play in music

well. it has been an inordinately long time since i have posted. sorry.

during august, every day i was performing my show at the edinburgh festival. it was the first time a show was 100% mine: writing, performing, directing. it was just me and my excellent producer lucy. funnily enough, though, one of the things i was most excited about was being in charge of the music before and after the show. it's an important decision, and one that isn't always given the requisite amount of thought. it sets the tone for the audience as they are coming in and sends them out into the world in a very specific mood. for all the penny dreadfuls' shows we have had the brilliant neil hobbs picking the tunes. and he always got it right.

but, this time, it was all up to me. how exciting. i am a phenomenal bore when it comes to music. i love it, and will never stop banging on about what i am currently listening to, be it hall and oates, ethiopian jazz, ryan adams or wynonie harris. i am the kind of douche who will usurp the stereo at a party in seconds. i will probably play good music, but you'll resent the speed at which i have taken over.

so, because my show was quite odd, i knew i had to pick songs that were a little unusual. they had to be songs that no-one else would use at the start of their show. so, the song i went for was this:

it is from the prince movie purple rain. it is a phenomenal film for two reasons. one, the music. two, it's a semi-autobiographical film and prince has written himself as an total arsehole. it's hilarious. either he has an incredible amount of self-awareness or none.

but the reason i chose this song is because of the breakdown which comes about two thirds in. it really needs the buildup in the song and is really helped if you can see the video. he really means it, that prince, doe'n't he? well, basically, that would always be the final song that played before i did my show. it's pretty intense. and i would be backstage doing all the prince moves as little warmup, trying not to sing too loudly. it's an appropriate way to set the tone for a weird show about love, i think.

and the playout music was this.

1 comment:

  1. I still have (somewhere) the tape I made from the LP of Purple Rain, back in the days when it was important to have tapes because you couldn't clip an LP player to your belt. Due to the physical limitations of sequential-access magnetic media, I had to judiciously edit the crap songs out of albums so that they'd fit on the tape. /The Beautiful Ones/ was one of the songs that didn't make the cut.

    I see now, thanks to your post, that I was a fucking idiot in the Nineties, and I thank you for showing me the light.

    Thank you also for compelling me, this evening, to listen again to the unreleased twelve-minute extended edition of /Computer Blue/ including the infamous and semi-mythical `Hallway Speech', which I only possess because these days we don't have the same problems with cassette tapes as we did back when I was getting interested in Prince.