Saturday 19 September 2009

Amanda F'king Palmer and The Indelicates @ The Edge - HMV Picturehouse Edinburgh 22 Aug 2009

The Indelicates are a band of contradictions. The delicate, shy, sweet voice and piano playing of co-lead singer Julia Indelicate and the hard rocking, guitar slamming, obnoxious egomania of co-lead singer Simon Indelicate. The stringy, weedy arms of drummer Ed van Beinum despite the aggressive way he beats the kit. The guy should be built! And hearing them scream out the lyric "Godless america" while Simon plays an American guitar while wearing the United States flag for a jacket in a London accent so thick you'd think they were the cast of Oliver Twist.

Amanda had so many great stage antics that I wanna discuss I'm gonna keep the "critique" part of this review down to just three words to save space: gothic, cabaret, brilliant.

Amanda F***ing Palmer (as she prefers to be known) (Photo by Richard Dyson) came from behind the audience, descending the staircase in her baroque dress, following her horn section - Edinburgh's own Horndogs, and dancing like a burlesque rag doll, as they played the riff from Missed Me. The crowd parted as the convoy went in the side entrance and reappeared on stage, Amanda taking her place at the piano.

The Horndogs joined her for a few key songs, but she played a lot of the set on her own, including The Dresden Dolls classic Coin Operated Boy. Three quarters of the way through she starts jerking and repeating half a line like a stuck robot. She manages to replicate an identical movement a good twenty times before she's "fixed" and continues with the rest of the song.

Amanda also performed a reading of one of the stories from her photo and literature collaboration with dark fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, 'Who Killed Amanda Palmer?', and then invited Neil himself on stage to read one of the poems from the book, as she stared up from her piano at him, with the same wonder and excitement in her eyes as a child hearing a bedtime story, the same expression that was pasted all over the audience’s faces too.

Other memorable moments included the performance of Gaiman-penned song about Googling an ex, an unrehearsed duet with her sister, a furious cover of Relax and inviting The Indelicates (and then the Horndogs) back on stage to help perform recent hits Oasis and Leeds United (Amanda is clearly an anglophile) and an encore-closing show-stopping cover of Let The Sunshine In from 'Hair'.
Myke Hall

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