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Bright Eyes mainman Conor Oberst, who visits Edinburgh in February as part of a solo tour, has revealed that he has a cyst on his brain.
Last year, Oberst unexpectedly cancelled 22 gigs – and now we know why.
“It’s probably been there my whole life,” the Omaha-born singer-songwriter told New York magazine in an interview published yesterday.
The 36-year-old explained that the cyst is nothing to worry about – for the time being.
Having called off the aforementioned gigs last year – both solo dates and a tour with his punk band Desaparecidos – Oberst was admitted to a Jacksonville, Florida, hospital for laryngitis, anxiety and exhaustion.
“You have crazy-high blood pressure,” Oberst remembers the doctor saying. “I’m recommending that you go to the hospital.”
A CT scan led to an MRI, which led to “the dude basically saying, ‘Your brain looks weird.’ He was throwing out terms like pre-dementia.”
The cyst was discovered at the Mayo clinic. “Long story short, and happy ending — they’re like, ‘You have a cyst in your brain,’ ” he said. “It’s probably been there my whole life.
“Now I’m taking medicine for (high blood pressure) and taking happy pills to feel less stressed out,” he added.
Oberst is set to make a rare appearance in Edinburgh when he visits the Queen’s Hall on 3 February.
The talented Nebraskan will also play dates in London (1 Feb), Manchester (2 Feb) and Dublin (5 Feb) in support of forthcoming new solo acoustic album, Ruminations, which is set to be released on October 14 via Nonesuch Records.
Described as a “raw, unadorned” acoustic record, the album follows Oberst’s last solo effort, 2014’s Upside Down Mountain.
A press release states that Oberst returned to his hometown of Omaha after over a decade in New York City. It goes on to add that the songs hark back to his early career and “are almost sketch-like in their sparseness” with Oberst “alone with his guitar, piano, and harmonica”.
“I wasn’t expecting to write a record,” he says. “I honestly wasn’t expecting to do much of anything.
“Winter in Omaha can have a paralysing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favour. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record.
“I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone,” added the prolific songwriter.
CONOR OBERST ON TOUR IN EUROPE
|Jan 17||Postpalast||Munich, GERMANY|
|Jan 18||Theaterhaus||Stuttgart, GERMANY|
|Jan 19||Museumquarter||Vienna, AUSTRIA|
|Jan 20||Kaufleuten||Zurich, SWITZERLAND|
|Jan 21||Gloria||Cologne, GERMANY|
|Jan 23||Rockerfeller||Oslo, NORWAY|
|Jan 24||Gota Lejon||Stockholm, SWEDEN|
|Jan 25||Bremen||Copenhagen, DENMARK|
|Jan 26||Apostel Paulus Kirche||Berlin, GERMANY|
|Jan 28||La Maroquinerie||Paris, FRANCE|
|Jan 29||Hertz||Utrecht, NETHERLANDS|
|Jan 30||Ancienne Belgique||Brussels, BELGIUM|
|Feb 1||Palladium||London, UK|
|Feb 2||Albert Hall||Manchester, UK|
|Feb 3||Queen’s Hall||Edinburgh, UK|
|Feb 5||Grand Canal Theatre||Dublin, IRELAND|