Tuesday, August 04, 2009

head honcho

David Byrne @ The Barbican, 3rd August, featuring the Songs of Eno and Byrne

Some things we learned tonight and some things we knew already:
  • Talking Heads have a lot of songs which are great for dancing to. The 1980 Byrne/Eno collaboration Remain in Light is particularly good in this respect and we get a fair helping of it tonight. It was quite heavily influenced by Fela Kuti: I think the respective rhythm tracks in "Houses in Motion" and Kuti's "U Be Thief" illustrate the comparison quite well.
  • This ain't no disco. The Barbican is rubbish for dancing (see also Tricky below).
  • While we're on the subject, I found DB's three "interpretative dancers" a bit off-putting and generally surplus to requirements.
  • There is no-one younger than forty present. In comparison, Neil Young's Hyde Park gig which I went to last month was full of twenty-five-year-olds who knew the words to all his songs. Maybe it's because of the choice of venue and the price of the tickets. (Seats at the back of the hall cost £35.)
  • DB is good value though, performs for a good two hours, including five (count them) encores. The "hits" go down well--"Once in a Lifetime", "Burning Down the House", "Road to Nowhere"--but I think "Strange Overtones" is a great song.
  • You can't accuse Byrne of having a narrow range of interests. He's recently written a book on cycling and his installation at the Roundhouse opens later in the week.
DavidByrne.com has some live tracks from this tour which will give you the gist of proceedings this evening...

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