Kimya Dawson – Live

12 Jul

The Haunt, Brighton: Tuesday, July10 2012.

Kimya Dawson was missing her kid and battling the frog in her throat caused by a cyst on a vocal cord. But she still loved everyone.

Seriously, nobody could perform as many cloying songs about how we should celebrate our differences, share and share alike and treat everyone as equals if she didn’t have a heart has big as her impressive afro.

It’s impossible to argue with the sentiment, but it was soul-destroying nonetheless. In fact, as she perched centre stage with her acoustic guitar and preached to the largely converted, there were times when it felt like you were swimming against a tide of hippy drivel.

It was bloody infuriating, because, away from the happy-clappy sermons, she was frequently spectacular.

When she was singing about her child, a two-timing ex, or comical ways of overcoming a fear of flying, it was easy to enjoy the songs for what they were; a collection of clever, tender and occasionally brilliantly skewif numbers that married simple, yet adorable, tunes with smart and at times deeply heartfelt lyrics.

Nowhere was this more evident than towards the end of the set when she revealed a friend had died earlier that day. Understandably moved, she went on to perform a couple of songs about people she’d lost in the past that were simply stunning. One, about a friend who died of cancer, somehow managed to convey the myriad of emotions caused by grief in a perfect five-minute pop song.

As a spectacle, it was intense, as a feat of songwriting, it was pure class.

However much it grated, tolerating the abundance of sickly nonsense was just about worthwhile after all.


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