4 July 2011
MIF - Sinead O'Connor and Bjork
So I just need to gush about this weekend. I saw Sinead O'Connor and Bjork who were both performing as part of the Manchester International Festival. Babs (AKA the mothership, my idol, legend etc.) bought me the tickets for my birthday and it was one of the best weekends ever.
Sinead's set was perfect, I was worried it would be Theology heavy, which was her last album that I like, but never really bonded with, but it was so varied and spanned most of her albums, including some of my favourites from Universal Mother, (In this heart and Thank you for hearing me). The new stuff she did is pretty good, it sounds unquestionably Irish, but with reggae beats, so her covers album wasn't superficial and she's obviously heavily influence by the genre. She was quite timid when talking between songs initially, after singing 'No Man's Woman' she said "that's a bit rich really given that I've shagged so many men". I love how much she has embraced motherhood, she spoke about her kids a lot (and not in a sickening way) and she's wearing herself with pride as always, her voice is impeccable and her acapella version of I am stretched on your grave was gorgeous.
BJORK was mind-blowing. Definitely the best gig I've ever been to (before this, the best gig I'd ever been to was when she did the Hammersmith Apollo in 2007). It was such a complete piece of art, the visuals, the atmosphere, the choreography, and especially the fucking astounding music. For me, Biophilia seems like a really organic progression, given that all of her work previously, right back to Debut has been about the discords and harmonies between humans and nature, so this technology/natural world cocktail works beautifully for me. Judging by the new stuff (I think she probably did the whole new album), this will be her best work yet, the most immediately brilliant songs were (and I'm not sure these are the correct titles) Thunderbolt, Mutual Core and (I'm even less sure about this title) Cosmogony? (the one with the chorus about Heaven's bodies or heavenly bodies or something). Before the encore she did one just with those swinging pendulum things called Solstice, which was gorrrrgeous too. It's weird how instantly likeable all the new stuff was because normally I find it difficult to fully get into new stuff until I'm familiar with it. The highlights aside from those new songs were Where is the line, Mouth's Cradle, Sonnets/Unrealities XI (which brought a little tear to my eye) and OF COURSE Unravel, which really surprised me as I've seen her twice previously hoping to hear this as it's my favourite song in the world and she didn't do it, but this time it just crept out of nowhere in the middle of the set, it was heartbreaking, and yes, the tears did flow. I'm so impatient for the new album now, which I believe comes out in the autumn, for those of you who are going to one of the other dates she's doing: JEALOUS. It was life-changingly good.
Yours, a very overwhelmed Sean.