Powerfully autobiographical live show from the suede-headed nutter
One of the funniest tales in music concerns an Irish hack sent to doorstep Sinead O’Connor. The scribbler promptly vanishes then days later is tracked down to O’Connor’s Paris hotel suite: ‘Sinead and I,’ he informs his former colleagues loftily, ‘aren’t talking to the press.’ The implication is a stubborn one, that O’Connor is a man-eating flake elevated by one well-chosen Prince cover to an unearned and flouncy megastardom.
And, unless you’re fascinated by the point where Rastafarianism intersects with modern childcare, the idea has pretty much held true, until lately at least. A recent marriage (her fourth) and years in the wilderness appear to have galvanised her. One result has been her most recent album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?, a piece of work that is solid and accommodating. As is her live show, wherein O’Connor foregoes flakiness and attempts to reconnect with her audience, humbly at times. The new material, while tuneful, remains militantly autobiographical, however, the lyrical equivalent of an email written at 4am. There’s no shortage of banshee Gaelic wailing either. How long new love will sustain this rebirth remains to be seen, of course, but for the meantime it’s nice to have the old suede-headed nutter back.
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Wed 14 Mar.