Tag Archives: Queen of Denmark

A PERFECT EVENING WITH JOHN GRANT

The weekend is over, and we’re back in business once more. Why time goes so fast when you’re enjoying? This is something I cannot comprehend.

There was nothing planned for these past days but John Grant’s performance at the Faraday festival, in Vilanova, so basically, all the other activities were decided on the go, very spontaneous, and plenty of fun.

Not necessary to tell you about Saturday night, plenty of punk rock and yeah, of booze, but I’d rather focus on the magic experience I lived in Faro beach on Sunday evening.

I had never heard of Grant before, and wasn’t acquainted with his previous band, The Czars, either. Just started to notice great reviews on the album Queen of Denmark everywhereat the end of past year. To be honest, the album cover seemed too odd as to take it serious, but, let’s say, certain trustworthy sources awoke my curiosity and ended acquiring my copy of the album.

When I first listened to it I really was in shock, very impacted, not only for the dark and personal lyrics, but also for the beautiful piano melodies. Of course, the presence of Midlake was an added value, so as you already know, got immediately charmed by the songs.

The confirmation of Grant (thanks Agnès, you were the messenger of such great news) at this festival located in a nice town by the sea, was a complete surprise, and of course I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

Fortunately I quickly found the perfect partner to enjoy the show with, my friend Marc, a music lover, away from the hardest stuff I like, yet one of the people  with  the finest taste.

We had been together hanging out the night before, so both of us initially were lazy and dumb due to massive hangover. The effort had its reward.

The location of the festival was really beautiful, pity it was a cloudy evening, because performances were held in the garden of an old and beautiful house by the sea, in fact the main access was by Faro beach. Everyone was very relaxed, sitting on the grass, kids all around, views were amazing, the beach, the sea, the beautiful lighthouse…totally idyllic, creating the perfect atmosphere for what was to come.

John Grant jumped on stage, dressed so humble and average, you wouldn’t realize he’s such a talented artist if you were passing by him on the street. A big man, a huge man, with a sincere smile, he opened the show with a speech in Catalonian, something unprecedented for me. Yeah! Sure I’ve seen many artists greeting people in the language, but I really found this very respectful.

He was only accompanied by another musician, named Chris, and the both were sharing piano (keyboard) and synthesizer. Yet, the execution of songs was unbelievable. Everything sounded perfect, and the arrangements adapted to this circumstance, were great.

Apart from the speech, he started his set with an unreleased song, waiting to be included in his next album, following the previous pattern, and then he focused on The Queen of Denmark songs, also adding 3 tunes of the Czars. I loved one named Little Pink House, inspired by his grandmother’s house.

With great calm and solemnity, one song after the other were charming people, and Grant’s introducing words to his songs, were really moving, confirming this guy has lived rough. Constantly telling about his previous life in Michigan, being a gay born and raised in a strict religious family, he admitted his writing was focused on the darkness of his life.

What can I say? I cross my heart, there were such intense moments, I was having goose bumps.

His voice, firm, deep and defined, didn’t have any weak point at all. And the guy barely looked at the piano when playing. Awesome!

There was a constant thought coming to my mind…you see a rough guy, like a huge bear, a man whose gaze transmits many things related to suffering and pain, yet with such sensitivity and ability to express feelings, in some way it’s disturbing and at the same time so beautiful…it was something unreal.

I have but positive words and thoughts for the show he offered on Sunday, improved by the beautiful surroundings and the atmosphere, it was something close to perfection. My weekend couldn’t have ended in a better way.

ALBUM OF WEEK 12 – QUEEN OF DENMARK

Probably my state of nostalgia caused by my crazy hormones (yes! This shit happens) induced me to listen to this album paying more attention, resulting on Queen of Denmark becoming the album of this week.

No matter my sanity and happiness have been restored, I’ve got charmed by these sad  and beautiful melodies and the personal lyrics which characterize Grant’s solo debut album…well, actually not solo, as he’s accompanied by Midlake, one of my best discoveries in 2010.

The story of this album is interesting. After John Grant’s former band, The Czars, disappeared, he was out of music indefinitely. Midlake, passionate for his talent, were the ones who really pushed him to start his solo career, offering not only their support but also their accompaniment, to make that real.

Thus, Grant together with Midlake, gave birth what’s been considered   the album of the year 2010 by music magazine Mojo.

There’s too much personal stuff reflected on lyrics, stories of broken hearts, drugs, booze and homosexuality are masterly told supported by amazing piano performances and great dose of darkness and melancholy. They are really moving and impressive.

I can’t get out of my head songs as Marz, Where Dreams Go To Die or Jesus Hates Faggots, to be honest, for more than a week, I need my daily fix of Queen of Denmark. I adore Grant’s nasal voice and those melodies… really addictive.

For those interested, John Grant will be playing in Madrid, in June 18th, at a Heineken festival. Unfortunately cannot make it this time, but from here, I encourage you to assist to such event, sure it’s going to be an awesome experience.

Here is one of my fav tunes of this album