Monday, May 21, 2007


What a great evening. Saw Daniel Johnston a few years ago at Matt & Phred's in Manchester but still wasn't sure what to expect of the evening - especially given the 'comic' setting. First up were the Former Bullies, then Jeffrey Lewis and Adem.

The latter two played together plus a few songs each on their own. Very relaxed, unrehearsed but totally natural vibe. Adem claimed he would ruin the mood by playing some miserable songs but didn't. Even if he had everyone was won back by Jeffrey finishing their slot with a great version of "Williamsburg William Oldham Horror" (video here).

After another short break Daniel came on to play three songs on the guitar and three at the keyboard including "Walking the Cow". He then said he'd be back with 'the band'. This turned out to be Jeffrey Lewis and Adem - and things just took off. Not all the songs worked ("Mountain Top" played solely on handbells for instance) but most were perfect settings to Daniel's songs and his singing.

Daniel did appear to have aged a lot since I saw him last - and had some very bad shakes in both hands - but appeared to be relaxed and enjoying performing. Finally Former Bullies (three quarters of them) returned for an 'electric' set including "Fish" and "Rock This Town". Whole evening was topped of with an acapella rendition of "Devil Town".

Read the review on the sponsor/presenter's website here. But they ruined the ticket stub by simply printing "[sponsor] presents..." which didn't leave any space for headline act let alone support.

Daniel Johnston
Yip/Jump Music [buy]

Daniel Johnston
Fear Yourself [buy]

No comments: