Skip to main content

Kristin Hersh - Live

The Edge@Cabaret Voltaire
4 stars
Paradoxical undressing is a condition whereby those in the throes of hypothermia tear off their clothes after their body kids them on that they’re boiling up. As the title of former Throwing Muse Kristin Hersh’s foray into spoken-word multi-media, for someone who’s painfully shy but whose voice practically lunges at you with raw emotion, it’s laced with metaphor.

Standing in front of a screen on which smudged pastel paintings, photographs of flowers and other idylls are projected, Hersh picks out some far-off blues patterns as she relays excerpts from a forthcoming memoir. This charts her insular rise from withdrawn girl who sculpts songs out of the noises she hears in her head, to unlikely crossover rock star who’s diagnosed bipolar on the eve of success.

Over two acts, Hersh incants low and intense, about hanging with the junkies, about the invisible snakes that wrap themselves around her, and about a series of transatlantic phone calls with 4AD Records boss Ivo Watts-Russell. Intense and often surprisingly funny, each recollection is punctuated by a stripped-down song from the Hersh back catalogue, wonderfully delivered by her standing in silhouette. This preview show moves for a week into the far airier confines of St Cecilia’s Hall. As with Hersh’s own story, quite a trip is promised.

The Herald, August 2007

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…

Nomanslanding

Tramway, Glasgow until July 2nd
Four stars

In the dead of night, the audience are split in two and led under-cover into lamp-lit tented structures. Inside, what look like peasant women on the run lead us down a ramp and into a large circular pod. It feels part cathedral, part space-ship, and to come blinking into the light of such a fantastical structure after stumbling in the dark disorientates and overwhelms. Sat around the pod as if awaiting prayers to begin, we watch as performers Nerea Bello and Judith Williams incant mournfully on either side of the room. Their keening chorales embark on a voyage of their own, twisting around each other by way of the international language of singing. As if in sympathy, the walls wail and whisper, before starting to move as those on either side of the pod are left stranded, a gulf between them.

This international co-commission between Glasgow Life and the Merchant City Festival, Sydney Harbour Foreshaw Authority in Australia and Urbane Kienste …