REM tell NME.COM they back ‘outsider’ Barack Obama

Michael Stipe and co get political at T In The Park

R.E.M were in party mood as they returned to T In The Park for the first time in five years tonight (July 13) – closing the 2008 event with a hit-packed headline set which had a political bent.

The US rockers reprised their Main Stage headline slot of 2003 at the festival, rolling out a string of hits, interspersed with songs from this year’s chart-topping album ‘Accelerate’.

Many of the songs played were of a decidedly political bent, such as ‘These Days’, ‘Bad Day’, ‘Orange Crush’ and ‘Ignoreland’ – a song from the band’s 1992 album ‘Automatic For The People’ which has rarely been played live in the past and refers to R.E.M‘s feelings towards the Republican presidency of George Bush Snr from 1988 to 1992.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM before their set (scroll down for video), singer Michael Stipe confirmed that many of the songs the band were about to play referred to politics, and gave his thoughts on US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Stipe said: “Well, with ‘Ignoreland’ for example, it’s just a song that we hadn’t played live, had kind of got ignored. But I know what you’re saying [in terms of its political relevance].

“However, in the US [on tour] I felt the need between songs to have some kind of running commentary about the more political songs and how they resonate. I don’t really feel the need to do that in Europe, what we’ve been going through.

“(Barack) Obama seems to represent an outsider, he’s not one of those career politicians, and that seems to have more resonance.”

You can watch NME.COM‘s interview with Michael Stipe now by clicking on the video below.

The band’s set, which included the likes of ‘The One I Love’ and ‘Losing My Religion’, ended with a huge sing-a-long to R.E.M‘s ‘Man On The Moon’ as T In The Park 2008 reached its climax.

R.E.M played:

‘Living Well Is The Best Revenge’

‘These Days’

‘What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?’

‘Begin The Begin’

‘Man-Sized Wreath’

‘Drive’

‘Ignoreland’

‘The Great Beyond’

‘Hollow Man’

‘Imitation Of Life’

‘(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville’

‘Electrolite’

‘The One I Love’

‘Losing My Religion’

‘Fall On Me’

‘Let Me In’

‘Horse To Water’

‘Bad Day’

‘I’m Gonna DJ’

‘Orange Crush’

‘Supernatural Superserious’

‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’

‘Man On The Moon’

Review all the action from this weekend’s (July 11-13) T In The Park and Oxegen Festival now on NME.COM.

For news, pictures and blogs keep checking the NME.COM‘s T In The Park and Oxegen pages.

Plus make sure you get next week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands from July 16 – for the ultimate T In The Park and Oxegen Festival review.