Theatre in Wales

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David Lynch’s career has been turned up a notch since the debut of his return of Twin Peaks,

Douglas Dare, Anna Calvi & Chrysta Bell

David Lynch Presents - , HOME - Manchester , July-13-19
Douglas Dare, Anna Calvi & Chrysta Bell  by David Lynch Presents - David Lynch’s career has been turned up a notch since the debut of his return of Twin Peaks, the iconic TV show which still puzzles and entrances us all today. You need to look no further then Manchester to see his work in action, as an artist, film maker, lyricist and more. For me, this was a Lynchian pilgrimage and an unmissable opportunity to see how his broad skills are used. Any one who knows me will tell you how much of a fan I am of his work (Twin Peaks especially). So you can bet I sure did dress up as The Log Lady and drank in the heady vibes of HOME and the Lynch exhibit (expect review on that soon).

Three major concerts will feature stars and stars to be. The eternally gifted Chrysta Bell is both our host and angel for all three nights. Even just her arriving on stage is hypotonic with an intense gown, as we hear Lynch speak his cosmic poetry. Bell gesticulates with gentle ease, as the synths soothe our souls before this grand night of music. She speaks of her idol and how he help her grow as an artist and as a person. Bell introduced our first act, Douglas Dare, with much praise and we were keen to hear him. Dare has a queer charm, red lipstick, blonde hair waxed way back and black leather boots. It was a subtle encounter with some marvellous piano playing, along with some interesting harmonies made on the ivories. His infectious charm grew and grew, not really feeling like a warm up act but a wonderful way to start off the night.

Bell’s own set with her band, who flew in from Texas to perform (Christopher Smart and John Sanchez) with amazing guitar and bass playing, adding sleazy themes to Bell’s ecstatic vocals. The combination of the three of on them live is spectacular. Her opening song, the one that made her known to most of us: Polish Poem from Lynch’s Inland Empire opened with a bit of uncertainty. Though usually very subtle, her some more vigour was given not always complimenting the aura of the song, though passion was abound. Still a good way to start, then leading on into newer material and other familiar tracks. Her dancing reactions to the music was also compelling, her sense of musicality a telling marker of her being. Though the new Twin Peaks saw Bell have an acting part (as Agent Tammy Preston), we would not see her do any singing at the Roadhouse, in the now iconic concluding scenes to each episode. This made for a stunning set and we cant wait to hear what else we get to hear from her over the next two nights.

Photo credit: Priti Shikotra

Bell described the guitar of Anna Calvi as “a dark world”. Such poetry is essential when talking about this rock musician who can hold her own in a solo set. Her guitar playing turns heads, her cyclic shredding being a highlight. Her energy and forceful vitality in the songs are what keep you entranced by this exceptional musician. Her guitar is a force of nature, with heightened solos, at one point a part falling off such was her playing. If you're not breaking your instrument, you’re not doing your job properly. Suzanna And I was one highlight of many striking songs we were blessed to hear. The lighting for the night came into it’s own for Calvi’s time on stage, even if she summoned a stagehand and declared “Can I get more light on stage please?” Perhaps the Lynchian vibes are not for everyone? The mood made by these backlights and old fashioned bulbs were stealer choices in a concert that just got better and better, when it had already began at excellent.

Though my time in Manchester is committed to the Lynch events at HOME, it is hard to reset the mass of events on during the Manchester International Festival.

Rating: 5 stars

The David Lynch Presents concerts continues until 14th July.

David Lynch’s ‘My Head is Disconnected’ exhibition continues till 29th July 2019. A season of Lynch films will also feature.

Listen to Chrysta Bell on Radio 6 discing the Manchester International Festival.

Reviewed by: James Ellis

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