Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hi, How are you?": Daniel Johnston

I'm good, if not somewhat vulnerable this morning. I was in London last night to see one of my biggest musical heroes of recent times, Daniel Johnston. It was a bit of a dream line-up, with support from Jad Fair, Mark Linkhous (of Sparklehorse), Scout Niblett and James Mcnew (of Yo La Tengo).
     After short sets of their own, and Daniel coming on briefly for two songs alone, they all all took to the stage together, like a bunch of escapees from the nearest psychiatric ward. Then we were blasted with pure fucked-up rock n roll bliss for the next hour.
     To see Daniel Johnston still alive and standing in itself is quite an experience after all he's been through with his health/mental health. But the force of his songs was punched through a hundred times over by his live performance.
     This man's beauty is palpable - it shook with his hands as they struggled to hold the microphone, rolling with his huge belly over his jogging bottoms. His set was sublime, twisted, anarchic, sensitive, tender and vitriolic, and his 'backing' band smiled at his lyrics as they played along.
     I hope there are many years ahead of Daniel Johnston in which to write and play. I'd post this directly on here, but it's not working for some reason, so instead, here's a link to one of my favourite D.J. songs.

1 comment:

chall said...

From someone else in the audience when I saw him last month: