Last Sunday afternoon Paul and I hot-footed it from the Emirates Stadium down to the Brighton Festival to see the grande dame of avant garde the iconic Laurie Anderson perform her show All The Animals at the glitzy Brighton Dome Concert Hall.
All The Animals was a fabulous menagerie of Anderson’s work over the years from the poignant – her dying mother’s vision of animals on the ceiling above her hospital bed – to the apocalyptic – species extinction and environmental collapse – to the downright sensible – never try to make an opera out of Moby Dick, or any other novel that you really care about. It just won’t work.
From The Air:-
This is your Captain.
We are about to attempt a crash landing.
Please extinguish all cigarettes.
Place your tray tables in their upright, locked position.
Your Captain says: Put your head on your knees. Your Captain says: Put your head on your hands. Captain says: Put your hands on your head.
Put your hands on your hips.
For with age (Anderson is an elfin 67) comes wisdom. And self-knowledge. And humour. A lot of it. Anderson’s wry delivery and gentle storytelling camouflaged her technical brilliance. She was very busy up on stage, creating sounds and colours, new audio atmospheres. She was busy but she was playing. She was having fun, and it was wonderful.
Her rat terrier, Lolabelle, even played the blues as an encore - catch it while you can on YouTube.
All The Animals was a triumph for wonder.