Dead Can Dance / Royal Albert Hall
It’s time to salute the shimmering legacy of Australian legends Dead Can Dance. Words and Photos by Belle Piec
The black clad masses arrive in hoards; so many people I know and so many I wish I knew. Gorgeous faces, stunning men and women in all their finest clothes and great hair styles in many colours.
The stage is awash in a green glow as Dead Can Dance enter, Lisa Gerrard standing tall, her cheek boned silhouette radiating with her brilliant smile and we cheer in celebration – some of us have waited their whole lives to see DCD live, having been too young to see them when they first began in the early 80s. I myself am one of them and am so proud of their international success since having come all the way from Melbourne, Australia back in 1982.
Lisa is wearing a figure hugging, midnight blue dress made of velvet that is shimmering under the spotlights. Truly resplendent, her golden hair pinned up and glowing in the golden light, she is from another time. Meanwhile, Brendan Perry’s voice holds the strength of ages as he begins their first song ‘Children of the Sun’ the opening track from their new album ‘Anastasis’.
Soon the lights flicker and fade into red for their second song, ‘Anabasis’ for which Brendan picks up the Bouzouki, a stunning Greek stringed instrument, covered in silver ornate details. Lisa exudes so much power and confidence from the stage, in her stance, her whole body is a sacred instrument, allowing her voice to take us places we never imagined.
With their thundering booms, rhythmic and deep melodies, Dead Can Dance take us all on a journey – and it’s to somewhere wild, ancient and foreign. As if to prove this point, Brendan introduces one song as an 800 year old Arabic piece, from when the Moors ruled over Spain. He tells us it is a lament from a man who has fallen in love with the image of someone across a room and his song, ‘Lamma Bada’, is his plea to be released.
‘Amnesia’ begins it’s melancholy journey like a boat floating through the sea that is grey and awash with storms, Brendan’s voice leading us in a ghostly rhythm, as a booming dark brass sound presses in from the synthesisers. Then it’s time for ‘Sanvean’, Lisa’s stand out solo moment signing one of the most soul turning, magnificently sad, deep songs with her ethereal vocals. You can almost make out words, but more it is about the sounds released, what they make you feel, where they take you.
With the 2nd encore, they blow us completely away when Brendan sings Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’ solo, he beautifully delivers the love song so that each line is felt to the core.
Before she leaves the stage she sweetly bursts "I love you all, you’re just beautiful". And so are you, dear Lisa.
Dead Can Dance, they came, they saw, they conquered. We wept, we cheered and we soared to amazing heights. We are blessed they returned after 6 years and I am so proud they are from my home town.