Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Devendra Banhart

Last night I went to see the superb Devendra Banhart at Newcastle University. I've been enjoying, appreciating, relishing, savouring, and lauding his 'Rejoicing In The Hands' album for the last six months or so. He's certainly extraordinarily talented, and has that ability to captivate a room in a similar way to someone like Jeff Buckley. That's not to say he's that similar to Buckley musically, but he has the same aura. The feeling that you're in the presence of someone who is the master of their domain, and you feel a bit priveliged to be there. It's what I can only imagine it must be like to be in the kitchen while I'm making a cup of tea. The tender squeeze of the Yorkshire Tea bag against the inside of the cup, the carefully-timed splash of milk, and seductive insertion of sugar before stirring and tapping the spoon on the rim.

The only downside to last night's gig was that Devendra didn't do more of the set alone. He was eventually joined by his outrageously facially-haired bandmates (Hairy Fairy), and from that point quite a few of his songs became like country-western renditions, and thus some magic was lost. When he's on his own with his guitar and his fragile voice, it's special. Soul cleansing. I'd like to see him do a whole gig on his own.

I filmed him last night singing one of my favourite songs of his, 'The Body Breaks', and you good people can watch. It's beautiful.

And if you like that, you'll like this. Another song of his, 'A Ribbon', which has a lovely video. Beautiful. Beautiful.


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