Antony and Current Ninety Three "Live at St. Olave's Church, London 2002" PanDurtro 007 2002 (19:23)
Antony "You Stand Above Me" (1:36)
Antony "The Lake" (4:48)
Antony "Cripple and the Starfish" (4:51)
Current Ninety Three "Judas as Black Moth" (1:48)
Current Ninety Three "Sleep Has His House" (2:54)
Current Ninety Three "Walking Like Shadow" (3:26)
While several Current Ninety Three live outings have been recorded and in due time released, Antony and the Johnsons five years of performances have not seen the same light of day. Perhaps that and the (at the time) upcoming Antony/C93 shows in Portugal and San Francisco were reasons for Durtro to present this EP length disc featuring three tracks apiece from last April's shows. Antony is at the piano, accompanied by Johnson Maxim Moston on violin. "You Stand Above Me" is only one minute and thirty-six seconds but contains all the melancholy and drama one would expect. Antony bellows "while eternity cycles wildly, inside me" over plaintive piano notes, the vibrato of his powerful soprano nestling into every crevice of my mind, body and soul. I could continue to wax poetic about that but Diamanda Galas probably said it best: "every emotion in the planet is in that gorgeous voice." Antony naturally adapts Edgar Allan Poe's lovely 1827 poem "The Lake" to song, a much more fitting tribute than Lou Reed's ill-advised "The Raven" (excepting Antony's minimal rendition of Reed's "Perfect Day"). Then the tender "Cripple and the Starfish" and what sounds like a well deserved standing ovation. For C93's songs, David Tibet is accompanied by usual suspects Maja Elliott on piano and Michael Cashmore on guitar. "Walking Like Shadow" from C93 and Nurse With Wound's "Bright Yellow Moon" is musically true. Ditto the brief version of "Judas as Black Moth" from "Soft Black Stars" which also benefits from additional lyrics, "in the middle of the night as the cats cry in the street, and the scent of flowers is heavy in your hair, the car sweeps by with a murdered child, the car sweeps by with a violated girl". The mammoth title track from 'Sleep Has His House' is reduced to just the main lyrical passage here, the piano and Tibet's voice rising to a fever pitch as he breathlessly chokes on emotion in remembrance of his father. Magnificent. Too bad there's only three songs apiece. I'd happily pay more for more. Or maybe, just maybe, a future show will come closer to me than 1300 miles away ...
Antony and the Johnsons
Where did I get this cd? - mail order via Durtro.
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