According to DiS, Michael Gira still has the dark lord magic touch.
ATP Australia: the DiS review
by Rebecca Pellman
Artists: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Michael Gira, Harmonia, The Saints
It all kicks off during ‘Nations’. For 30 minutes we’ve been sitting here – same venue as previous night – wondering quite why we’re sitting here allowing former Swans frontman Michael Gira to regale us with a collection of vaguely engaging, vaguely tepid blues/folk songs – acoustic guitar, seated, foot tapping the floor, strained expression. We’ve been admiring the way he’s able to embarrass fidgety audience members with a few well-chosen words and a shit-eating smile – he’s already explained to us that he prefers the house lights on and the air conditioning off, because it helps his art – but frankly, we’re bored. Little do we realise that Michael Gira – he strides on stage in a massive fuck-you cowboy hat, greeting us like a creepy born-again preacher – is just warming us up, working himself up into a state of semi-frenzy so that he can begin to howl and moan off-key. Little do we realise that Michael Gira will really begin to unsettle us – with the odd, old Swans numbers (‘God Damn The Sun’, ‘Raping A Slave’, made even nastier and purer by our ability to understand every word) and new Angels Of Light numbers (one, a prayer dedicated to patriot, as an example of the terrifying beauty and disease of life), looking possessed now, his face contorted, his voice gone – shouting, shouting demented. He might be playing acoustic nowadays, but he’s lost neither the intensity nor the loudness of Swans.