Friday, 12 June 2009

Patti Smith

" I've realised whilst looking for the perfect set, that I already had it- it was a long time ago, and I missed it..."

Watching this legendary lady perform to a small audience in Tennyson's former residence on the Isle of Wight, as vibrantly relevant and in the moment as is characteristic of her whole career;
I was struck anew by her absolute artistic integrity.
Patti Smith embodies complete channelling of her art through the inimitable persona that she is.
Humbled by the setting she was performing in, she charmed and entranced the audience.
Using only three or four chords, ( "I can't tune a guitar- I usually have a fella to do that" ) she
sang and read poetry- her's and fittingly Tennysons.
At one point, she picked up a volume that she hadn't planned on reading from- and it fell open on a page- she said-
"I'm superstitious, the book opened at this page which is 'In memorium' so I'm gonna read it"
It provided a fitting eulogy for the news earlier on that day that her agents father had died, and he had to return to London, commenting that he could not think of a more beautiful place in which to have heard such sad news.
Dressed in a poetic bard-like style- of a delicate white shirt with the cuffs protruding from her black oversized jacket over jeans, hair tumbling over her face- her first-glance androgyny is actually very strongly feminine.
The finale of a set that felt timeless was an invitation to sing along with Patti- acapella to
"Because the Night"
Everyone was in tune...

As much an inspiration as the day she started out, this ageless, honest performer is truly progressive.
Her combination of strength, vulnerability and perfect grace is characterised by her lyrics-
" I was so disposed..... to a path yet undisclosed".
An inspiration to so many, I'm with KT Tunstall who looked at her face staring out of the Iconic "Horse" album cover shot by Robert Mapplethorpe- "Suddenly I see " and she knew what she needed to do with her life.

Gail Downey

An exhibition of Patti Smiths photographs is currently showing at Dimbola Lodge

look out for our up-coming hommage to Patti Smith's inspirational style by Weardowney in Supersuper magasine!

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