David Byrne, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Via The Herald

By Keith Bruce


Those taking their seats upstairs for Byrne's celebration of his collaborative relationship with producer and sound artist Brian Eno may have noted that the stage was covered with a portable dance floor, but they probably did not.

So when three dancers burst on to the stage as the band struck up I Zimbra, about three songs into the set, it came as a surprise to most in the hall.

These were not the sort of performers one normally sees flanking R n' B crooners or dance music acts; this trio - two girls and a bloke - were trained athletic contemporary dancers with a vocabulary of moves that referenced great New York names like Merce Cunningham and Lucinda Childs. How very David Byrne.

The maestro of art-rock music and movement is touring with a compact Talking Heads-sized band of keyboards, bass, drums and percussion, with three superb backing singers, and handling major guitar duties himself, although the males in both singing and dancing trios strummed acoustic instruments at times.

But really this is an eleven piece touring outfit in which the players and the dancers are all equal component parts - and all donned tutus for the encore of Burning Down the House to emphasise the point.

The backing trio, which includes Jenni Muldaur, daughter of Maria and Geoff and sister of the frontwoman of Claire and the Reasons, were involved in the complexity of the dance moves for the duration, and the dancers did a spot of singing.

The repertoire included a fair chunk of last year's Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, which reunited Byrne and Eno 30 years on, and brave live reworkings of music from the ground-breaking sampling disc My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, but it was, unsurprisingly, the Talking Heads material that ignited the packed auditorium.

During Life During Wartime the audience erupted in recognition of a dance step (from the Stop Making Sense movie). A first for Glasgow, that.

December Radio David Byrne Presents: Arabia

More Info