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Anohni review – a world of pain, and tears all round | Musique Non Stop

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Anohni review – a world of pain, and tears all round

Barbican, London
The live debut of Anohni’s Hopelessness combines performance art and political despair to powerful effect

It begins with a 20-minute silent film of Naomi Campbell cavorting in a bunker in her pants. It ends with an ancient-looking Aboriginal woman voicing her fears for the future of humanity. In between is one of the more harrowing and thought-provoking sets contemporary music has to offer – Anohni’s Hopelessness, released in May, a record about all the ills of the world brought out to play in the form of an audio-visual performance piece (no old songs, no piano, no chit-chat, no encore).

There are many moments where a sudden loss of mascara is imminent. If you sneak a look around the concert hall, people are dabbing at their eyes at regular intervals as the set intensifies. For me, the levee finally breaks during Crisis, about two-thirds of the way through, a day after the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war and roughly 12 hours after John Humphrys’s interview with an unrepentant Tony Blair on Radio 4’s Today programme.

The only clues as to what is going on inside the robes are delivered by her fluttering hands

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by Kitty Empire via Electronic music | The Guardian