The love affair between British pop star Robbie Williams and Israel got more serious on Tuesday, the day after his arrival for his appearance at the Summer in the City Festival today at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon.
“Normally, I can tell a lot from a place from the entrance in the airport,” Williams said at a press conference in Tel Aviv.
“Big smiles, welcoming, kindness, and a lot of gratitude in people’s eyes.
“I am excited to be here and experience what Israel is and what the people are. I woke up excited about being here and about the prospect of what this show can be. I’m really looking forward to it.”
What will Robbie Williams be doing in Israel?
Williams, who cut his teeth with teen group Take That from 1990-95, has sold over 20 million albums and is still going strong with his latest 2022 offering, XXV. In his first appearance in Israel since 2015, he’ll be headlining the one-day festival, which will also include appearances by Calum Scott, DJ Martin Garrix, and Israeli rapper Static.
Williams sees Israel as a “special place” and promised that the festival would provide a good time for everyone.
“I’m really good at what I do now and we should both probably have a good time,” Williams said.
“[Israel is] a special place that deserves a special thing to happen, probably more than gigs I do in any other places.”
He underlined that he is in Israel to “perform for the people. I’m afraid to be part of a narrative for nefarious purposes... in body, in soul, in spirit, I’m right in front of you and I’m very happy to be here.”
Williams has developed a mutual admiration society with popular Israel singer Noga Erez, and when asked if she’d be joining him onstage on Thursday night, Williams said he wasn’t sure, but that he has “great respect” for her as an artist.
“Noga makes me feel like a giddy 15-year-old. When I see her, I want to be her and when I perform, I want to perform like that,” Williams said. “I am in awe of her talent.”
Summing up his enduring career, Williams expresses his gratitude for how far he has come and the ability to do what he loves.
“I was delusional to think I may have a career in music and my delusions met reality,” he said.
“Twenty-five years ago, it was one day at a time, and to sit here, one year away from being 50, I just feel incredibly blessed and lucky I get to do the job I do. It’s incredibly warming that people want to see me.”