MOVE 2003: Sunday

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Andrew Future | 13 July 2003

Andrew Future puts the last day of Move through its paces...

Sunday finally rears its sunburnt scalp and comparatively speaking, presents a really good line up. By this time we're done complaining about not going to T In The Park and instead revel in the dumb acceptance of Athlete's South London charm and soak up the third continual day of blissful weather. It's gone to Joel's head though, the Athlete singer applauds, 'Thanks for coming to see us, and [under his breath] REM.'

John Squire unintentionally ends up as the day's comedy act, and though he's not helped by the sound man (drowning his guitar out in bass), his spirit killing renditions of 'Made Of Stone' and 'Driving South' don't help. When Ian Brown played just a few bars of the opening to 'Fools Gold' last year, the Glasto crowd went ape. Sadly, when Johnny does it, he only succeeds in monkey-shitting on the myth for many a young Manc.

Idlewild thankfully, are still riding the surf of their critical and commercial tidlewave, easily playing to twice as many people the Manics two days before. Big, bold, brassy and, at times beautiful, the normally nonchalant Roddy Womble and co are visibly enjoying themselves. Despite seeing Idlewild at pretty much every festival for the last two years, it's still rather a novelty to see them command huge stages so convincingly.

Without the inconvenience of anything more than his guitar and piano, Badly Drawn Boy's hour warm-up for Da Athens Massive could easily have gone the same way as Squire's. With the sound man intent on ruining it (how much low-end do you need for one man and a guitar?), Badly's constantly heard shouting for more guitar and vocals, telling the audience that 'the monitors are fooked!' Regardless, his performance is as heartrenerding as it is faultless.

A clutch of b-sides and new songs highlighting his wonderful grasp of melody and wit combined with 'Silent Sigh', 'Have You Fed The Fish' and many of his other hits. His finger plucking guitar style is quite exquisite but what carries the show is his inimitable northern humour and magnetic charisma. 'This is the biggest gig I've done and the closest one I've done to my house.' There is indeed, no place like home.

Where the Manics and Charlatans have both attempted to regain early found form and fame, (failing and partially succeeding, respectively) Planet R.E.M. has grown rings and gone supernova. They only play two post-millennium album tracks, but when one of them is 'Imitation Of Life', that doesn't matter.

What gets the party moving though, is 'Orange Crush', 'Drive' and an incredible 'Find The River' (voted for by users of their official website). 'Fall On Me' is still the most wonderfully unappreciated eighties gem, but it's 'At My Most Beautiful' that brings jaws to the flaw and hearts to the throats of some twelve thousand Stipe disciples. Even 'Everybody Hurts' shakes off the spell of overplay to reveal its truly fascinating depth. New songs: 'Bad Day', 'Final Straw' and 'Animal' range from being great, to mediocre to good; and are all very much of the 'Automatic...' and 'Reveal' mould.

The self-declared weather king, ('Thank me for the blissful weather'), Stipe and his five-piece band are spot on tonight. Wiping out a weekend of inadequacies in one 90 minute swoop, to say that it pisses all over their Glasto performance would be to sell it criminally short. R.E.M. may not have any boundaries left to conquer but as a band they know no bounds.

'Can you believe they put a man on the moon?' Maybe, if it was Michael Stipe...

Click here for the best Move 2003 Gallery on the web!

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