It’s always great to have Damon Albarn back at Worthy Farm. In recent years, he’s become quite a statesmen of what the festival represents. And there’s no better way for Albarn to capture that than with his latest collaboration with The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians.
Opening the Pyramid Stage for the very first time this year, they plunge into an engrossing sound. This is an ensemble of voices that glide with an elegance and craft. It’s a stunning aesthetic. A patchwork blanket of beautiful and utterly enchanting textures. Albarn smiles and weaves in between his orchestra, which is made up of Syrian migrants, laughing, “you wouldn’t believe the problem we’ve had with Visas”.
It’s a strange day to play at the left wing Valhalla that is Glastonbury today, and Albarn acknowledges that, referencing how “democracy failed us because it was ill-informed”. Then, like a father speaking to his sobbing child, he promises that, “I just want all of you to know that when you leave here, we can change that decision. It is possible.”
We hope so.
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