The Verve was the headliner for Sunday night during the 6 day long Glastonbury music festival. They started their set with “Bittersweet Symphony,” their first breakout single from their “Urban Hymns” album back in 1997. Bittersweet indeed I would imagine as this song in not only their most widely recognized and biggest hit, but was also at the center of a long legal battle between The Verve and The Rolling Stones over ownership of the song. It would be a legal battle The Verve would lose and would be forced to concede all royalties from it to The Stones.
None of that mattered today though judging by the way the band spectacularly launched into the song, the festival audience singing along with their native English band. The crowd clapped in unison, it may have been a music festival with other acts to perform, but at that moment the audience was there for The Verve.
They finished the set with “Love is Noise: from their “Forth” album. As with the other songs The Verve owned the crowd and gave a stellar performance, none of the problems that have caused the band to breakup twice in the past evident. Ashcroft’s chorus of “I want to thank you” and “let’s take it higher” repeated several times while pointing at the audience encapsulated their whole performance. This is a band that loves its audience and is equally loved back in return. After a one minute acoustic wind down the band humbly bowed and cheered back at the audience.