Everything I Do review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘crackling intimacy’
In her concept album on stage, Zoe Ní Riordáin uses sound and symbol, rather than story, to create connections with the audience and to explore the universal thing: love.
There’s no proper explanation for the Spider-Man costume or the trampoline, but it doesn’t matter. They make meaning: like her post-punk-ish songs, they translate the idea of love – ups and downs, highs and heartbreaks – into physical form.
Uplifting lyrics conflict with surly electric guitar chords, and the other way around, summoning the paradoxes of being in love.
Ní Riordáin manages to brew an exciting sense of health-and-safety risk, too, as she twists and ricochets on the trampoline, getting the microphone and its wire slightly tangled around her ankle.
From mumbled moments to fierce, full-volume singing, Ní Riordáin sustains a crackling intimacy with the audience.
Like love, the show exists as a haze of sound and feeling, rather than anything more specific than that. It creates huge symbols – a suspended trampoline with painted grey pock marks that becomes a supermoon – and, like the best abstract art, provokes emotion before understanding.
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