I saw Dead Can Dance at the Palais in St Kilda last night – their first tour back in Australia in over 20 years. I’ve wanted to see them perform live since I first discovered their music in the dim dark past – bought the tickets as soon as the tour was announced last year and have been waiting impatiently ever since.
The first act was percussionist David Kuckhermann who played solo and then joined DCD for the main act. He mostly played the handpan, which looks a lot like an upside-down wok with dimples on it. His tambourine solo was oustanding. Overall, a great start to the evening. I hadn’t heard of him before, but I think I’ll be ordering some of his CDs.
Lisa Gerrard’s voice was, as always, trance-inducingly sublime and Brendan Perry with a fine voice of his own really shines in a live performance.
Definitely not a disappointment…around three hours of amazing performance, old favourites and new, and the discovery (for me) of a new performer. If I have one (minor) complaint, it’s that the volume was a little too loud, causing occasional distortion and difficulty distinguishing the lyrics on some of Brendan Perry’s singing. Lisa Gerrard sings without words – glossolalia – and much higher than Perry so wasn’t affected as much.
If you haven’t heard DCD or Lisa Gerrard’s solo albums before, do so – you’re in for a treat…labelled as “world fusion”, they’re impossible to describe accurately – while they started out as “Dark Wave” or as-goth-as-it-gets in the early 80s, they play across many genres and have strong influences from Middle Eastern, Mediaeval, world music, ambient, and more, they’re in a genre of their own. You can’t even say “they’re a bit like so-and-so” because they aren’t.