• Anja Plaschg at The Purcell Room, London

    Out 23 2009, 8h23

    Tue 20 Oct – Soap&Skin, Jon Hopkins

    Anja Plaschg. I was right in front of her. An arm’s length away. Middle of the front row. I love her music. She is shy. The top came off her water bottle and rolled under the piano. She had trouble with the opening bars to The Sun. I whispered, ‘Start it again’. She carried on with another. I felt like an idiot. The Sun reminds me of Serenade by Schubert. At the beginning of Mr Gaunt I spoke, ‘Mr Gaunt’. She smiled – gained confidence and trusted in her music. She became the music. The stage went dark. She stepped off the low stage. I held out my hands and she took them, for a moment, in her own. She smiled. Not so shy now. Then, like a zombie she stepped sideways along the front row and moved up the side aisle. She crossed the middle of the room and went back on stage. With incense burning beside the vases of white lillies under the Steinway grand piano, and ‘Hail Mary full of grace, The Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb – Jesus . . .’ coming spookily out of the speakers – sometimes backwards – I turned to the guy beside me and mumbled something about satanism and voodoo just to see his reaction. Hahaha! he looked terrified. My girlfriend loved the German song she sung at the end. Without the piano. I love her music. I love her devotion to the arts. She does hit the piano harder than John Cale. Is more reserved than Kate Bush. As good a songwriter as Patti Smith. And her voice is a hurricane. Can’t wait to see her again. Peace.