Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) interview: 2013


Robert Smith, Nick Cave, Trent Reznor, even David Bowie all owe a debt to Peter Murphy and his haunted outpourings as leader of goth-rockers, Bauhaus. According to Murphy himself, that is. It’s a big claim for a man who stumbled into music, only learning of his abilities as he went along. Perhaps his early lack of self-perception afforded him a fearless, unstudied approach to creating music, but Murphy has returned 35 years on to stake his belated claim as unsung genius.

“There is no ‘back in the day’ for me when I talk about the music I made with Bauhaus.” He says of the Northampton-based band he fronted from 1978. “My music did not suddenly grow old and die when we split up.” In 1983, Murphy left Bauhaus after tensions arose from his increasing stardom over and above that of his band mates. This was perhaps illustrated best by his heavily stylised appearance - as himself - in the film The Hunger. Seen performing one of the first songs he ever wrote – Bella Lugosi’s Dead – Murphy’s status as ‘goth icon’ was cemented in those 4 minutes. The film that followed was a modern vampire tale complete with David Bowie in the lead role. On set, Murphy proudly recalls Bowie’s surprising admittance to him.

“He whispered into my ear, ‘I wish we had done Ziggy (Stardust) like you did it.’” He grins. “Almost nobody, including the band, wanted me to do it so when Bowie tells me he likes my version better than his own, it really made think I should just trust my instincts.” The Bowie cover remains Murphy’s biggest hit to this day, but at that stage Bauhaus were already over bar the shouting. While the rest of the band went on to form sleaze-rock group, Love & Rockets, Murphy ramped up the vamp on several solo albums before finding birds of a similar feather (Nine Inch Nails) to hang with.

“Trent (Reznor) was an unashamed Bauhaus fan. When I met him he was just this young guy with one album out – Pretty Hate Machine – and you could hear our influence all over that. We ended up recording a few covers together, which somebody has leaked but they were never officially released.” It was a match made in goth-rock heaven, but the increasing popularity Bauhaus’ music had gained in their absence prompted a return in 2005 and further demise in ’08. “The band I’ve got now, I’ve been working with for quite a few years and, with respect to the other lads in Bauhaus, I can play our music just fine without them there, you know.” He adds, “I learned to play Dan (Ash – Bauhaus guitarist)’s parts years ago and people have long been asking me to Bauhaus songs in my shows, so I thought ‘fuck it’ why not do it. Why not tour just Bauhaus’ songs as Peter Murphy? They are mostly my songs, after all.”

Now assured of his legacy in music, Murphy scarcely sees the point in unraveling the ‘enigmatic genius’ tag he has been awarded by, either his musical peers - or more brazenly, himself depending on how real or not the bravado all is. It’s only in the final few seconds before his deep, arresting voice is replaced by a dial tone does he throw me a clue. “I don’t mind doing press actually, but journalists don’t get the real me. You can only get in as far as I want you to. I hate to be a buzz kill, darling but when you’re the ‘grandfather of goth’, you have to keep at least partway in the shadows.”


Monday, August 12, 2013

Mark Hamilton (Ash) interview: 2013

'1977' - DON'T LOOK BACK

You couldn't, quite frankly, invent a band like Ash. This group of teenage Star Wars-obsessed Black Sabbath-fanatics’ endless bubble-gum punk anthems stopped everything Britpop in its tracks - at least for a moment - in the mid-‘90s. Their very specific obsessions culminated in acclaimed debut album 1977, which legend has it, was partly funded by stolen cash and, depending on what you believe, the lads’ double lives as rent boys. But whatever the truth of the matter, Ash bassist Mark Hamilton proves to be little help in sorting fact from fiction. His blurred memory defeats him at most every turn as he trawls the past in search of answers to what happened in order to land Ash in the ‘rock legends’ basket.

“I don’t remember, honestly, a lot about that time (recording 1977).” He offers after a prolonged pause. “All I know is we were desperate to get out of school and make something of ourselves in order to get out of having the drudgery of work/life balance - whatever that is supposed to mean!” Speaking to me ahead of the Australian leg of their 1977 ‘don’t look back’ shows, Hamilton finds himself a last minute stand in for vocalist Tim Wheeler who has disappeared somewhere within the band’s hotel. One ‘fun’ past-time Ash have never tired of is checking in under assumed names, making it impossible for journalists and crazed fans alike to track their movements. “Our thing is to check in under the names of our road crew, and they use our names… It just means we can get a bit more privacy.” He laughs, “The guys (crew) don’t mind. They filter our calls… it’s all part of the service!”

Mark’s notorious cheeky side is still well intact, but his memory lacks the same prowess. Perhaps even more than the other two, Hamilton famously wiped himself out in grand style, long before Russell Brand made such activities into a full-time career. His memory of Australia however is simple. “I always think of Australia as being very clean and plus we have a lot of friends there, so I associate it with the people I know. It feels very familiar now, because we have been touring there since our first album came out.” In 1996, Ash toured internationally for the first time. They had yet to complete year 12 but instead found themselves learning what it meant to be ‘stars’ on a global scale. “We had no concept of society outside of Ireland. Not even outside of our own backyards really. What made it so great was everywhere we went we found the people who were most into us were just kids like us. We weren’t playing to older audiences really and now, our fans have grown up with us and even bring their own teenage kids to our gigs. So in some ways it feels like that aspect to playing live has stayed the same.”

The topic of Oasis rears its head, as 1977’s producer, Owen Morris had recently completed a successful session on Liam and Noel’s monstrous (What’s The Story) Morning Glory album before ‘taking a chance’ on the little known Irish combo. “Owen was still pretty young at the time, and he was all about creating a certain vibe in order to capture the mood on record. That would often mean taking drugs, drinks or being in drag in the studio.” He laughs, “It was all about keeping it on the edge and capturing that spontaneous magic.” The vibe at the sessions was, it turned out, ideal for Ash. “To be honest, it didn’t take much prompting from Owen. He was really curious about us and he heard something in our music – even in the early days before Oasis got really big – and we were probably a greater risk to him as a producer, which seemed to motivate him.” 1977 has often been cited as a ‘tribute’ album of sorts to the Ash’s heroes, such as Star Wars creator, George Lucas, actor Jackie Chan and bands like Black Sabbath and The Ramones. Mark recalls.

“When it started out we didn’t have too much of a game plan to be honest. We wrote what we thought of as a bunch of singles and a few extra songs to finish the album off.  I mean there are obviously influences in there… I don’t really know what to say… I can’t remember what we were doing and if we had a plan or not!” He laughs, and begins to suffer amnesia. “I think songs like Lose Control had a lot of Sonic Youth influences, and…” he pauses again, “Ask me about a song on that album, and I can tell you about where what influenced it.” Considering Ash’s run of short, sharp pop punk singles – Kung Fu, Girl From Mars, Angel Interceptor – was broken by slow burning, almost goth-rock ballad Goldfinger, I choose this one to question Mark about. “Goldfinger …?” He says sighing. “This was us trying to show that there was maybe more to Ash as a band.” He decides. “Tim (Wheeler) had this James Bond-like guitar sequence already written, and he kept playing it at rehearsals. I didn’t see what the appeal was at first but Owen kept on at us to do something with it. I didn’t think of it as a potential single, but it ended up going Top 5 in the UK and I am kind of glad about that because I think we were in danger of being seen as one-trick pony’s.”
At this stage in their career, the former teen punks are still on an ‘onward and upward’ trajectory in many respects. While the current tour is all ‘blast from the past’, never have they been more prolific in turning out new music. The recent A-Z series saw the band record and release a new song every two weeks over a twelve month period as a nod towards more contemporary music-buying trends. “It was so liberating to that. It was much more of outlet than what recording an album is because no two songs had any relation to each other and we weren’t restricted to making songs that would work as a collection of tracks with a running order and all that… It isn’t something we could ever re-create either,” He pauses, “much like recording another 1977. We could never expect to have another number one album.” 

“The days of having ‘massive albums’ are behind us because we don’t have the huge label machine working for us, you know. For the last 7 or 8 years that’s how we’ve been working. We tour our ‘major label hit album’ in cycles and record and release music as an independent band, so it’s a bit of double life we’re leading in a way.” As Ash’s debut album is allegedly to be ‘played in full’ on this tour, the closing track on the album – Sick Party - raises a serious question. Is the track - a tape recording of Hamilton vomiting violently while Wheeler and drummer Rick McMurray cackle insanely in the background - worthy of a live recreation? “I just wanna say that, it’s never planned but sometimes it just happens. Let’s face it, we are the kind of band people expect to see passing out in a pool of sick, but you’ll have to wait and see.”



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Manic Street Preachers: live in Melbourne, 2013

Venue: Festival Hall
Date: 28/06

The Manic Street Preachers have evolved beautifully over the years into a band comfortable with what they are. The early cockiness, the time of uncertainty and the wilderness years are all behind them and despite having no new material to promote or even having been on tour at all, they display a refreshing, well-earned confidence tonight at Festival Hall. Having refined their strengths and shed a few old ghosts, they stand today as the very picture of ‘triumph against the odds’. The current set list alone represents a ‘chop off the slack’ approach to fulfilling what they themselves see as a ‘dream Manics set’, and while there will always be a few who go away disappointed, for the vast majority who attended tonight’s gig, it was pure heaven.

The fact that the band are here at all is a pleasant surprise to their multitude of devotees, making this one-off show all the more delicious. A tie-in with the British and Irish Lions rugby match in Australia was the given reason for a fly-in fly-out visit, while back home in Cardiff, the band were up to now putting the final touches on the follow up to 2010’s Postcards From A Young Man. The buzz about new music from the band has yet to really take hold, so focus tonight is on a no bullshit straight-up greatest hits package, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
The biggest surprise however is not band-related so much, as their audience tonight. Whereas the Manics dial has most often been tuned somewhere between glittery glamour and muscular rock n’ roll, tonight the switch has been given a hefty shove towards the latter. The Manics found their inner brute in an effort perhaps to appeal more readily to the present boof-head contingent. This is after all a show designed to bring together the many rugby loving ex-pats in Melbourne as well as appease the already converted. But then it’s just like the Manics to pull a mob of beer-soaked lads and wags only to lead them in a cheery sing-a-long about tackling an anxiety disorder (Send Away The Tigers) or the evils of consumerism (Motorcycle Emptiness).

It may all have been a little ironic, but not in such a way as to spoil the glory of their performance. James Dean Bradfield – looking fiercely fit – commanded our attention in that remarkable voice of his, and remained the undisputed ringleader throughout. His spirits are notably up as he jokes and banters with the crowd and his band-mates, loving every minute of the gig and perhaps riding high on the knowledge that there’s no nerve-rattling 50-date tour penned in this time round. Nicky Wire, always the elegant, if not mouthy one, is however short on words and even shorter on his usual drag tonight. That is to say, we didn’t get a much anticipated sighting of those marvelous legs dangling down from beneath a netball skirt or some such, and had to make do with a mere sparkly unicorn decal on each cheek as compensation. Despite such setbacks, he still has the power to get a large number of fans swooning, and remains one rock’s most beautiful creatures.

In light of the band’s more recent overseas shows to promote their singles collection National Treasures, there is a somewhat retro feel about the song selection. There are a number of fans here who weren't born when Generation Terrorists came out, but it is the early tracks (You Love Us, Motown Junk) that get the biggest response. A now long tradition in Manics gigs is the acoustic interlude where James belts out The Everlasting - with full-crowd backing – only tonight we get the added bonus of some classic Bacharach in the form of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. The surprise cover delights us all and sets up nicely a grand finale in the form of Little Baby Nothing – which featured a rather goofy looking Jamie Roberts of the British Lions as surprise guest on acoustic guitar – Tsunami, Motown Junk and If You Tolerate This bring the set to a blinding close. But as tradition dictates, there’s no encore despite James’ teasing us with the possibility.

The show was a full body saturation of the Manics power as a live band and even a somewhat sad reminder of how many genius songs they have in their canon which have been largely overlooked. For the devoted here though it was just not enough. The knowledge that it may be several years before they come back hangs heavy at the conclusion. Talking to fans outside the venue in the cold night air, there is a mix of elation and gloom. This was after all only the bands third visit to Australia in their 26 year career. Love for the Manics is so strong among those who invest in their songs and it’s the kind of devotion many bands could dream of. The reason being, they are a band you can care about and they mean something to people which – like their peerless stage presence witnessed tonight at Festival Hall – is something worth celebrating.


meeting Nicky Wire


 Motorcycle Emptiness
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
Ocean Spray
Suicide Is Painless
It's Not War (Just The End Of Love)
La Tristessa Durera (Scream To A Sigh)
Everything Must Go
Send Away The Tigers
A Design For Life
The Everlasting
Can't Take My Eyes Off You
You Love Us
Little Baby Nothing
Motown Junk
If You Tolerate This

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Stone Roses: live in Melbourne, 2013

Venue: Festival Hall
Date: 07/03/2013

For their sideshow in the 'Manchester of Australia' – as Mani once lovingly dubbed Melbourne - Stone Roses demonstrated that when they're good, they are very fucking good indeed. It's widely known that the lads have a patchy past in terms of pulling off great live shows, but that along with their music in general seems to be a thing of the past. It isn't terribly surprising that there is no new music from the band tonight, but at one stage during his almost flawless performance, Ian Brown hints at a future for the Stone Roses beyond the current reunion gigs.

Re-emerging in late 2011 to tour was a great move considering how closely guarded a secret it was that the band were even on speaking terms again, but Ian mentioning possible new songs without presenting any comes off as a bit of a bluff. Not that anybody could complain about the almost 20 year-old setlist which ignores most of The Second Coming in favour of that album. As debuts go, The Stone Roses simply could not be beaten. Not even by The Stones Roses themselves in fact. What is interesting though is how each song from the album performed is so very different to anything that did not make the cut. Early singles like Sally Cinnamon and several of the b-side tracks performed are all distinct in that they don't quite have the same magic as the material off the album. Of course there is one colossal exception to this rule. Nobody here at Festy tonight could argue that Fools Gold – a song they initially threw away as a freakin' b-side – was not the absolute highlight.

Fools Gold the song is of course great and was the band's most successful track, but live in concert, it is a whole other level of genius. It begins with Reni teasing us with a few pitchy cymbal smacks while Mani plucks out a slightly menacing, fat bass line which he maintains for the entire 13 minutes. Then, when John Squire begins the hook that kicked off Madchester and the whole rave-rock shebang, the crowd completely lose it. Why this song works so well live is because of the  combo of Mani and Reni as a rhythm section, but there's also much to love about Squire's unpredictable guitar playing and the soft echo of Brown's voice, surfacing occasionally in the mix. It's a cliché, but this really was Stone Roses at their most untouchable. So they serve up their 'it's funk Jim, but not as we know it' monster half way though the set tonight, leaving many here wondering just what they must be planning for an encore. But then, the answer could be found all along written on the back of The Stone Roses album sleeve.

Opening the show with I Wanna Be Adored – just as the debut album began – sets up a kind of 'running order' formula they only occasionally divert from. Ten Storey Love Song from The Second Coming is the first real shift, and while it isn't a bad tune, it's no Love Spreads. The strongest cut from the 'difficult second album' heralds one hell of a hit-fest. She Bangs The Drums – a song that too often fails in a live setting, emerges as one of the strongest tonight as it leaps out at us with every gun blazing and is rewarded with the biggest sing-a-long moment. This Is The One stands out as the  'one that really should have been a hit', and Brown is completely loving the all arms raised crowd response. It should be noted that a lot goes on around Ian during the gig and he makes for fascinating viewing. The expression 'calm like a bomb' comes to mind as he does his famous monkey shuffle dance, elbows stuck out horizontally as he bobs his head and glares out into the crowd. One moment he is almost whispering a trance-like mantra, the next he's inaudibly blasting a sound tech or hurling a full rubbish bin off stage at a security bloke for getting too physical with one of the fans.

Meanwhile, Mani – usually the mouthy one – remains the very picture of blissed out concentration, while Squire refuses to even look up from his shoes. Drummer Reni on the other hand is starring in his own movie up there behind his kit, which is adorned in 'Roses-esque lemon slices. It's quite telling how the band members' each seem so lost in their own worlds during the show. Their tense interpersonal relations have surely healed over time, but perhaps not entirely. There is a definite sense of 'we're back together because of the music', which they show absolute solidarity in.

Tonight, it was a very different Stone Roses to the band who were booed off stage at Reading in 1996 and quickly dissolved in a whimper. The reunion shows have clearly been a chance for the Roses to not only bury a few hatchets but also to change the history book entry on a band that seemed so vital before success ultimately dug them an early grave. But here at one of the most unlikely reunion concerts ever, Stone Roses conclude their set with a song almost perfectly designed for such an occasion - I Am the Resurrection. It is a triumph and it, along with nearly every song that preceded it, proves that they had never really lost 'it'. There is no encore as the work had all been done by the finish of Resurrection. Instead they close the show with group hug, a bow and a shower of praise for all who'd stuck by them. For us fans it's been a long and unlikely wait for tonight, but nobody who turned up to Festy Hall could claim it wasn't all worth it.



I Wanna Be Adored
Mersey Paradise
Sugar Spun Sister
Sally Cinnamon
Ten Storey Love Song
Where Angels Play
Shoot You Down
Fools Gold
Don't Stop
Made Of Stone
This Is The One
Love Spreads
She Bangs The Drums
I Am The Resurrection
Meeting John Squire!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Einstürzende Neubauten live in Melbourne, 2013 (review)

Venue: The Palace
Date: 19/02/2013

The excitement of what to expect from one of the world’s most unusual and  notoriously ‘challenging’ bands begins as soon as I enter the Palace and  catch sight of the darkened stage. One almost expects to see emergency relief workers attempting to deal with a recent ceiling collapse that occurred as some band had been setting up their gear. The sight of a few recognisable instruments jutting out among PVC tubing and compromised steel wreckage creates a sinister image. Although it’s just another gig for Einsturzende Neubauten, it is  essentially anybody’s guess what terrifying racket the monstrosities before us will create once the Berlin band begin to hit, throw, rattle and blow into them.

For long-time followers of Neubauten, many things have changed considerably over the course of their 33-year career, and yet a few have not. A wrecked shopping cart, masses of wire coils and front-man Blixa Bargeld’s banshee-like scream equal familiarity, but whereas Bargeld once held court in leather bondage gear and a haircut that looked as though he had been attacked by a stylist with cerebral palsy, he now more closely resembles a pre-Jenny Craig campaign Barry Humphries in all his dandy-ish finery. Gone also is the guitar he once brutally assaulted - and occasionally played as a member of the Bad Seeds - and the earth shattering electric-hammer. All this means very little however to what is a thrilling career retrospective which never feels lacking despite the aborted, more cacophonous instrumentation.

Song wise, the band choose a lesser-played set for Melbourne - Blixa’s second home for many years. Although we miss out on gems like Halber Mensch and The Garden there is still plenty to get roused over. Headcleaner goes where a lot of Neubauten songs only hint at and for that reason it stands as their true monster-piece. Played in three parts - two brutal, one mellow - it’s a relentless insanity-inducing brain hammering, that teases us with short bursts of calm only to come round again for another pummeling. Die Interimsliebenden ebs towards ‘one you can almost dance to’ but instead evokes some more suitable head-banging from the packed crowd. Armenia is played to demonstrate Bargeld’s signature horror-screech to it’s fullest, and allow custom-made instrumentalist Andrew Chudy to show off an impressive range of percussive flostum, including a bucket of metal scrap which he showers onto an amplified plate near stage front. It’s during Chudy’s carefree hurling of dangerous objects that the venue security become visibly alarmed and brace for possible intervention.

For Bargeld however, the tense moments are not during the crashing of metal on metal or glass on metal but rather when one note is played off key in the sombre Sabrina, completely throwing the singer into a very visual tantrum. It’s a very telling moment on how much Bargeld requires total perfection from his band when he berates keyboardist Ash Wednesday and insists they begin the song again from the top. The apparently short temper and commanding presence of Bargeld make him a fascinating subject to fix eyes on throughout the melee that is happening on stage. The lack of guitar means that he is free to mess around with various objects throughout the show and as such add libs with a loud-hailer, a drill with a vinyl record attached to the bit and various voice-enhancing gizmos. Though if there’s another, equally bright star on stage, it has to be drummer Rudolf Moser. His kit is the perfect enviable big boy’s toy. Much bigger than probably required and composed of chunky wire coils, steel cylinders and saw blades - it ranks as the coolest thing ever seen at a concert. Ever.

It’s impossible to end this review without mentioning the biggest and best non-drum kit related part to Neubauten’s show; the catharsis of sheer non-conventional expression through screams and grinding machines clashing with sounds so intimate, they are little more than a whisper in your ear, or - as is the case of Silence Is Sexy - a drag on an amplified cigarette.



Ein Leichtes Leises Säuseln
Die Befindlichkeit des Landes
Von wegen
Die Interimsliebenden
Dead Friends
Youme & Meyou
Let's Do It a Dada
Haus der Lüge

Silence Is Sexy

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance) Interview: 2013


While somewhat distracted by the possibility of having to evacuate, Lisa Gerrard from her home in Gippsland, is watching the threatening orange glow of near-by bushfires while valiantly remaining focused on the task promoting the first Dead Can Dance album in 16 years. An impending home-land tour in which the release - Anastasis - will be performed in full is also going ahead now the singer's recent throat-bothering flu has been beaten 'just in time'. “I was seriously close to having to cancel the shows... all that time spent in aeroplanes is what made me sick.” Gerrard has just returned home from Argentina, one of the many non-Anglo countries where her band - a 30 year-long partnership between herself and one-time husband, Brendan Perry - are lauded as musical icons. Yet despite forming in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran, Australia has long remained their final frontier in terms of wide spread acceptance.

“Somebody once asked me, 'why don't we make Australian music'?”, A mental 'face-palm' hangs in the air as Gerrard begins. “It was as if we had to tick certain boxes to be considered Australian.” The daughter of Irish immigrants remembers this throw-away question posed to her long ago, and which has bugged her since. But to argue the case for Dead Can Dance's place in the Australian music scheme, she need only have retorted with AC/DC's Scottish-ness, or Crowded House's Kiwi-ness for effect. “Basically what they were asking was, why don't we sound like a white suburban band, which is after all what we were!” In fact the Prahran which Lisa left behind in 1982 for the excitement and uncertainty of London, provided the ideal foundation for what would become Dead Can Dance. Gerrard recalls unfamiliar and exotic languages and most importantly, music in abundance in the tiny suburban street. “So many of our neighbours were a mix of Greek and Turkish immigrants, many of who couldn't speak English very well, if at all, and because their sort of connection to the countries they had left behind was this very traditional music, it would blasting out of their windows on a hot night.”

The title of the new album, Anastasis, translates (from Greek) as 'resurrected'. Apart from the obvious self-reference following their long break, it could also relate to Dead Can Dance's choice of gear. They employ instruments so ancient their true origins have been forever blurred by time as they changed hands along the Silk Road. Gerrard meanwhile has often sung in a curious, non-specific language; resulting in a suitably inclusive form of expression. “When I was growing up, you didn't get Irish people speaking Italian or Greek or anything like that, so my experience of hearing these other languages on a daily basis meant I could just listen to the tones and patterns and there was a kind of music to that in itself.” She adds, “The Irish have a strong tradition of story-telling and so to me singing without using words to tell a story was such an exotic idea.” Once the foundation for what Dead Can Dance would become was set in place, Lisa and then live-in boyfriend Brendan Perry re-established themselves in London during 1982 at the height of post-punk only to find themselves suddenly starved of the cultural diversity they had become so used to.

“We were in this very poor, white part of London for a time in this council flat and it was quite depressing when we first arrived.” Gerrard recalls, “But we kind of lived as though we were in this private school by spending all our time in the local libraries and music archives, just absorbing all this literature and music which was beyond what we could have found in Australia. Our own identity really began to develop from that time, so ultimately it wasn't wasted time.” After signing a deal with 4AD, Dead Can Dance quickly established their niche throughout the '80s and '90s as a 'world fusion' band. Releases like Into The Labyrinth and The Serpent's Egg became celebrated classics, and even drew the attention of Hollywood. During DCD's hiatus, Gerrard became an award-winning film-score composer in her own right, and along the way found time to establish her own label, Gerrard Records, with generosity as the driving force. “I wanted to be able to give more to artists signed to my label than I was given when we were on 4AD.” She explains, “That was the idea, but by the time everyone involved grabs a piece of the action, there's really nothing left. I wanted my artists to feel liberated to work on their music and not have to worry about money, you know. I mean when I think about the amount of dough that 4AD made out of us when we had so little... it's kind of criminal!”

Categorising Dead Can Dance's music may be a frustrating task for genreists - and the new album will do nothing to change this – but at it's core, Anastasis is less 'viva la difference' and more about what connects us all across language and cultural barriers. It's a concept album in that sense, and will be performed in full during this tour. “It is important that in concert the work is allowed to tell its whole story. I think it takes on a life of its own that way.” Gerrard explains, “We used a lot of organic instruments on the recording, but touring with a full orchestra wasn't practical. Brendan plays a variety of instruments, and I play my Yangqin and dulcimers... but I think the main detail in our music is the cavernous, 'big sound' that we do. It's very much about creating a landscape of sound when we play live... It's how our music is best enjoyed I think.”