Thursday, 5 November 2009

taken for a ride


Last Sunday with a hangover the size of a high rise, I clambered into my car and sped down to the coast to take in Daniel Johnston. Down by the pier in Brighton, a sea of sore-headed halloween revellers, eyeliner still intact, took in supports from Laura Marling and The Wave Pictures. In my heart of hearts, I only hoped for something coherent tinged with something magical. Obviously he was never going to play the whole of Don't Be Scared in its entirety. Obviously, he didn't play any of it.

Just seeing him in the flesh brought home how honest his songwriting is.
His searing honesty, filtered and fettered through unrequited love, always bulldozes its way through the harshest of cynics. Even though were moments where he struggled to maintain the pace, the songs he played were infused with tremendous warmth and exuberance. You wouldn't think it necessarily from the above photograph, but his voice is still drenched in childlike glee.

Daniel Johnston (with Yo La Tengo) - Speeding Motorcycle



2 comments:

Neil Cake said...

I saw him (for the 2nd time) in Manchester on Tuesday. I was particularly impressed with Laura Marling - which was interesting because last time I saw Daniel he was supported (and backed) by Jeffrey Lewis, who I've since become a big fan of.

Jon said...

I was there (in Brighton). Speeding MOtorcycle, Living Life, and True love will find you were all marvellous highlights. I couldn't get over how nervous they all looked - Daniel and the Wave Pictures. Great to be there.