International punk cabaret queen Amanda Palmer took to the streets of Canberra yesterday evening with local anarchist bicycle collective the Rat Patrol and a crowd of adoring fans, riding from Lyneham to the Carillon at Lake Burley Griffin to stage a “ninja gig”.
Palmer, famous for her free impromptu performances in cities around the world, put on a memorable show with 150 odd spectators cramming into the tiny space below the British bell tower on Aspen Island as an electrical storm hit the capital about 8pm.
Before the clouds gave way to pour, circus tunes chimed from the Carillon as a motley mob of young picnicers with hula hoops, cupcakes, giant bikes with flags and bottles of beer gathered on the lawn, black sky and lightning bolts rolling in across the lake.
Beginning proceedings with a Carillon rendition of her hit “Coin Operated Boy”, Palmer broke into support act Mr Fibby’s set, causing local carnies to cry out in mock rage.
But you can’t really get mad when Amanda F*cking Palmer interrupts your show playing a bell tower.
When the storm struck and the kids moved into the Carillon, Palmer stood on Fibby’s piano stool and played an all sorted mix of songs from her latest album, “Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under”, the promotion of which she’d been in town to do the previous night at the National Art Gallery.
Plucking away at her ukulele as the storm raged around the tower, flashes of lightning and gale force winds pounding on the walls, drenching the hipster congregation, Palmer led a loud and boisterous “Happy Birthday” for a 21-year-old fan who’d requested a song at the Gallery show.
“If lightning hits this tower, the Liberals will win the next election,” a skinny-jeaned groupie quipped.
The former Dresden Dolls singer was forced to wrap things up fast thanks to the weather, leaving centre stage Carillon to Mr Fibby, who’s performance begs the question: Why do cabaret artists always have such dreadful fake Eastern European accents?
Amanda Palmer is currently harassing Centenary of Canberra organisers to let her perform in the capital’s 100th birthday celebrations in 2013.