NY Times : An Underworld Fantasy Of Dark Sexual Themesmercredi 13 mars 1996
Source : NY Times
From The New York Times :
POP REVIEWAn Underworld Fantasy Of Dark Sexual Themes
By NEIL STRAUSS
On his new album, "Shag Tobacco" (Island), the Irish singer Gavin Friday conjures up an underworld populated by transvestites, transsexuals, minors, prostitutes and one married couple. It is a placewhere sex is always dirty.
In concert on Saturday night at the Westbeth Theater Center, Mr. Friday, a former member of the art punk band the Virgin Prunes and a longtime associate of U2’s, amplified these dark sexual themes.He acted as if he were performing not a rock concert but a seductive, threatening cabaret show. Thestage was covered with red felt and candles and Mr. Friday played a character cobbled together fromWeimar-era nightclub singers, decadent French chanteurs and male burlesque dancers. Backed byMaurice Seezer, on keyboards and accordion, and Renaud Pion, on woodwinds, Mr. Friday played amannered lounge-music hybrid, mixing 1930’s cabaret with electronic dance music. In "The LastSong I’ll Ever Sing," a Kurt Weill-like number delivered from the point of view of an entertainer dyingof AIDS, the band played dark carnival music over a backdrop of drum machine beats and electronic swooshes.
Throughout the show, Mr. Friday couldn’t seem to keep his tongue in his mouth. "I am romantic," heyelled through a megaphone early in his set, backing up the statement by gyrating his pelvis andmoving his tongue lasciviously around his lips for at least the 10th time that night.
Mr. Friday’s voice, which alternated between a sweet falsetto and a deep, beguiling purr, was perfectlysuited to his theater of arrogance and condescension. Between songs, he posed and strutted with a narcissism rivaled only by Bono of U2, insulted American culture and made a show of trying to seduce audience members.
He saved his respect for Europeans who, like the Virgin Prunes, crossed pop with art, performing musicby David Bowie ("Jean Genie") and T. Rex ("The Slider") and singing songs about Enrico Caruso(whose portrait hung on the right side of the stage) and a British female impersonator (whose portraithung on the left).