Saturday, March 10, 2012

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra - Northcote Social Club

 (I have this poster on my wall now)

On Wednesday Night Laura and I went to see "Amanda Palmer and her Grand Theft Orchestra" (pun tittle! I'm already in love) perform one of the five shows she has going as part of her Northcote Social Club residency. What's that? Amanda Fucking Palmer is doing a residency in Northcote, Melbourne, and tickets are only $10? I must have stumbled into an alternate universe where all my favourite musicians are suddenly living in my home city and putting on shows cheaper than the beer prices at the venues in which they play (although in my alternate universe, beer flows from the taps instead of water. No wait, make that Hendricks Gin). Sadly this is not the case, Amanda Fucking Palmer is just really fucking cool. I have a rant about her being the nicest lady in music here in my post about the Dresden Dolls.

This show was more of a cabaret showcase than a straight up and down gig; we were late and so we missed most of the first act; a tall man with an admirable quiff and who sang like Johnny Cash. I didn't catch his name, but he did a great job as compare.
The second act, Kim Boekbinder AKA the Impossible Girl, came out all bright pink hair and fabulous space themed costume, which turned out to be completely appropriate because her sound was so unique she could have been sent here from some far off sparkly planet. She is also doing a residency, at the Evelyn Hotel in April, which I reckon you should check out if you have an evening to spare. And she's super nice; she was waiting at the same tram stop as us to head back into the city, and Laura went up and got her autograph! Too sweet!
Last, but certainly not least, we were treated to a Geisha/Egyptian burlesque style striptease from Agent Cleave and Jess Daly. It was bizarre to say the least, but bizarre is not always bad, in fact it is almost always good!. The costumes were incredible; I also looked up Jess Daly's blog SHE MADE A COSTUME FOR PEACHES YOU GUYS!!! And it is awesome!

This served as the perfect segue to introduce Amanda; Agent Cleave and Jess Daly entered the crowed, and as the song began to fade, the curtains opened to reveal Amanda standing warrior like at her piano, an enormous silver crown atop her head, poised to slay the audience.
Well, she killed it.

One of the many many things I love about Amanda Palmer as a performer is that you can go along to her show, not knowing any of her songs, and still have an amazing time; this was the case for Laura, who didn't know any of her solo stuff, and to be honest I was in a similar boat because she decided to showcase some new songs, which all sounded phenomenal. The addition of the extremely multitalented backing band gave each song an extra punch and sense of bravado. We laughed a lot, and I even cried.  She did some great covers too, Idioteque by Radiohead, a haunting rendition of Everything's Turning To White by Paul Kelly, and Video Games by Lana Del Rey. She said something about this song that I really liked, about how she hated it, but that she also deeply loved it. I think that's how a lot of people feel about Lana Del Rey, but I would take Amanda's version any day, because of the amount of soul she injected into it. A song like that needs her amount of soul.

Highlights: Missed Me. Of course, because I know that  song inside out, and because with every chorus, everyone in the band would get up and change instruments, like some sort of deranged primary school game. All the new songs!! Especially the ones with the horns, supplied courtesy of Felix from the Cat Empire! (C'mon, seriously? Now you're just taunting me Amanda). They made the upbeat numbers so much fun to dance to! Astronaut, Everything's Turning to White, and Map of Tasmania, because that song is so hilariously good, and it included a nifty rap solo from Kim Boekbinder.

I can't wait for the new album, with the band and the brass and Amanda Fucking Palmer writing some of the best songs of her career. And I'm pretty sure it's being recorded in Melbourne. Must fight the urge to stalk....
I would say QUICKLY GO GET SOME TICKETS FOR THE FINAL SHOW TOMORROW NIGHT, but it's already sold out. Still, I have a feeling there will be plenty more opportunities like this once the album is released! Come along, I'll have a beer and a dance with you, and we can bask in the delicious obscurity that is Amanda Fucking Palmer and her Grand Theft Orchestra.

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