There’s one particular song from this show that is all over the internet. It was quite difficult to find a different one.
Why This Gig?
Because it’s Amanda Palmer and it’s my considered opinion that she is currently one of the best live performers in the world.
I admit I came to Amanda Palmer rather late. The Dresden Dolls completely passed me by. I only became aware of her work when she started a relationship with Neil Gaiman. I saw her show at the Union Chapel in 2009 (largely, to be honest, because I wanted to see Polly Scattergood who was supporting) and was so blown away that I’ve seen her at pretty much every opportunity since then.
One of the joys of an Amanda Palmer gig is the sheer number and range of support acts that you get. As I walked into the Roundhouse a punky brass band were performing in the middle of the audience space. It turned out that they were called Perhaps Contraption and they were very good.
They were followed by Amanda Palmer herself appearing on the balcony, singing Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ completely unamplified and accompanying herself on the ukulele.
Then a couple of other members of Amanda’s band got their own support spots. Jherek Bischoff played a couple of songs aided by Perhaps Contraption (that’s another mark of Amanda Palmer shows – lots of interplay between the performers) and then guitarist Chad Raines appeared in the guise of The Simple Pleasure.
And then it was time for Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra. They started with ‘Do it with a Rockstar’ and ‘The Killing Type’ – two of the best songs from their current album, Theatre is Evil. The set then continued with more songs from that album mixed in with songs from Amanda’s previous album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, and a couple of things from The Dresden Dolls’ back catalogue. Highlights for me were a great version of ‘Oasis’ (introduced with an interesting story about how Amanda met Liam Gallagher at Glastonbury and a discussion on whether or not he is a twat) and ‘Bottomfeeder’ which Amanda sang while being carried aloft through the auditorium by the audience – showing a huge amount of trust in her fans.
Another feature of Amanda Palmer shows is the constant flow of guest stars being introduced. We had Tom Milson and Bitter Ruin both singing impressive duets with Amanda and Kate Miller-Heidke singing her own ‘Are You Fucking Kidding Me’ – someone who I’ll definitely be investigating further.
Another guest was Sxip Shirey who took over the stage with a number of friends and gave us an extract of his musical circus show Limbo that is playing at the South Bank all of this summer.
After that there was just time for a storming cover version of Pulp’s ‘Common People’ before the show was over. Except, of course, it wasn’t There was time for a couple of encores.
The first encore was the song that you’ve all read about – Dear Daily Mail. Then the full band came back to finish with The Dresden Dolls’ ‘Girl Anachronism’.
All in all, a storming night. If you get the chance to see Amanda Palmer play, then I highly recommend that you take it. I’m sure you’ll love it.
The setlist is on Setlist.fm.
The closest I can find to the mainstream media reviewing the show is Jeff Jarvis writing a Guardian blog post about the Daily Mail song.