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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, August 15, 2005
    Diamanda in wallflower shock
    When The Wire arrives, things perk up. Today I open the pages of the latest issue to discover that two of the most wierdly wonderful English underground bands are releasing career-retrospective double cds this month, with two of the most wildly wonderful titles: Current 93 (Judas as Black Moth) and Nurse With Wound (Livin' Fear of James Last). And I got in on the special offer at the durtro.com shop so I'll be getting copies signed by Tibet and Stapleton... how lovely.

    The musical left field always springs surprises and tonight I'm shaken in a most unusual way having spent a few minutes with The Wire's online video interview of Diamanda Galas. She is the most frightening woman I've ever heard; you may have read my trembling review of her work some time ago. It's full of descriptions like extreme noise terror, purging, deep, devilish intensity. Anyway, the surprise tonight is that on the video, the shock-goth Diamanda comes across as quite ordinary in the way she describes herself; quite light-hearted and possibly even quite shy. Unless it's a gig, she'd always much rather stay in with her books and ideas, she says, than go out around with others.

    "I'm a wallflower, y'know? I'm a f***in' wallflower. I'm just not up for it," she laughs.

    And there was me thinking I couldn't imagine I could be more shocked by her than I already was.