I loved this show. And I nearly didn't go, shame on me! It was fantastically eccentric and felt like so many other things outside of a standard gig being kind of vaudeville mixed with street art, cabaret, and punk… and all in Camden Town (which of course is known for its diversity). Surprisingly 'Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra' managed to make this show feel personal and partially political (blah blah...) culminating in a memorable event.
So her secret? She loves her fans, she appreciates them, she trusts them. Seriously, that crowd surf right around the Main Space at Roundhouse and being naked playing a keyboard with a song you wrote hours earlier in response to negative media coverage… that took some faith.
She appears pretty fearless as an artist, in creativity, in opinion and although this may get her in trouble sometimes, it gains her a crowd she can connect with on many levels. However if you watch her talks or read her blog, she shares her innermost turmoils and hangovers beyond the realm I could comfortably in real life let alone online, and this so far is the tool she uses to ensure that connection and reject distant celebrity.
The night involved an avant pop marching band, 'Perhaps Contraption' and 'Bitter Ruin' (unbelievably amazing female voice so check them out), 'Tom Milsom', 'Jherick Bischoff', 'Simple Pleasures', 'Sxip Shirey' and 'Kate Miller Heidke' (she did a song about facebook but personally I like her cover of 'The Real Slim Shady' more). Basically, Amanda introduced and sang with everyone which just added to the personable intimacy of it all, quite something to pull off in a venue that size. Hand-picked, it seems by Amanda, whether it was a creative friend, via a tweet, or someone she met outside. Who knows? It worked in its busyness, she had many to support her… and on an equal trade as they were all worthy of the platform if you doubted with any fleeting reservations to begin with.
She is infectious, a collision of vulnerability and strength which comes through in her music, photography and writing. I've spent the last three days sharing her infectiousness with everyone I know.
But importantly, the setlist, 'The Killing Type' sounded amazing, 'Trout Heart Replica', 'Want it Back', 'The Bed Song' mixed in with some of the older Dresden Dolls tracks and mingled with bringing in her support acts to sing with intermittently perfectly. She came on around 8.45 and went off at 11pm. At no point was anyone looking at a clock.
Kudos for her Liam Gallagher face in an anecdotal way when telling the crowd how she bumped into him and asked him to bring her a flower on stage *but* he wasn't sure if she was taking the piss…and for keeping her promise to perform Pulp’s Common People in full after ‘doing it by accident’ at Glastonbury Festival just a fortnight ago.
So here’s her response to The Daily Mail about her rebellious boob taking on the British sun on a stage at Glastonbury. A feminist rant can be funny and powerful ladies and gents. To be honest most of the press should take note. My only boob of the night was yelling over the music 'look out for Scroobius Pip, you can't miss him, he tweeted he was coming', not realising he was stood behind me in true pantomime fashion. (thankfully my voice is tiny) Anyway, this video contains a naked woman if you need warning...even my parents who have read the Daily Mail for at least twenty years have just cancelled it, possibly unrelated but let’s rejoice anyway!
And here’s the TED talk that fascinated me regarding the internet and music and the whole global village that I in equal measure love and hate, trust and fear, and made me get to that gig and now I'm in love… and clutching a flower with intense eye contact. Listen. x
Images: Melodee Writes, share away if you please, they're not as blurry as my usuals, just kind of pixely x