Amanda Palmer @ Koko

3 12 2008

Again – it was a while ago since I saw my Loverly Amanda, but I’m only getting to it now…!

Amanda is the lead singer for the Dresden Dolls – who I completely love – and she’s just put out her own solo CD a couple of months ago called “Who Killed Amanda Palmer” which is great.  Also, it was produced by Ben Folds – so if you like him, you’ll probably like her album.  Her style is given as ‘Cabaret Punk’, and she’s a little bit crazy, and a whole lot awesome. Very Theatrical.

ANYWAY – So I had bought three tickets to see her, convinced that it would be easy to find people who’d like to come – however, it got to the night of the concert and I still had one ticket left – oops! Shannon had agreed to come, and so she brought along a friend from her work, Natasha. I was running late to meet them (as always) and eventually found them looking a little weirded out near the venue, Koko.  Some of Amanda’s team were staging a mock funeral out the front in the middle of the footpath and crying and handing out flowers to people passing by.

We all went to dinner (along with my mate Judith from Manchester) and Shannon and Natasha were looking a little unsure still after the theatrics outside, but I assured them it would be fine.  When we finished our dinner and started queuing to be let in a whole procession of interestingly dressed people gathered around us – Goths, Emos, Punks, Dita Von Wannabees and all that falls in between.  We got inside, found ourselves a place near the front as the first support act was halfway through.

The first support act was this crazy guy playing all sorts of funny songs on his piano-accordion – without doubt the highlight of his set was when he tried to get the audience linking arms and singing a German beer-drinking song – it was unsuccessful due to the sobreity of the crowd – so he said “who wants to get drunk???” Obviously this was met with an affirmative from the crowd – so the guy got everyone drunk – by making everyone stick an arm in the air, a finger up, telling them to concentrate on their finger and spin around 20 times – surprisingly the whole audience joined in – so it was a crowd of spinning giggling people who were well and truly tipsy by the end. From there it seemed a very natural progression to link arms with total strangers and sing the drinking song. Was a lot of fun, and set the tone for the craziness.

The next support act was a lady who played classical Cello, but processed it through a series of guitar pedals – the most effective of which was the JamMan, which allowed her to lay down a piece, and loop it, lay down the next piece, and add that to the loop and so on until she built up a whole backing orchestra for herself to play over – she got some really amazing sounds out of that thing – very impressive.

Finally – it was Amanda’s turn and Neil Gaiman (who I didn’t know! Apparently he is an incredibly famous graphic novelist? oops – there goes any street cred I might have had) came out and read a verse dedicated to the death of Amanda – then again the funeral procession started and Amanda draped in a sheer sheet was brought onto stage – think Shan and Natasha were still a little bit “WTF?” at this stage… Anyway – eventually it all kicked off and Amanda took control…(the first pic shows the Cello player support act, and the second pic shows Neil Gaiman and the guy who got the crowd drunk!)

Amanda Palmer @ Koko

Amanda Palmer @ Koko

Amanda did lots of amazing pieces, among my favorites (aside from all the Dresden Dolls stuff) were ‘Guitar Hero’ (as shown below – including Wardrobe Mafunction (sorry Amanda, its the only pic I have of that that isn’t out of focus!!!))

Amanda Palmer @ Koko

…I also loved ‘Oasis’, and this non-album song she sung called ‘I Google you

Amanda also did her version of Rhianna’s “Umbrella” – well actually, its Rhianna’s version of “Umbrella” she just lip-syncs and dances – but its still fun. And finished with a great finale of “Living on a Prayer” and a song from her new album, “Leeds United” – which I love if for no other reason because it features the line “Who needs love when there’s Southern Comfort…”

Amen Sister.





Queen!

8 11 2008

Forget any of the heartbreak associated with the album – we are well and truly still on.

Brian, Roger and Paul

No one makes you feel the way your first love does – and tonight, it was amazing – 2 and a half hours of one of the most amazing experiences Ive ever had. I love them all – Paul Rodgers is an amazing frontman – he’s no Freddie, but he’s not trying to be – he’s a star in his own right – a different on-stage presence, but still a brilliant one.

Paul Rodgers

They make sure to acknowledge Fred though, he ‘sings’ a piece called bijou (they use his album vocal track and a set of video images of him singing so it looks like it syncs) and Bohemian Rhapsody draws on old vocal tracks of fred’s for the early part and shares the later parts with Paul – its a nice treatment of a tricky song which is completely synonymous with Fred.
Freddie

Roger is funny and talented – his take on the traditional drum solo was refreshingly different! Aside from having a drum kit built around him – incorporating each new piece of kit into the solo as it was added, he also used his drumsticks on the bass players upright electric bass – playing both the rhythm and bass line of ‘Under Pressure’ – was very clever.
Rogers Drum solo

and Brian…
Brian May

oh Brian – my first ever love, my idol, my hero – he didnt let me down – he reaffirmed everything, what I wouldnt give to even have a shred of the intelligence, warmth and talent that that man has – its not fair.

And he’s still so sexy! He may not be everyones cup of tea, but you all need to admit he does look good for SIXTY ONE!!! Luv ya Bri!!!

Brian and Roger

For the full set of pics – go have a look at the flickr slideshow