Thursday, 1 November 2012

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra at KOKO, 23/10/12

When I arrived at the KOKO, the queue had long since formed, having been to several AFP shows now, I recognised certain faces who have been at every gig. The usual mix of people who had glammed themselves up, people in black, glitter, goth, alternative- the lot.

Excitement kicked in when AFP arrived on stage with a bottle of wine in hand and flowers in the other, but she wasn't there to start playing she was there to introduce the first support act (I think there was another one before I arrived too). The first one I saw was the bassist of the Grand Theft Orchestra's band and he was very impressive- I think he was surprised how well the audience reacted to his brand of music which included classical arrangements. After him, we saw a friend of AFP's who was a singer (please forgive me for not knowing the names, I really should have wrote this review sooner)! and also the guitarist of Grand Theft orchestra's band who were very 80's style and had flamingos on sticks that they passed around the audience- one of which ended up with it's legs being pulled off!

AFP had been saying before introducing one of the acts that she was taking away the anticipation of her entrance by introducing all her friends, but that really wasn't the case- as the stage finally lit up to the interval piece from 'Theatre is Evil' and flowers were thrown from the stage- I didn't really realise until I caught one right in my hand! Then, as if that wasn't enough they went into 'Smile' and there was a t.v screen behind them with the photos members of the audience had submitted to the '7 photo upload' appeared very fast, and I caught two of mine flick past several times- me with Robots in Disguise, and my face framed by my hands!

The entire show was one big party- as she blasted through songs off the new album- my favourite track 'The Killing Type' got a particularly good reception. Dresden Dolls song 'Missed Me' saw the orchestra swapping instruments.

After 'Grown Man Cry' things changed pace a bit as she read audience's responses to the question 'what's something sad that's happened in your room' - some of them had a wry humour about them, most of them very emotional and you could see people were crying as she then went onto play the beautiful song 'The Bed Song'.

Next amazing moment- AFP crowdsurfing over us (well near enough so we could reach her) during 'Bottomfeeder'.
Later in the show she pulled even more surprises out of the metaphorical hat, as Scroobius Pip came out to perform his 'Letter from God to Man' - followed by an awesome cover of 'Careless Whisper' and THEN of course where there is AFP- there is almost always Neil Gaiman- and there he was singing a song called 'Psycho' with a SAW ORCHESTRA!!! The love between them (Neil and Amanda) was so clear and beautiful as he appeared on stage.

THEN- as if things couldn't get any better, RICHARD O BRIEN came out and did The Time Warp!  a very packed KOKO attempted to do the time warp, this has to be one of my favourite gig moments ever!

The final encore consisted of a very audience participation version of 'Want it Back' as AFP and soem of the members of the orchestra appeared on one of the balcony's-

this would be a much better, more informative review if I hadn't left it so long to write it- but here's some photos, videos etc which I hope will help you to envision how wonderful it was!


  1. (Amanda Palmer cover)
  2. (Yazoo cover)
  3. (Wham! cover)
  4. (Leon Payne cover) (with Neil Gaiman)
  5. (From the balcony backed by the audience)

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