My Brightest Diamond Gig, Dublin
My Brightest Diamond
60 min • Workman’s Club, Dublin • October 31st, 2014
Andrew Darley reviews
On Halloween night in Dublin, Shara Worden arrived on stage in costume referencing her own act. The cuttings of colourful fabric which draped down her body and headpiece, she explained, symbolized the prismatic effect of shining a light through a diamond. Being the last night gig of the European tour for her recently released This Is My Hand and a night when it’s socially acceptable for adults to dress up in public, her set is charged with excitement and a certain giddiness.
For her latest album, Shara Worden stood back from her own music to reflect on how people historically communicated through sound before there was language. After her collaboration with Matthew Barney and Jonathan Belper on a cine-opera, River of Fundament, a scene in which a marching band with a tribal-like energy dawned an impetus in how she could approach her new work. This Is My Hand marries her signature concoction of quirky pop rock with bold drum sections and splashes of brass that lift up the songs.
It makes perfect sense that ‘Pressure’ opens the performance. Her only bandmate for tonight (dressed in an equally fetching gold sequinned magician’s cape) thundered in with rapid drum rolls, brimming with urgency, as Shara bewitched the audience with expressive hand gestures and synthesizers. Impressively, the playoff between the two was that of a sound of a full embellishment of musicians. The songs selected from her diverse back catalogue merited Shara switching between guitar and synths, giving some older some new arrangements. The pair shifted from the grungy jangle of ‘I Am Not The Bad Guy’, an amped-up version of Bring Me The Workhorse’s ‘Freak Out’ to more quieter moments like electronic twinkle of ‘Apparition’.
What Shara may not have realised was that the ensemble she made specially for the performance, mirrored the colourful and beaming joy that she exuded as she delivered her songs. She danced without a care around the humble stage of The Workman’s Club and gave the audience a note-perfect rendition of ‘Feeling Good’ as she shredded up and down her guitar. Her voice stretched across the entire room from outlandish howls to sweeter notes. It was simply impossible not to help but smile at the spirited and engaged energy she gives her songs live.