Concert Reviews

Amanda Palmer Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 17, 2010    
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Amanda Palmer, live at Union Chapel, Islington - 12th September 2009 (Photo by Andy Brailsford)

Amanda Palmer is a strange…, phenomenon is not too strong a word. A performer whose profile is growing all the time, tickets for this show and the previous night’s, which also sold out, were offered on the internet for £150. Amanda explained to us that this show would be a lot different from last night, to make it not so boring for those that were there on the Friday.
And I use the word performer wisely. Coming on stage after Polly Scattergood, (who wasn’t bad I have to say), and the gorgeous sound of the chapel organ immediately before Amanda came out, she walked to the front of the stage and sang totally unaccompanied an Irish folk song, ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley,’ (I believe), commanding total silence. And the night progressed, divided between Amanda’s solo material ‘Astronaut,’ ‘Ampersand,’ ‘Runs In The Family,’ ‘Oasis’ and ‘The Point Of It All,’ and Dresden Dolls songs ‘Bank of Boston Beauty Queen,’ ‘Sex Changes,’ ‘Boston’ and ‘Delilah.’ We also had two sessions of ‘Ask Amanda’ where any question written down was answered, a version of Derek and Clive’s Jump, which for this evening was titled ‘Hymn,’ sung by her partner and author Neil Gaiman, an artist painting on stage, (the result of which was auctioned at the end), and a small section where Amanda ‘lost her way’ and asked for requests, after which she performed ‘Icarus’ a Jason Webley song. ‘The Bed Song’ was a brand new one from Amanda while ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ was done with the help of Polly Scattergood. As I said, a performer, and the eclectic nature was added to by Amanda attempting to play, (and succeeding), Solfeggio in C Minor, a moving version of ‘Look Mummy, No Hands’ and towards the end of the night an unaccompanied Tori Amos’s ‘Me And A Gun.’
While prog rock is definitely my thing, and it may seem strange that I would like this kind of music, what impresses me about Amanda Palmer is her ability to interact with her audience, and the fact that she is prepared to take a risk, despite the fact that she may well fall flat on her face, and that said, she never seems to.
Andy B

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