Amanda Fucking Palmer @1Fox

AFP

AFP

I try to keep my language clean on my blog (despite being a very active swearer) so if you haven’t yet heard me use foul language, I apologise. It’s just that last week Friday, I was lucky enough to be one of the 1200 people who got in for free(!) to see Amanda Palmer play at The Sheds (@1Fox). Yip – Amanda Fucking Palmer played one of her Ninja gigs in our very own city!

Fierce Pianist

Fierce Pianist

If you don’t know of Amanda Palmer, I suggest you start by checking out her TED talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking?language=en

As she’ll inform you, she started out as a street performer while her band, The Dresden Dolls started out. She wanted to make the same kind of direct contact with her audiences as a musician as she had whilst playing The 8 foot Bride and giving out flowers on the streets, so she made sure that she was always available to her audience – to sign autographs, give hugs, accept gifts, or whatever.

Amanda Palmer with one of her strongmen

Amanda Palmer with one of her strongmen

I didn’t know Amanda Palmer’s music until I knew she was coming. I hastily viewed YouTube videos to get to know her a little, and I do like what she does – it’s crazy, jazzy punk, if one has to define it (and I’m really not one for popping people into boxes). A musician friend (whose opinion I really respect) thinks it’s too dramatic, and I can understand that, but I’m quite intrigued by the drama of it all. I think besides her fierce feminism and her wonderful individuality, it’s her incredible generosity that appeals to me the most. That, and the generosity she extracts from her fans. She tweeted last week about recently being introduced to the wonderment of rusks. When she played at a house party in Pretoria (which was part of her pay-back for the crowd sourcing which raised a whopping $1.2 million!) her fans there brought her something crazy like 33 kilograms of rusks! The Sheds gig was just because whenever she has played anywhere, she likes to do what she calls a Ninja Gig – a free gig at a place where anyone asks her to play – and she’s played libraries, book shops, and now in a beautiful warehouse, market space.

Happy Pianist

Happy Pianist

So, armed with new knowledge and intrigue, I headed off the The Sheds – @1Fox Street in Ferreirasdorp (as you know, one of my favourite Joburg spaces) and thankfully missed any queuing. The Amanda Palmer fans were fascinating. I wondered where they had been hiding, those young and beautiful creatures of the underworld! Painted skin, ukeleles, flowers in their beards! Then were wonderful! (I later heard that many of them are not, in fact, creatures of the underworld, but rather trust fund babies. Oh well, they were lovely anyway 😉 )

Fangirl?

Fangirl?

Flowers, ukelele and a camera. What more could you need for a AFP gig?

Painted face and those arms. 😉

Flowers, ukelele and a camera. What more could you need for a AFP gig?

Flowers, ukelele and a camera. What more could you need for a AFP gig?

Beard man

Beard man

The Sheds is such a photogenic space as it is, but when the Good Luck Bar was filled with gorgeous people and trippy stilted people and luminous creatures started floating through, it became a spectacular setting. I’m not sure who was responsible for the puppetry before the show, but it was wonderful. I popped out to the bathroom, and when I returned, Amanda Fucking Palmer herself was on the bar singing Radiohead’s Creep at full tilt playing her ukelele. Special stuff indeed!

Dragon

Dragon

Butterfly and Springbok - magical creatures!

Butterfly and Springbok – magical creatures!

Creep

Creep

She played a long set (did I mention it was totally free!?), accompanying her songs on keyboards and ukelele. Her fans sang along to most of them. She rocked out and sweated and put on a fantastic show. Afterwards, a bowl was passed around for contributions to the Starfish Foundation, a local charity, which I found impressive. Even more impressive was the fact that she stayed on for at least 2 hours signing autographs, hugging fans and having photographs taken with them. I tried to buy a copy of her book, The Art of Asking, but the credit card facilities had already gone to sleep at that point, but I do think I will chase it down. (Update: I did buy the book later and suggest you do too – it’s very readable and I’m learning).

Starfish contributions

Starfish contributions

AFP fans sharing a drink

AFP fans sharing a drink

Now I will count myself amongst the Amanda Palmer fans of the world. And if she tweets that she needs something in my city, I will happily deliver it to her if I can. I love her philosophy of asking for help (one of my New Year’s Resolutions, actually) and I will encourage others around me to ask for an accept help – it’s a crazy old world and if we aren’t in it together, what is the other option, really?

Sweet people whose friend brews beer.

Sweet people whose friend brews beer.

Loving fans

Loving fans

We are the media

We are the media

Smiley, happy person.

Smiley, happy person.

My posters behind her ;)

AFP 

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4 responses to “Amanda Fucking Palmer @1Fox

  1. I am confused. The posters were on sale. Half of the proceeds going towards the artists, and you nicked the ones from the stage? Why did you not support the artists by buying the posters?

    • I didn’t realise they were on sale until I had queued for an hour and a half to get to where the sales and Amanda Palmer were. I already had the posters. They were just sitting there on the wall asking for a home.

      • They looked so lonely, there on the big wall, when everyone had vacated. I can’t imagine they had anywhere to go. Anyway, if Sarah Bellum or Jared Gower have huge objections, I’ll happily pay for them. I’ll even deliver the money across town to where they are for the privilege of being in the presence of such talented people again, if necessary.

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