Sunday, July 03, 2011

Festival in play - Sinead O'Connor

The excellent Manchester International Festival is back in town. I love the way Albert Square is transformed into a plaza type meeting place of a daytime and an evening. It just feels so civilised and convivial. Even Damon Albarn was hanging out there on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday we saw Sinead O'Connor perform a mix of old songs and new and, yes she did do THAT Prince cover. Her voice is incredible, of that there is no doubt. Some of her lyrics are breathtakingly poignant and reflect her complex and confused life - abusive mother, sexual orientation issues, bipolar, 4 x4 (kids by different Dads), an odd relationship with her faith. Such honesty - such baggage - brings its hazards - and some of the songs are a bit "sixth form poetry". As she tells her own stories between the songs she isn't trying to hide anything. It is all laid bare. But sometimes it seems like she tries to fit a bit too much into a single song.

Was it any good? Yes, of course it was. Really good. And if she's sorted herself out, to learn to appreciate the talent she has and the respect she still has, then I think on the evidence of this concert she stands on the brink of a bit of a comeback. Her band were very tight and her reggae influences show a varied musical style that nicely complemented her own powerful vocal strength.

And she looks very different now too, from when she did THAT video to THAT song. A full head of hair for a start.

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