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Dead Can Dance + David Kuckhermann

Venue: Eventim
Town: Hammersmith
Date: 04/05/19

It's hard to describe the sheer anticipation of waiting for one of my favourite groups to come on stage. That level of anticipation was not misplaced. From the moment they stepped out both Lisa Gerard and Brendan Perry captivated the entire auditorium, one with her ethereal, almost supernatural presence, the other with his sheer organic, visceral power.

With a tour entitled 'A Celebration Life and Works 1980 - 2019' you know you are in for a treat. The first part of the concert covered a range of compositions, some of which would not have been heard for some time and brought back the delight of hearing them for the first time.

The intricacy of the combined voices and work on media is nothing compared to the power and clarity of their voices live. From my position in the middle close to the front it was also obvious not only the delight the band took from playing together but also the complexity and effort put into the set pieces.

When you see an entire auditorium swaying and mesmerised by the music such as with Yulunga and The Wind that Shakes the Barley it becomes readily apparent that the audience is in the presence of a completely transcendental level of music. The structure of the night generally alternated between compositions involving Brendan's lyrics with those of Lisa - then of course those glorious moments when Brendan, standing at 900 facing Lisa would work together and time would seem to stop.

Dead Can Dance

Part way through the performance Brendan's voice seemed to crack - as he put it, "the voice has broken" and he temporarily left the stage - "hoping for a miracle". Bolstered by a steady stream of liquids that miracle occurred for he returned and after careful nursing was very soon back to the dynamic power we all know. Lisa's care and concern was plain to see and touched the hearts of all.

Rather than breaking for an interval the entire presentation was done in one act - no mean feat for the length of time on stage. There was not one but two encores - the auditorium vibrating with whistles, calls and thunderous applause.

All too soon the concert was over - but it has left an indelible imprint. Should you ever get the chance to see them live - take it, grab it and hold onto it for all you are worth: it is guaranteed you will not be disappointed.

David Kuckhermann - a masterful introduction

Waiting for an act to appear it must be somewhat daunting to try and 'warm up' the audience - but David not only did it with humility, he did it with panache. At times it truly appeared that there simply had to be more than one person on stage - such was the complexity and precision of his playing. From simple starts the music burgeoned and flowed, generating the depth and enjoyment of an entire band. He performed a number of tracks using a variety of instruments including the handpan (which he cheerfully described as looking like a flying saucer). Tunes to a particular note range and key he positioned and played three of these to create a complex tune second to none.

Anywhere out of the World
Labour of Love
In Power We Entrust the Love Advocated
Indoctrination (A Design for Living)
The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Yulunga (Spirit Dance)
The Carnival Is Over
The Host of the Seraphim
Autumn Sun
Dance of the Bacchantes

Encore One:
Song to the Siren

Encore Two:
The Promised Womb

Graham Holmes

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