Matthew E White at Glastonbury 2013 – review

Glastonbury's final day starts with blazing sun, but cloud thankfully emerges along with a cooling breeze - good conditions in which to see Matthew E White on the West Holts stage.

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Glastonbury’s final day starts with blazing sun, but cloud thankfully emerges along with a cooling breeze – good conditions in which to see Matthew E White on the West Holts stage.

The Virginian is here with an eight-piece band, including a three-person horn section, and he’s clearly having a great time.

“We’re all from Richmond, Virginia,” he tells the crowd. “It’s a beautiful place. If you should find yourself there, I’ll take you out to dinner or something. Just don’t all come at once.”

The crowd obey the singer’s request to move around on songs such as “One Of These Days”, while the cascading Rhodes and spacey pedal steel could sooth any hangover on the slower, more soul-influenced numbers like “Gone Away”.

The weirder side of White’s music also emerges live – the band take one song into an extended psych-funk outro, complete with four members playing percussion and the brass contributing sharp stabs.

During the set, the group cover Randy Newman’s “Sail Away” and Neil Young’s “Are You Ready For The Country?”, the latter with an arrangement that sounds like a Southern Arcade Fire – all wailing pedal steel and hustling tambourine.

“This is my first time playing a festival like this,” he says. “Everyone told me it would be really stressful but I’m having a great time.”

Tom Pinnock

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Follow Tom on Twitter for more Glastonbury coverage: www.twitter.com/thomaspinnock


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