(That’s the complete set – support acts as well)
Why this gig?
Because Amanda Palmer is always worth seeing. And because this is her last tour before she goes off to start being maternal.
Two support acts, both of which I’ve seen supporting Amanda before. Perhaps Contraption are a brass ensemble from Brighton who are always a lot of fun (and always remind me of Pookiesnackenburger). Andrew O’Neill isn’t my favourite stand-up comic, but he always raises a few smiles.
The last few times I’ve seen Amanda Palmer play, it’s been the full rock-band experience as she has been promoting her album Theatre is Evil. Tonight is a rather more stripped-down affair as it’s largely Amanda alone, accompanying herself on piano or ukulele.
She starts by taking advantage of the venue and singing “The Wind The Shakes The Barley” unaccompanied from the Union Chapel’s lovely pulpit. It’s all rather lovely.
Then she moves to the piano for a couple of songs from Who Killed Amanda Palmer. These is followed by a cover of Derek and Clive’s “Jump”. It’s certainly an eclectic evening.
There are artists who play exactly the same set every night of a tour and there are artists who change sets completely every night. Amanda Palmer is firmly in the later category. She asks the audience what they want to hear and that leads to her playing a couple of Dresden Doll’s songs – “Coin-Operated Boy” and “Missed Me” and a couple of songs from her Australian influenced record Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under – “Vegemite (The Black Death)” and “Map Of Tasmania”.
There are guests throughout the evening. Caitlin Moran comes on and reads a letter that she wrote to her daughter and then hangs around for a conversation with Amanda about her impending motherhood. And Whitney Moses joins Amanda for a couple of songs, including a cover of Garfunkel and Oates’ “Pregnant Women Are Smug”.
For me, the only duff note of the evening comes when Amanda hands over the stage to a drag act called Le Gateaux Chocolat who sings a dirge-like cover version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.
But Amanda soon returns to the stage with a couple of stripped-back versions of songs from Theatre Is Evil and a great cover version of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”.
And, all too soon, the evening is over as Perhaps Contraption return to the stage to join Amanda in an anarchic version of “Leeds United”.
Every Amanda Palmer show is great. And every one is different. Tonight was no exception. This was different to every other show I’ve seen, but still a great night out.
The set-list is on Setlist.fm.