Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recent gigs – Diamanda Galas

Last Monday Diamanda Galas played a free show in Barcelona courtesy of the local government and the Festival Of Poetry. It was the second time I had seen her after an appearance at the Perth International Arts Festival several years ago. The set up was the same, Diamanda and her piano, but this time the setting couldn’t have been more apt. The concert took stage outside on a balmy evening in Palça del Rei, a little square in the gothic district next door to the Cathedral that is surprisingly sheltered from tourists despite its location. It was apparently in this square (or the buildings attached) where Christopher Columbus first informed the Catholic King and Queen of his discoveries in America. But tonight it was the queen of gothic, gothic buildings and of course, many goths in the audience. Diamanda’s set was her usual selection of songs ranging from Chet Baker, Jacques Brel’s “Amsterdam” of course songs of genocide and despair, with plenty of poetry mixed in. Surprisingly, she spoke decent Spanish and often gave long, humorous introductions to the songs and generously gave two encores before being carefully lead away by a minder. Not quite the same as the elctro-satanic mantras of her distant past and the second video, but more in tune with the first. In this case, “Gloomy Sunday” was also the final song of the set.

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