Friday, June 22, 2007


The Forest of No Return concert, part of the Meltdown festival curated this year by Jarvis Cocker, was one of those things you can only see possible if happening in London, and then only just. When I bought the tickets for me and Vania as a birthday present for her (cunning trick to make more of London night-life – buy tickets for events as gifts), I just knew that it was some guests singing Disney songs. What we got was everything.

Jarvis Cocker dancing like a monkey (literally) whilst singing the monkey song from the Jungle Book? Check (And he still managed to look cool – how can anyone look cool whilst pretending to be a monkey?!).
Peter Doherty, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave and Shane McGowan howling at the moon (“Home, Sweet Home” from the Lady and the Tramp)? Check
Ed Harcourt singing a song from Snow White, looking every inch the prince, to then “spoil” it by prancing to the piano to play a crazy instrumental whilst wearing a giant rabbit head? Check
Grace Jones turning up in an(other) incredible costume to sing the snake song from the Jungle Book? Check
Nick Cave and David Thomas transforming “Heigh-Ho” into a real miners’ song, i.e. a song that shows that people (or dwarves) wouldn’t be very happy if they had to work in a dark mine for 14 hours a day? Check
Gavin Friday being a cat whilst singing the Siamese Cats song from the Lady and the Tramp? Check
Beth Orton transforming “Second Star to the Right” (Peter Pan) into a torch song? Check
Shane McGowan transforming Zip-a-dee Doo Dah into a very dirty-sounding song indeed? Check
Peter Doherty singing the chimney-sweep song from Mary Poppins and looking and sounding much more like a real Cockney chimney-sweep than the original? Check

This is less than half of the line-up, you understand. The attitude was amazing despite the sound problems and was basically what you would get if you were at a drunken house-party with very good friends and they decided to start singing and acting their favourite Disney song. Considering that your friends would be Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Peter Doherty, Grace Jones, etc. None of these and the other stars was afraid to look silly, and actually went out of their way to act, well, like Disney characters. But in giving their own twist to the songs, they made them much closer to the original fairy-tales on which they were based, i.e. very adult indeed.

Someone took some nice photos of the gig. I, as usual, had left my camera at home. A more oficial review here. And a video of one of the songs here.


At 8:17 am, Anonymous Brenda said...

Well written article.


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