As is typical of a January in Sydney, I've been to about a jillion gigs. That's cos all the northern hemisphere artist get the eff out of their home countries to bask in the south side sunshine. I've yapped on before about how much I love Bjork and I've been lucky enough to see Bjork twice this month, on the Sydney Opera House forecourt and at the Melbourne Big Day Out, plus I saw her in August at the Paleo festival in Switzerland. Anyway, as is typical of Iceland's most famous person, the visual representation of her Volta album has been fabulous all the way from the cover art to the art direction for the Volta tour. She joined forces with with German-born, Antwerp-trained designer, Bernard Willhelm months before the tour started to create the amazing array of dresses, headdresses and capes and knitted hand thingies. Bjork described the tour as "my most hooligan, warrior-woman tour. I've done tours with symphony orchestras and choirs, inside opera houses, that are very delicate. This is the opposite, an outdoor pagan thing," and as you can see, Willhelm fulfilled that brief magically with Bjork and her 10-piece female brass band dressed in hyper-coloured battle outfits and daubed in war paint.
We were front row for this. She performed just after The Arcade Fire and before she came on my boyfriend was all, "She won't be as good as they were" and of course he was completely blown away by the end.
Sydney Opera House forecourt
Tuesday 22 January 2008
This performance was part of the Sydney Festival. They'd been trying to get her out for years and she agreed to do a concert for them on the condition that she could sing by the water... cue fantastic harbourside location.
Melbourne Big Day Out
Monday 28 January 2008
She was great but our position about 100m away wasn't. Anyway, still fabulous and what a frock.
What Bjork had to say "Coachella was probably a hooligan show because we were playing really late and it's hard at a festival to play a lot of calm songs because people have been there a long time and the concentration is different so you end up playing a lot of hooligan songs."
You can also she her brass band in the background. Bjork told Dazed & Confused that she decided to get an all-girl brass band after she realised that otherwise she would be on tour with all men. She also said wanted 10 brass-playing girls from Iceland that there are only 13 in the country! Poor little things who missed out.
Deer Lake Park
I admit these may be from concerts other than the one in Mexico (bad blogger)... anyway, you can see three variations on the same ikat print dress.
Dazed & Confused
Bjork did a beautiful shoot for Dazed in Iceland with her brass band, wearing some of her tour outfits. Check it out here.
And check out this Bjork interview on Later with Jools Holland where she talks about working with Bernard Willhelm, the origins of the name "Volta" and writing "Declare "Independence."