Men should not be making decisions about women’s issues, says Imelda May

The 47-year-old singer performed at Glastonbury twice on Sunday.
Men should not be making decisions about women’s issues, says Imelda May

By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Imelda May said the “horrendous” decision by the US supreme court to end the country’s constitutional right to abortion has sent us “back to the dark ages”.

The Dublin-born singer, who performed on the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury on Sunday, hit out at the US court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case.

She told the PA news agency: “It’s horrendous. We are back to the dark ages. Just because they banned abortions, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.

“It just means it’s going to happen unsafely and there will be casualties.

Graham Norton Show – London
Imelda May performing during filming for The Graham Norton Show. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA

“They are essentially forcing people to give birth – forcing women to give birth, the guys don’t have to do anything. When you see it happening in what you think is a democratic country or society, you think is a first-world country, you realise it can happen anywhere.

“Men shouldn’t be making decisions about women’s issues.”

May joins a number of musicians who condemned the decision at Glastonbury, including Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Olly Alexander.

The 47-year-old said her seventh time playing at the festival was as “magical as ever”.

Glastonbury Festival 2022
Olivia Rodrigo brought out British singer Lily Allen during her Glastonbury set to perform the singer’s hit song F*** You in response to the decision. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA

Talking about the Somerset site, she said: “The place itself is sacred; that’s why the ley lines are there underneath the ground. It’s been sacred for thousands of years, it’s been recognised as a magical place.

“Michael Eavis was the genius who decided a festival on the sacred site would be perfect.

“I think most musicians or writers are creatives, I know I am. You pick up on vibes in places. I have done a lot of festivals; they have totally different vibes. This one has such fantastic electricity about it. There’s a definite vibe about it.”

The singer said her first set on the Poetry and Words stage reading from her debut book, A Lick And A Promise, was “gorgeous”.

“I normally put poetry in a gig. There’s been poetry segments which I couldn’t do at Glastonbury because you have to condense your show to an hour, so it was really lovely to be able to do the poetry separately,” she said.

Glastonbury Festival 2022
Michael Eavis ahead of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Speaking about her Glastonbury set, which featured tunes from her latest album, 11 Past The Hour, she said it was about “the joy that music brings and how we’ve missed it” because of the pandemic.

“We missed being all together, connection, that’s what I write about and that’s what I do and I’ve worked hard on this show and have a gorgeous time all together.

“I think we all know that, more than ever, we’ve missed each other, we’ve missed festivals, we’ve missed live music.”

May said she got very emotional while watching UK soul legend P.P. Arnold perform on Glastonbury’s Avalon Stage on Sunday.

She said: “I went to see P.P. Arnold, which was major. I cried just to see her. It was amazing to meet her and I got to chat with her afterwards to hear about her book coming out… she said she hasn’t held back in it.

“She’s wonderful. She was one of The Ikettes; she toured around with Tina Turner and Ronnie Wood, all the Rolling Stones. She’s known them forever.”

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