One thing I really hate, hate, hate is going to a gig and the performers staring at the floor, reading the lyrics because they haven't bloody well bothered to learn them. It's distracting, annoying and way unprofessional. A serious dealbreaker for me. And that's only at free pub gigs of a Thursday night -- imagine the intense mental angst caused when the repeat offender is Nick Cave. Or Rufus Waingwright. Or Beth Orton. Or the MacGarrigles. Or.Or.Or.
So tonight was the night for Came So Far For Beauty: The Songs of Leonard Cohen at the Opera House, part of the Sydney Festival. The tickets were $150. The performers -- stars most and professionals all -- hardly knew the words. They had to keep eyes fixed on the music stands in front of them.
Every peek made me flinch.
Santa Vaca, people! Me and my sisters know the words to all the songs, surely you certainly can learn two of the bastards.
Not many things can make Nick Cave uncool. Cribbing the words is top of the list. Mostly Nick had to be within a few feet of the stand but when he did try to let go with his righteous preachin' type moves we all love so much, he kept being yanked back by the short mike lead. If they can provide those unplugged microphone thingos to Australian Idol contestants, they can bloody well give Nick Cave one at the Opera House.
I have spoken about Nick Cave and Australian Idol in the same half-paragraph. See how crazy and mixed up this has got me?
Oh and the sound quality was pretty horrible. Isn't this supposed to be some kind of world class venue for musical entertainment?
I will tell you about the good things later.
Completely unrelated update: Hear Bob sing Pancho and Lefty. Courtesy of Grey Flannel Dwarf at the Expecting Rain forums. Now there's a man who never forgets the words ... ;-) Ah, The Drunk Years, some of my favourites. Oh yeah, and he's touring with The Hag.