Gig reviews

Sinead O'Connor (Budapest)

Aug 23

Written by:
Thursday, August 23, 2007  RssIcon

Sinead O'Connor live at the Sziget festival (Budapest)

Sinead OReview Snapshot:
Solid renditions of her staple songs, but the wrong venue for Sinead O'Connor, who played after a jubilant Razorlight to a crowd more up for rock n 'roll than an artist

The CLUAS Verdict? 5 out of 10

Full review:
Sziget’s sound system, cranky earlier in the festival, wasn't helped by a strong breeze that seemed to carry patches of opening song Emperor's New Clothes to the nether regions of the venue. Sound quality aside, it was obvious from the start however that a large section of the crowd was undecided between O'Connor or burgers.

Sinead O’Connor’s inclusion on the Sziget 2007 bill seemed ill judged, particularly since she was put on the main stage after Razorlight and before Faithless, neither of whom share fanbases with her. It didn’t help that she kept us waiting about half an hour over the announced start time.

O'Connor engaged the waverers by playing 'This Is to Mother You' early, getting lots of help from a talented touring band and in particular her two female backing singers.

Hair shaved back down like the old days but looking a bit dowdier now, she wore the jeans and t-shirt of her younger days but kept on stage banter to a polite minimum.

'Thief of Your Heart' steadied the ship just as this risked becoming the freak show of the evening. The girl who tore up the picture of the pope, explained older audience members. “She used to be a priest.” O’Connor's past is the kind of confrontation with authority that goes down well in Hungary, still reasserting itself after years under the Soviet yoke.

The whole stage place was won over briefly for 'Nothing Compares to You'. There were lots of instrumental tangents and vocal shadings which  were at times lost to the sound system and the carnival size of the venue.

The pain of the performance was obvious though in O’Connor’s facial expressions during 'Thank You For Healing Me', jerking her head back from the mike with a distracting regularity that had audience members worrying loudly.

Kept till last, 'This Is the Last Day of Our Acquaintance' reminded everyone what Sinead O’Connor is, a great artist. But the main stage of a muddy, sprawling, beer-and-burgers rock festival wasn’t the right place to showcase such a talent.

Mark Godfrey

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