Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I went to the EIF launch and number three will make you mess your pants...

As soon as director Fergus Linehan opened the floor to questions, a pompous critical smog began to circulate. So I ducked out to make a list, because I am on the Internet and people read lists.

New Comedy Section
Linehan's strategy has been to introduce new art forms to the EIF, to broaden audiences. He gets pop music, he does a few kids' shows, and this year he has a comedy section: the reimagining of Martyn Bennett's Grit as an orchestral performance. A brilliant satire on the imagination of musicians who think that electronic music can be converted into a more traditional ensemble, its an extended skit on the failure of classical music to recognise its strengths. 

Grit was a good album - it's not as iconic as its record company claims, and is closer to Moby's Play than most fans would care to admit -with a few storming numbers. It certainly is not improved by a dozen violinists scratching away. The slapstick highlight is when a folk singer tries to imitate the glitch and snap of Bennett's sampling. I tried to get on the stage when I saw it at Celtic Connections and give him the Heimlich.

God Speed and Holy Bodies
There is no chance in hell that the collaboration between The Holy Body Tattoo and Godspeed You Black Emperor can live up to my expectations. In the 1990s and 2000s, the band and the choreographers made me wet myself in ecstasy (the band for their spiritual and layered grandeur, the company for their dark sexy tango piece). So I expect this to be better than Rusalka, that opera that made me weep last night, and I expect to be disappointed. Goodspeed were the most important band to me until they reformed a few years back, when it all felt a bit nostalgia, so I got off the train.

Barry Humphries and Miaow Miaow
I remember when MM was on the cabaret circuit. She offered me a blow job for a good review. Unfortunately, the blow job was off her pianist, not her. 

Notwithstanding her tangential entry in my History of Sexual Disappointment, Miaow Miaow is one of the most witty, imaginative and subversive artists in the cabaret tradition - aside from Dusty Limits,  who also deserves an EIF show. Teaming up with an orchestra and him who used to be Dame Edna to make a Weimar style cabaret... if Hitler would hate it, I have to love it....

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