Sunday night I went to the Opera House to see Antony and The Johnsons. I went with my sister J and my long suffering hubby Big Jay. I have to say Big Jay was there by accident; he was feeling guilty for having let me go to so many concerts on my own and when I suggested this one he said "yes" because he thought there were no other takers. When he found out my sister was coming he was a little annoyed. He's more of an AC/DC sort of guy and if you put Antony and ACCADACCA on a spectrum they'd be about as far apart as Earth and Pluto (which will always be a planet as far as I am concerned).
It is worth casting our mind back to the last time we saw Antony at the State Theatre when the support "act" (and I use the term loosely was Coco Rosie). You can re-live this special experience here. Well this time around Antony out did himself. These people made Coco Rosie look like entertainers of the millenium.
How do I describe it? A geeky guy comes on stage and starts fiddling with his Mac laptop. Eerie, horror movie soundtrack-type music fills the concert hall. The lights dim and we all anticipate Antony's arrival. In vain. A shape becomes obvious to one side of the stage. A strange shape. As the light brightens somewhat the shape is exposed as a woman dressed in an old sheer lace curtain with an ugly metal pointy mask on her head. She stalks across the stage, slowly, very slowly. She is wearing odd, high heeled shoe things. She stalks as the music plays. There is anticipation that something interesting may happen. It doesn't. She arrives at the other side of the stage (so far the trip has taken about 15 minutes). She strips off the curtain to reveal a metallic bondagy type outfit. She takes off the mask. She stalks to the centre of the stage where she proceeds to move her arms and legs in a random manner. Another 15 minutes pass. She stalks off stage and relief floods the audience. In vain. Shortly she is back. She is now dressed in what appears to be an old insect screen. She stalks up and down the stage some more. She takes off insect screen. She postures in the middle of the stage. She leaves.
Fuck me! I giggled hysterically throughout. WHAT. THE. FUCK. WAS. THAT???!!! Seriously!
I know courses for horses, entertainment wise, but really. Do the Arts Councils give any old fuckwit a grant to develop their "art"? It was ridiculous, stupid, horrible and downright pathetic.
Attempting to wipe this comedy/horror show from my mind I settled in for the wonderful Antony. He was performing with a 41 piece orchestra and I was excited to see how this would work.
Well, I have to say it didn't work so well. Yes, Antony still has the magical, not of this world voice which blows my mind. But overall the show was strange and disjointed. For a start there was no sign of The Johnsons. While the orchestra played beautifully somehow it was too "pretty" and not edgy enough for me. It was missing "something" I couldn't put my finger on, if I compared it to his last solo show in 2006 or his appearance on back up vocals for Lou Reed in 2007; both of which were perfection.
He did the amazing I fell in love with a dead boy which is a song I simply love to death (pardon the pun). But he didn't do You are my sister or Fistful of love which are my two favourite songs. The songs off the new album all blend in together for me and don't really hit the spot. Not like I am a bird now which is an album I adore.
Anyway, to top off a weird and slightly annoying evening dear space cadet Antony went off on a meandering discussion about hating my husband's employer [evil evil evil ] Rupert Murdoch (or Rupey as I like to call him) and followed that up with some blather about climate change and how his hotel Quay Grand would soon be under water. [Well better sleep with a fucking life jacket on, just in case, you moron. - Believe me it pains me greatly to call Antony a moron, but I call it as I see it.]