Glastonbury Review: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

June 23, 2023

It’s a sunny afternoon, and I’m ready for some lo-fi psychedelia, the classic sound of Glastonbury festival. Earlier I saw the modern sound, Stefflon Don, and her dancers were in a sun ready shocking pink… but UMO come in stage head to foot in back. Is there going to be a clash with the vibe?

There mostly isn’t. They start playing and it’s summery, chilled out, stoned in a desert psych music, and the sound of the vocal is whispery and suitable. The lyrics however… “high on the mountain” fits, “it’s violent in my garden” not so much.

In effect I’m teasing. This isn’t the most technically accomplished performance of the day, but that’s really not the point. This is very much a band based on an emotion, on a sea of feeling, and today, when that music is played in this weather, in this festival, it’s a joyous, lysergic experience. In a dark club it might be a whole different set of feeling, and that’s a glorious thing to have written.

We have to leave a bit early to ensure we get to the Churnups, because we’re music journalists and that is the big mystery, but UMO are well worth checking out.

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  1. David Wragg

    UMO was undoubtedly the worst sound and performance of the whole weekend on the Park Stage. God knows why they are headlining the End of the Road. Poor poor lazy show.

  2. Jeff J

    Wow! what a pointless, nasty and completely inaccurate reply. You’re couldn’t be wronger! It was incredible, and easily the best band on that year. Why you would go out of your way to post something like this is beyond me. You clearly have other issues going on! so, umm a ‘get well soon’? might be in order


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