Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I (Did Not) See A Darkness

So I went to the Green Man Fest the other week, which featured the peerless Will Oldham. Great, right? Well, no. I was at the fest alright, but I had to go home before Oldham came on. Why? I had my reasons. And I'm OK about it. Will Oldham might be one of the few musicians I would consider having a tooth pulled to see live, and I See A Darkness one of my fave songs... but I'm OK about it. I was a bit cut up at the time (hence my total avoidance of the issue here), but some things just ain't to be. C'est la vie, right? Right. Until I read this review in The Indie:

Beneath the canopy of twinkling stars a yellow full moon hung suspended over the stage, illuminating the scenic backdrop of the Black Mountains beyond. As Bonnie "Prince" Billy began to play a blisteringly intense version of "I See a Darkness" - his most famous song, covered by the late Johnny Cash - someone fired off a red flare into the sky and the whole scene lit up with an unearthly carmine glow, part late-Turner watercolour, part Apocalypse Now. It was one of those utterly magical moments that everyone there will remember...
Mind you, I did see the man walking around, earlier on. His beard really is something to behold. And his shirt was truly dazzling, being a shade of red hitherto unseen in that part of Wales. So that's something, right?

No. This is not "something". This is NOIR. And no amount of red fabric or facial hair can make it better. Like the man said... and then I see a darkness.

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