Monday, 5 October 2015

Xiu Xiu Play The Music Of Twin Peaks - Live at The Sage, Gateshead [5th October 2015]

[2015.10.05] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.

“Diane. It’s 7pm at The Sage. I’ve just arrived at their Double-R Diner, and there’s a man in blue denim and long grey hair eating cherry pie.”

The upstairs room between the two venues had been perfectly transformed into The Black Lodge too. Each guest, dressed-up as a favourite character, walked around The Red Room with childlike wonder on their faces.

With Angelo Badalamenti’s original soundtrack as fundamental to Lynch’s creation as the visual world, it takes bravery to recreate alternative versions of the music, not least because of the scrutiny they would receive from fanatical followers. Facing Hall 2, packed full of the North-East’s division of the church, Xiu Xiu came to share their adaptations.

As they started to play Laura’s Theme in front of a screen looping the sinister fan shot from the show, a young man beside me fainted. Audrey’s Theme was played with extra fuzz in the baselines, whilst Shayna Dunkelman’s xylophone brought out the famous riffs perfectly. Though used sparingly, Jamie Stewart’s voice will have divided opinion, but his passion for the material was doubtless. Their choice not to speak between the music allowed an eery atmosphere to be maintained across the set.

The night concluded with dramatics as Dunkelman took up Laura Palmer’s diary, and read from it with a wild impression. Jamie Stewart then channelled Leland from behind the drum kit with Does Eat Oats. After the show, Some people returned to the Black Lodge, clinging on to a wonderful night.

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