Guns N’ Roses Get In The Ring With Glastonbury Critics & The BBC

29 June 2023 | 3:31 pm | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

Guns N' Roses blamed the BBC for sound issues on the live television stream of their performance.

Guns N' Roses @ the MCG

Guns N' Roses @ the MCG (Credit: Jay Hynes)

More Guns N' Roses More Guns N' Roses

Guns N’ Roses have addressed critics who were less than impressed with their Glastonbury headlining set on Saturday (25 June) and taken aim at the BBC, who they blamed for sound issues on the live television stream of their performance.

“ would take a lot more hate than you,” the band tweeted yesterday (28 June). They also tagged two journalists, The Daily Telegraph’s Neil McCormick and The Independent’s Mark Beaumont, both of whom had unsavoury reviews published in their respective publications.

McCormick wrote in a three-star review that “Guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan still look the part of grizzled rockers who only function at night, but Axl Rose just looks weird, like an aging small-town hairdresser who has been working out too hard at the gym.” Ouch.

The review continued, “The real problem, though, is his voice. He used to have a shrieking Banshee power, but it has become kind of lumpy, with a toneless feminine falsetto and a honking low range, and he switches between these two modes with little apparent logic.” McCormick went on to call out Rose’s “dashing” across the stage as a distraction from his “dull timbre”.

Guns N’ Roses didn’t fare any better on The Independent, whose two-star review declared that Rose is the band’s “fatal flaw”. Commenting on the singer’s performance of Estranged, Beaumont wrote, “Rose makes the whole thing sound like a Muppet Show pastiche of hard rock. It’s his voice: a creature that, were you to take it to a vet, would come home in a cardboard box.”

It gets worse. Beaumont continued, “he flips between a lower register that resembles a clogged lawnmower and a higher one that sounds like Barry Gibb suffering the mother of all wedgies.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

It's worth noting that not all publications totally slammed Guns N’ Roses. The Guardian called Rose “unexpectedly charming,” the BBC described them as “sporadically brilliant,” while Mojo said, “Riffage and rock screams meet in perfect harmony on Sweet Child O’ Mine”.

In addition to the mixed critical reception, fans watching Guns N’ Roses at Glastonbury from their homes reported being unhappy with the sound mix.

In a statement issued to Wales Online (via Loudwire), a spokesperson for the band blamed the BBC for the sound quality.

“Axl was in top form last night. We have dug deep into the matter, and it appears the broadcast had issues being played on certain TVs like UHDs,” the spokesperson said. “This was an unfortunate issue that the mix played through these TVs sounded so poorly; however, it was not the band’s fault but the BBC’s.”