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Dead Can Dance have been one of the most influential musical groups in my life. I have vivid memories as 10-year-old girl on Sinclair Island when my parents would roll their gigantic concert-quality speakers outside on summer nights and blast A Passage in Time so loud that I could feel the wind generated by the speakers when I ran past them. People from the neighboring islands could hear our music floating across the water, it was a soundtrack for a film all around us.

When I was 12-years old my father had a studio in a building that used to be a hotel, but was later converted into artists' studios. He was frequently there late into the night so my closest girlfriend and I would explore the old hotel with Dead Can Dance echoing through the corridors and dusty ballrooms.

I first came to Europe when I was 16-years-old. In our flat in Antwerp I slept on the sofa in the livingroom, next to the window overlooking Hoogstraat. Aion fit the city and my mood perfectly as I sat at the window seat and watched people pass by going to and from the cathedral. I thought, "I'm actually in Europe!" It doesn't seem quite as romantic these days, but I have fond memories of my idealism.

My associated memories of Dead Can Dance aren't all positive. One in particular sticks in my memory and occurred when I was 13-years-old. I was listening to The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove when the 33-year-old SysOp of a local BBS I frequented called on the phone and began asking me intimate questions about my body and what colour underwear I was wearing. That song always reminds me of one of my first realizations of how messed up people can be.

Lisa's and Brendan's first arrival in London

Last month we saw Dead Can Dance live at The Forum in Kentish Town and it was one of the best concerts I've attended. The Forum was a strange venue for them to play as there was a lot of ambient noise from the two bars at the back. People were chatting during some of the quieter songs which was extremely annoying, I have to wonder why someone would pay £20 to go to a concert they're not even interested in. However, The Forum had some benefit over The Barbican where they played the night before, as people were able to stand closer to the stage instead of being seated (DCD had to play in The Forum for their second show because The Barbican was booked). Brendan Perry was later quoted as saying he'd like to, "marry the respectful attention that a seated venue naturally demands of its audience with the intimacy of a standing venue," but he feels this combination is impossible.

I wasn't close enough to get many decent photos with the canon and I didn't take the D70 because I wasn't sure how strict the staff would be, but I saw a man pull out a canon 10D and no one bothered him. oh well, I took some video which you can download below.

(Here are someone else's photos.)

Brendan and Lisa's voices seemed to be unchanged by time and they gave an obviously heartfelt performance. It was their last European tour date and London is renowned for being cynical and hard to impress, but they seemed encouraged by the crowd's stomping and cheering demand for an encore. Lisa gave the audience several lovely smiles and at the end Brendan made a grateful gesture as he left the stage.

There were many songs I wish they had played -- mostly some of their older stuff -- but there were also some incredible new songs like the political Saffron which they said they probably won't be recording in a studio. Over all it was excellent and well worth attending. To my Seattle friends and family, I believe there's still tickets available for their American tour in autumn.. you won't regret it.

(Fans near New York and Los Angeles are incredibly lucky as DCD's concerts there will feature a full orchestra.)

[ All video clips are .wmv and approx 2MB each. I recommend "saving as" ]

The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove [ video ] [ video 2 ] (if anyone can rotate video #1 for me I would be grateful)
The Love That Cannot Be [ video ]
The Lotus Eaters
Minus Sanctus
Salterello [ video ]
The Wind That Shakes The Barley
How Fortunate The Man With None [ video ]
Dreams Made Flesh [ video ]
I Can See Now
American Dreaming [ video ] [ video 2 ] [ video 3 ]
Rakim [ video ]

- Encore - [ video ] [ video 2 ]

Black Sun [ video ] [ video 2 ]
Salem's Lot - Aria [ video ]
Yulunga [ video ] [ video 2 ]
Hymn For The Fallen [ video ]

Goodbye Brendan and Lisa [ video ]


Spirit rise to greet the sun
takes my hand and beats the drum.
Tries to make me understand
we are as one in a sea of sand.

I'm praying for rain ,
to see desert flowers again

The eagle flies up to the sun ,
high above the plains of Babylon.
In one claw he holds an olive branch for peace,
in the other twelve arrows for his enemies.

I'm praying for rain
to see desert flowers again

Spirit rise to help us see
the loving face of humanity,
Devoid of fear and free from greed ,
devoted to the greater need

I'm praying for rain
to see desert flowers again

The locust is born upon the wing,
it's hunger seems as boundless as the great river plain.
Where the Tigris weaves it's way toward the sea,
through a great desert in the heart of man.

I'm praying for rain
to see desert flowers again

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On May 5th, 2005 04:13 pm (UTC), sugarbugevans commented:
I love DCD. A friend of mine on Guemes introduced them to me in March, they are amazing. :)

Spending a week on Sinclair this summer, I'm SO excited about it...this time I'll be taking several hundred thousand pictures.
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On May 5th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Maybe they first heard DCD across the water from Sinclair? ;)

I'm so very envious, but I look forward to your photos. If you trespass onto the big property on the south side of the island please say hello to my favorite apple tree (the big one by the road).

Me in my apple tree, Sinclair Island, Sept. 2003
— On May 5th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC), sugarbugevans posted a reply · Expand
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On May 5th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC), asphalteden commented:
DCD were never my favorite 4AD artists, but we will certainly be attending the NYC show when it's announced.

I missed the last tour, so I'm pleased to be able to make up for it now!
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On May 5th, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Whether you're a big fan or not I think it would be difficult to not be impressed and entertained by their live performance.

I'm so curious about how they will incorporate a live orchestra, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. :)
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On May 5th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC), antitype commented:
Thank you so much for sharing this! I can't wait to see them in September.

I hope they'll play at least one song from Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, though...
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On May 5th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I hoped they would play a song from Within as well. Maybe they'll change their set for the North America tour.

I look forward to your review. :)
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On May 5th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC), lil_octopie commented:
no vancouver...as always : ( we are the forgotten town
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On May 5th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Maybe you can make a trip down to Seattle? This tour may be the last opportunity ever to see them live.. but I guess it depends on how much of a fan you are. :)

Seattle gets so many great shows these days, it was never this good when I lived there!

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On May 5th, 2005 04:38 pm (UTC), cris commented:
I saw Dead Can Dance play in Boston nigh on twelve years ago, and the memories of that concert still resonate well for me. Thanks for the preview. I'm excited to see them again.

The full orchestra sounds intriguing, but considering how much of DCD's sound comes from antiquarian or non-Western instruments, I'd wonder if the orchestra will just make everything sound like DCD-Baroque. Older, Within the Realm... material would work, but the newer, world-music influenced stuff would be odd.
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On May 10th, 2005 10:14 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Twelve years ago, wow. I wish I could have heard them then.

I suppose it depends on how many songs they use the orchestra for. It may be just to add to a few of their more dramatic, epic songs. I would love to hear how they incorporate it, it's a shame they didn't play any European shows with an orchestra. I'll have to keep a look out for bootlegs.

— On May 10th, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC), cris posted a reply · Expand
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On May 5th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC), heuteistmeintag commented:
I noticed DCD is playing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. That is where the LA Philharmonics is based. When I saw Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl a few years back the LA Phil backed them. Incredible show.

For an outdoors venue, the Hollywood Bowl has pretty damn good acoustics. Those DCD fans going to the LA show are indeed quite lucky
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On May 10th, 2005 10:16 am (UTC), nomi replied:
It's a shame they never hooked up with the London Philharmonic Orchestra while they were here. Like I mentioned above, I'll have to search for bootlegs because it sounds intriguing and incredible.
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On May 5th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC), miabella commented:
i did not know this about the l.a. show and am now disappointed to have tix for san diego! but how disappointed could i really be? : )
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On May 10th, 2005 10:19 am (UTC), nomi replied:
yeah, really.. I was happy to have the chance to see them at all after all these years and thinking they broke up for good. :) Still, would be incredible to see them w/ an orchestra.
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On May 5th, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC), pry commented:
I never knew Lisa was part of a group. I'd heard her voice on the Gladiator Soundtrack and The Insider Soundtrack but I never realised she was part of Dead Can Dance.

I'm sad I missed the chance to hear and see her and Brendan live. Thank you so much for sharing the videos and your memories.
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On May 10th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Oh my, you'd better start catching up.. I think you'd really like DCD. I would recommend starting with Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, Dead Can Dance, A Passage In Time and Toward The Within.

I actually like Spiritchaser even though it's one of their most unpopular albums and has more of a "world music" feel to it. It's just different from their other work.

Now that I think about it, I haven't come across any DCD that I dislike.
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On May 5th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC), interimlover commented:
awesome. can't wait to see them later this year.
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On May 10th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC), nomi replied:
great, hope you enjoy it!
— On May 10th, 2005 04:38 pm (UTC), interimlover posted a reply · Expand
— On May 13th, 2005 01:35 am (UTC), nomi posted a reply · Expand
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On May 5th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC), dawaioser commented:
I saw them in concert about 8 years ago (I think?) and they were incredible...one of the best live performances I've ever seen.

Unfortunately they won't be touring in the area where I am living now, otherwise I'd go *insane* and camp out for tickets. ';^)
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On May 10th, 2005 10:37 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I'm envious of everyone who were able to see them 8-10 years ago. I love their older stuff, but they seem to pretty sick of playing it these days. :)

That's a shame.. I can relate though, Kraftwerk seem to be playing everywhere except London for this year's tour. *cry*
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On May 10th, 2005 10:40 am (UTC), nomi replied:
They had broken up, but apparently this tour was a way for Brendan and Lisa to get to know each other again and to hopefully begin collaborating on new cds.

I used to listen to a lot of Loreena McKennitt as a teenager, but I haven't since. I should give her another listen, it will no doubt bring back many memories.
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On May 6th, 2005 12:07 pm (UTC), crankmagnet76 commented:
I've never been really into their later, world music stuff and was hoping they'd play some songs from the first album (my fave) - but it was still a powerful performance. If they'd been able to do the Host of Seraphim I probably would've fainted. That's where a full orchestra would come in handy.

...Thought I saw you and Macsen at one point, but then I turned to pay for my drink and lost you!
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On May 6th, 2005 06:01 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I enjoy both their early and later work, but I was also a little disappointed they didn't play more old stuff. Host of Seraphim would have been incredible. :)

Were you by any chance wearing a brown leather jacket? While we were waiting in line outside (shielding ourselves from the rain and hail) I saw someone who looked a lot like you.

— On May 8th, 2005 10:35 am (UTC), crankmagnet76 posted a reply · Expand
— On May 10th, 2005 10:43 am (UTC), nomi posted a reply · Expand
— On May 12th, 2005 06:16 am (UTC), crankmagnet76 posted a reply · Expand
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On May 6th, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC), eyean commented:
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On May 10th, 2005 10:43 am (UTC), nomi replied:
— On May 10th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC), eyean posted a reply · Expand
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On May 10th, 2005 10:45 am (UTC), nomi replied:
hello, you're certainly not the only one.. most of their world tour sold out almost instantly. :)
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