Gig Review: Thu 26 Apr 2012
It’s hard to imagine Mark Lanegan wearing a cheerful paisley shirt. Everything about the man speaks of the night - his dark clothes, his gravelly voice, his lyrics. The Forum, with its night sky ceiling of stars was made for the Mark Lanegan Band.
Some punters like musicians to engage with them between songs and have a chat. If that’s your bag, Warren Ellis from the Dirty Three will carry it, as Ellis is one of the funniest, voluble frontmen you’re likely to see. Mark Lanegan, on the other hand, stands centre stage, plants one star-tattooed hand on the base of the mic stand and one tattooed hand on the top and delivers his songs. Touring to support the release of the album Blues Funeral, the Mark Lanegan Band kicked off with the superb swirling dirge The Gravedigger’s Song. And if you were in any doubt that Mark Lanegan prefers to dwell in the darkness, Mr Lanegan opines “Je t’aime mon amour, Comme j’aime la nuit.” “I love you, my love, as I love the night.” Apart from thanking the crowd for their attendance and a gracious nod to Ron S. Peno, who was in fine fettle as support act with his band the Superstitions, Mark Lanegan let his lyrics and that weathered singing voice speak to us.
Blues Funeral, the album this gig was showcasing is a corker, so there was really no need for performance antics. While Lanegan and his fellow black-clad band members looked tired, as if they were becoming awfully familiar with plane food and unpacking a suitcase, they did a solid job of conveying the album’s beautiful and brooding essence.
- Steph Francis