INTERVIEW: Amanda Palmer | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Michael Murchie

Amanda Palmer is no stranger to baring her soul through the medium of art. For years, from her days as a living statue—the stories of which, when reading The Art of Asking expose similar nerves; nerves of longing, loving, and loss—through to cabaret act The Dresden Dolls, Ringling-inspired conjoined double act Evelyn Evelyn to her own solo records, Amanda has given herself to the wandering flâneurs lucky enough to cross paths with her. And us, her.

This May, ‘wa geordies (and beyond) will have the special opportunity to spend An Evening with Amanda Palmer at Sage Gateshead. The first night of the  selected few UK dates that will precede a new record one that will be the culmination of seven years of, as Amanda herself puts it, going through the ringer next year, and her very first global truly solo tour.

“Totally alone,” she stresses, laughing. I picture her eyes widen, her hands telling the story along with her. “No backup band, no crazy Australian performance artist, no circus people. Just me, a piano, and a ukulele.”

A far cry from last year’s tour with Legendary Pink Dots’ legendary pink front man, Edward Ka-Spel and the improvisational tours of yore, Amanda promises a further intimacy with her most profoundly personal set of recordings yet.

“It’s emotional,” she admits, a little like we’re therapists counseling each other. “All of my music is emotional. The Dresden Dolls were emotional. It’s not that this is new, but this collection of songs is particularly heart-rendering.”

And it’s these heart-rendering tracks we’re going to have the pleasure of hearing on 4th May in an auditorium built exclusively for that reason.

“The show is going to be me sitting down and telling the story of all that’s  happened in the last seven years,” she adds. In those seven years, Amanda Palmer has gone through abortions, a birth, a death, and it’s in sharing these stories with people through her music. “It’s incredibly therapeutic. I don’t know how I’d get through this existence if I couldn’t take those experiences and turn them into art. It’s the way I’ve learned how to negotiate pain.”

It’s also in sharing her words, her innermost feelings, and being honest with her fans and patrons that have helped her to stand out of masses of overpolished, overproduced music masquerading as a deep dive: she knows how to appreciate it, mentioning in her book The Art of Asking… that she learned from her own hero, Ka-Spel.

“I’m spiritually fed by what happens when you stick a bunch of human beings in a room together and let these emotional genies out of the bottle.”

“I cherish that touring isn’t a one-way conversation. The relationship I have with my audience—the community—that comes together at these shows has come to mean more to me than the songs themselves. I like feeling our common humanity in real time. I’m spiritually fed by what happens when you stick a bunch of human beings in a room together and let emotional genies out of the bottle. I can sense her smirking. Amanda Palmer is an artist that gives a shit. “It’s my crack.”

Being at the dawning of a new artistic era is  for us, as music lovers, exciting and visceral,  and it’s not a dissimilar feeling to Amanda either. “It’s my way of saying, ‘let this era end and another begin.”

And fuck me, if we miss being there to see it firsthand.

Don’t miss An Evening with Amanda Palmer at the Sage Gateshead on Friday 4th May.

See more at Amanda Palmer’s Patreon page, here.

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