Gig Talk: Daniel Johnston at the Brighton Concorde 2


It's Haydn here.

This happened a while ago, but I thought I would give you an hopefully insightful review of one of the weirdest gigs I've ever been to, but before I begin it's probably worth telling you that Daniel Johnston is incredibly bi-polar which means him taking alot of drugs, which in term means on stage he pretty much shakes uncontrollably, now that you've understood this I'll start the review. The support band were really decent, The Wave Pictures they were called, they played this really distinctive music which was a really great introduction to a great evening. Next up on the bill was Laura Marling, and as you've probably guessed it, the Brighton art school snobs were here at the masses and obviously weren't there to see Daniel Johnston play what would turn out to be an incredibly beautiful set. At this time of the year Laura Marling was recieving alot of hype (this was before she received her brit awards) for magazines such as NME and Q Magazine, but in my opinion her music sounded pretty much the same as any other person with an acoustic guitar trying out using weird metaphors in her lyrics that didn't make any sense. She seemed a bit too sincere for me and it seemed like she was deliberately trying to be kooky, so you could say that she deserved the fan base she got. After a short wait, Daniel Johnston came on carrying what seemed to be a de tuned home made guitar which he made himself. It turns out all the art snobs stuck their noses up at someone who was genuinely different and strange, unlike their beloved Laura Marling who was deliberately trying to be kooky and sincere, some of them left and some of them stayed and were quite blatantly sneering at Daniel Johnston who was putting his heart into his set so far, battering his home made guitar and playing songs from across his career. This part of the set mainly focused on the lyrical side of his songs, and because of this, a few members of the audience who were obviously die-hard fans were in tears. After about 10 songs on this battered home made guitar, he introduced an old college friend of his who was infinitely more talented at playing the guitar and this college friend would play guitar whilst Daniel Johnston sung his gut wrenchingly honest songs. He ended this part of the set with a John Lennon cover to which the audience sung along with him. The hipster Laura Marling fans were confused. After the John Lennon cover finished, he announced that he would be taking a short break, so he left the stage and the audience waited and after this wait he came back on with none other than..... the support band from earlier on. Daniel then sung the rest of his set with this support band and the atmosphere was great, all the art snobs left the building and all that was left was the Daniel Johnston fans heckling stuff like "We love you in Brighton Daniel!". The gig concluded with one of my favourites, Speeding Motorcycle, which was really great to hear and everybody applauded and left. This gig was definitely an us vs. them type of gig. The snobby Brighton art students who were too cool for school and the people who appreciated true talent, I'm not of course saying that Laura Marling isn't talented, but maybe she should take notes from Daniel Johnston on how to write raw emotional music properly.

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