Saturday, 4 October 2008

Amanda Palmer plays at Custard Factory's Space 2

Former Dresdon Dolls singer, Amanda Palmer, continued her tour of England with an intimate gig at Space 2 to a collection of hardcore fans and periphery bar side cynics.

The gig was most unlike anything I had seen before, her entrance nearly gave me a heart attack after I mistook her for a crippled ghost (she was on crutches). Amanda entered around the outside of the musical arena in an old wedding dress accompianed by ambient music and an abhorent stage performance from her dancers (I'll come back to this later).

After a crowd deadening intro from one of her associates, who bore more than a passing resemblence to Mr Incredible, Amanda launched into tracks from her new, critically acclaimed debut solo album Who killed Amanda Palmer.

I often bare slight reservations towards the alternative style of Amanda Palmer and her contempories, but I tried to keep an open mind and hold a balanced opinion. I must confess that the sound of the Air Con coupled with her disonant piano style did little to change my mind, although I was impressed by her voice and found her a genuinely engaging stage performer, although that may have something to do with the stockings.

People, particularly ones bestowed with fame and talent, are often judged by the decisions they make as well as their artistic integrity and output. Unfortunatley this is where Amanda's performance fell down. Her dance troupe postured and posed on the stage in a manner that showed a complete contempt for style, form and timing. Whatever she was on when she made the decision to not only hire but pay these people, is surely one of the worst errors of recruitment since the FA put the hopes of the nation in the hands of ginger, dutch wannabe.

I am an advocate of all art forms and will always search for the meaning and artistic intentions in any piece of work how ever bizarre or unevocative, but I couldn't grasp what thoughts, messages, or artistic intelligence was hoping to be evoked in the minds of the 200 people that turned up to see the former Dresdon Dolls front lady. I'm sure there were good reasons behind their ill fitting clothes and amatuerish dancing, but the meaning of every movement and garment was aloof to me.

On reflection, although I can't say I loved all her songs, I can certainly see why she holds such a loyal fan base and found Amanda, at times, an entertaining performer, but in reference to the question on her album cover, her performance artists killed Amanda Palmer.

No comments: