Pop review: David Byrne at the New Theatre, Oxford

Via The Times of London

Photo: Getty Images

By Stephen Dalton


Artists of David Byrne’s exalted stature often coast into middle age on faded glory and nostalgic goodwill. And yet this 66-year-old pop polymath keeps pushing himself to strange, dazzling new peaks. Indeed, his latest live show could well be the most imaginative, hilarious, ambitious and exuberant of his career.

As Byrne couched his deceptively childlike musings on America and its discontents in explosively funky marching-band arrangements and superbly staged dance routines, this first British date of the tour felt at times like a delirious dream collaboration between Prince and David Lynch. The experimental mood even extended to Byrne’s hand-picked support act, the mercurial avant-soul singer Laura Mvula, who performed an unusually adventurous set featuring just drums, keyboards, voice and fabulous pink shoes.

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