Review: Conor Oberst, Guardian Lounge, 11.30am

Conor Oberst, Guardian Lounge, 11.30am

Stage: Guardian Lounge

Time: 11.30am

Dress code: Gram Parsons meets Glastonbury Geek in a 1970's denim-style cowboy shirt and rolled-up trousers.

In summary: After mocking the memory of John Peel and the intentions of the Make History Poverty Campaign when he played in 2005, Conor Oberst is out to make amends. "This is the nicest place I've seen yet!" he says of his cosy environs. But it's his music that does his talking for him, kicking off with the redemptive spirit of Cleanse Song. Strumming an acoustic guitar, while trombone, keyboard and violin swoon around him, Oberst's Dylan-esque voice is butter soft but edged by steel, his eyes screwed up in intense concentration. Though he battles with dodgy sound and barely makes eye contact with the densely packed crowd, his brief but passionate set - accompanied by the soft sound of rain hitting the ceiling of the tent - washes away his past wrongdoings and reignites Glastonbury's love affair with folk-rock's favourite son.

Highlight: The snarling Man Named Truth sees Oberst trembling from his straggly shoulder-length hair to his mud-splattered boots with quickly summoned and barely contained fury.

Lowlight: With his band stranded at the opposite end of the festival, Oberst takes to the stage 30 mins late.

Unusual occurrences: A keen-eared member of the crowd asking: "Can you turn the violin up?"

Mark out of 10: 9

Where they'll be on the bill next year: Headlining the Other Stage

Will be talking about this set until: Bright Eyes appear on the Other Stage set this afternoon


Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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