Amanda Palmer and Edinburgh audiences have enjoyed a mutual love affair since she played the Fringe in 2007. Her gigs here are invariably sold out and this latest appearance at The Liquid Room is no exception.
Palmer often performs with a band, but this gig is a more intimate solo affair. She takes to the stage and plays a couple of songs on ukulele, then relocates to her grand piano. Declaring that she doesn’t have a setlist as such, she happily invites requests from the audience. After further audience interaction, she settles on playing a mix of sad and happy songs.
Missed Me (from her Dresden Dolls days) is an early highlight, with some improvised lyrics relating to Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood indiscretions. Astronaut and Ampersand from her debut solo album Who Killed Amanda Palmer?, Coin-Operated Boy (another Dresden Dolls number), and The Bed Song from Theatre is Evil are other obvious crowd pleasers.
Palmer mentions that hubby Neil Gaiman complains that she hasn’t written any amazing songs about him. She points out that this is actually a good thing, as she normally writes such songs after a relationship is over. Vegemite is sort of dedicated to Gaiman, but this enjoys only the most tangential of relationships with a classic romantic ballad. However, it is oodles of fun.
A cover of Paperback Writer is performed with vocal support from Palmer’s stage manager, Whitney Moses. Rumours that Oasis are the most famous band from Liverpool are quickly dispelled, to great amusement.
After almost 2 and 1/2 hours, Palmer leaves the stage to enthusiastic applause. She returns to offer a couple of encores on ukulele, ending the night (appropriately) with Ukulele Anthem. However, teasingly, she mentions that The Dresden Dolls may be doing some more live shows. Ooh! Permission to engage antici…pation mode?
As live performers go, Palmer has few peers. She is a compellingly mesmeric stage presence, always passionate and incredibly expressive, a gloriously gallus besom. Mind you, this evening reveals that despite her Caledonian heritage, her Scottish accent still needs a little (OK…a LOT of) work. Ah well, as Joe E. Brown put it in Some Like It Hot, ‘Well, nobody’s perfect!’