 fans in June at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Robbie Williams - super-confident star on stage, but apparently fairly depressed off-stage - plays the first of three nights here at Knebworth Park, the stately home of rock.

He is breaking all records, even by the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd standards, in front of 125,000 fans last night (375,000 over the weekend).

This is Robbie's second UK date for two years and fans are dying with excitement at the natural grass bowl of Knebworth, set in the parkland of Knebworth House, home to Henry Lytton Cobbold and his wife, Lady Martha. To a pop star it is like reaching nirvana. The anticipation is unbearable for most people who have waited since 3pm, with some help from support acts such as The Darkness, Kelly Osbourne, Ash and Moby. Fans are throwing their clothes off - even though it's windy and cold - and holding Robbie banners and flags whilst screeching or crying. Robbie must be relieved.

He hasn't received much attention in the US but most importantly he will be outdoing his archenemies Oasis who previously held the record here in 1996 with two nights in front of 250,000 fans.

By the end of this tour in Europe which started 1 June and ends 9 August at Phoenix Park, Dublin, Robbie will have performed to a staggering 1,222,000 people.

Performing is something Robbie does better than real life. When he finally appears above the stage suspended by his feet, the audience virtually claps with hysteria. It took three days and 65 people to build the stage and the show will need enough power to run a village.

When Robbie appears he launches into "Let Me Entertain You" with an enthusiasm that hypnotises the audience. As a prelude to the song "Me And My Monkey" - which is about drugs - he toys with the audience. Robbie is shouting "alcohol''. The audience responds "yes''. He shouts "drugs''. The audience shout "boo''.

In between songs he chats to the audience, sharing his thoughts and feelings, turning Knebworth into possibly the biggest group therapy session ever. But the healing comes with the more down-tempo songs such as "She's The One".

He moves swiftly into "Kids" and "Feel", then moves into "Rock DJ" culminating in his trademark finale which is of course - "Angels''.

The show is being broadcast live on Saturday by Channel 4 and webcast on MSN across Europe. On Sunday Radio 1 will broadcast live from the venue.

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