Even those unfamiliar with Amanda Palmer may know the name from this past week’s Twitter feed-hogging riposte to The Daily Mail’s reporting of her booby making an appearance at Glastonbury. The singer played Dublin’s Academy, supported by Brighton duo Bitter Ruin, and all three musicians took to the streets of Dublin this afternoon for an impromptu ‘ninja gig’ that Palmer had tweeted about a few hours in advance.
A good fifty people have gathered at the arranged meeting point of The Academy on Middle Abbey Street, some risking a late appearance at work it would seem, to catch a taster of the gig. The location of this surprise gig is as yet unknown, until Palmer appears and leads the crowd around the corner to the iconic statue beside the Ha’penny Bridge, known affectionately as ‘The Hags with the Bags.’
Palmer takes an upstanding stance on the seat beside the two resting women, ukulele in hand, and introduces her support band. Singer Georgia Train encourages the crowd to gather closer, all the better to hear what is described as a quiet song. And it does indeed start that way, until the F-bomb is dropped and Child In A Seacave unleashes a startling vocal performance, backed up by traffic noise and the bustle of Liffey Street on a gorgeous Friday afternoon.
After this song, which has gathered a few curious passers-by to the throng, Palmer immediately has the crowd joining in with gusto on the “fuck it!” of Map Of Tasmania. After In My Mind she calls on her two colleagues once more, for a public rehearsal of a song with a new arrangement to be ironed out due to a departed drummer. Then, a dangerous song, according to Palmer – and indeed it is if you happen to be one of the youngsters sitting in front of her as a bizarre, pogoing moshpit opens for The Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go. Oasis is an upbeat little ditty about rape and abortion, and just happens to take place – much to the amusement of the performers and crowd – right outside The Well Woman Centre.
Suddenly, a wild Amanda Palmer mobile merch seller appears for those unable to attend The Academy gig, but we’re soon back into the tunes with a karaoke cover of Radiohead’s Creep. An unlikely but grinning crowd has amassed over the course of this good-humoured little excursion, shimmying up poles and sitting on the ESB box for a better look – we reckon this could well be a more memorable bit of situational theatre than the real deal…