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David Byrne - My Big Hands (Fall Through the Cracks)

Just back from seeing David Byrne play the Birmingham Symphony Hall, of all places. I'd not seen him perform since he toured Rei Momo nearly 20 years ago, and given my lack of appreciation of his latest album was a little anxious that he might have lost his edge. But really, come on: it's David Byrne, he's not going to disappoint. Especially since the theme of the tour is that he's performing the songs he worked on with Eno, meaning that as well as the latest album, there are those classic Talking Heads discs too.

As well as all of the obvious crowd-pleasers, Byrne dusted off some of the more unexpected tracks from that era. I never expected to hear The Great Curve live, which was a terribly pleasant surprise. The highlights were probably Crosseyed and Painless, which seemed to see him really cut loose and enjoy himself, a fantastic funkified Houses in Motion (the best I've ever heard it), and a very unexpected live realisation of Help Me Somebody from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts which saw Byrne and backing singers all tackling the found sound vocal samples.

However, the most singular treat was when he went back to the little-heard Catherine Wheel album to reinvigorate My Big Hands (Fall Through The Cracks). It's a shame I can't offer you the version I heard tonight, which was possessed of a mammoth concussive sound. beaupepys and I had seats in the vertigo-inducing grand tier, and may have well been further from the stage vertically than we were laterally; falling through the cracks seemed like a very real possibility from the sheer weight of the noise.

Three encores, and the man sang long enough to nearly lose his voice. Bless.

David Byrne - My Big Hands (Fall Through the Cracks)
(alternate download)


This is my favorite live Byrne performance of all time:

Talking Heads: Live in Rome 1980 - The Great Curve
Knew you'd have something good to share.
I'm glad you'd thought that!
That is a top performance. Is it Adrian Belew looking ridiculously skinny?
He looks like a scarecrow! They sure were a snarling Funk machine on that tune. I usually play it a few times over when I bring it back up, it's so good that even at eight minutes it's not enough.