Friday, 2 September 2011

An Exciting Weekend - Part 2. In Which There Is ROCK

Amanda Fucking Palmer’s gig was at ‘Heaven’, a club in Charing Cross – doors opened at 6, and I got there at about ¼ to 7, which was handy, as it turned out that that was more-or-less when the music was due to start.
Amanda came on, in her underwear, to announce the first of the two supporting bands, The Jane Austen Argument, and to acquire various shiny things for her crowd-sourced costume.
I haven’t seen the JAA before, and only knew of them from hearing ‘Bad Wine and Lemon Cake’ on Amanda’s ‘Down Under’ album,   but I would be very happy to see them again…

Sadly they only had time for a few songs, then Amanda was back to introduce the second supporting band, Bitter Ruin, who of course I have seen before, several times. They performed ‘Trust’, and ‘Chewing Gum’ and ‘The Vice’ , and it was all good.

And did I mention that I bumped into Roz Kaveney, and @Raliel (both of whom I’m met before, but neither of whom I’d arranged to meet up with).

I loved both the opening bands, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more excited about seeing AFP herself…

It would be fair to say I was not, in any way, disappointed (well, except maybe in that I was quite a long way back, and a lot of much taller people suddenly appeared on front of me, so I did not have as good a view as I’d have liked, but that’s life J)

Amanda started her set dressed in a slinky sparkly blue frock, a feather boa, elbow gloves and a hat, none of which lasted long! Soon she was in corset and pink lame shorts

 She opened with ‘Astronaut’ and continued with songs both old and new – Missed Me, for instance, Guitar Hero, and several new songs, which she asked people not to upload just yet. There was a great rendition of Delilah, with Georgia of Bitter Ruin, and Neil Gaiman was lured up onto the stage to sing ‘The Problem with Saints. 

Tonight’s (or maybe this tour’s) band is called ‘Grand Theft Orchestra’ and included the awesome Una Palliser on violin, (she normally, it seems, plays with Shakira) Super Kate, (who belly danced) a 3–man horn section (stolen from Eric Clapton) and of course a number of other special guests..

Another of the guests was Tim Minchin, who I have seen on TV, but never live – he played a delightful love song; ‘You Grew On Me (like a Tumour)’ And then the final guest was Tom Robinson who quickly had the entire singing along with huge enthusiasm to Glad to be Gay.

 The encores included ‘Map of Tasmania’ and ‘Oasis’ and the gig ended with a mass rendition of ‘Leeds United’ – it would be hard to say who was enjoying it more – the gang on stage (including all the guests) or the paying customers, certainly everyone was singing, dancing, and generally having a fantastic time.

This gig has to have been the biggest high you can imagine – bottle the atmosphere and you’d make a fortune! 

After coming out of the venue, I was happy to see the wonderful cycling piano moving away, having earlier entertained the queues, no doubt (it was parked, by the time I arrived)
I am so very glad I was at this gig. And even on the tube going back to my hotel I kept getting little bouncy feelings of happiness, as I saw other gig-goers, with beautiful tattoos, or butterflies in their hair, or multi-coloured hair, wending their happy ways home.

And did I mention that there were at least 3 people dressed as the 11th Doctor at the gig, and nary a raised eyebrow?

I didn’t get to sleep for hours, as I was still buzzing; I’m not sure I’ve ever been with so many people having all such a great time at once, before.

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