As the gigs-we-have-while-we-can’t-go-to-gigs run continues in Wind Back Wednesday, we strip down to g-string for a trip to 2009. To a night where swagger, boldness and provocation combined.
Ms Grace Jones was in the house, and we were in submission mode.
Enmore Theatre, January 11
It’s reasonably safe to say that there aren’t many 60something women (or men, Mick Jagger notwithstanding) keen to waggle their g-string-and-tights covered backside to an audience. Certainly not while singing “pull up to my bumper baby and drive it in between”.
There’d be an even smaller number of said 60somethings who could pull it off with panache, humour and, frankly, sexiness. All while wearing a succession of quite elaborate, or indeed quite ridiculous, headgear and masks.
That’s the thing with Grace Jones. Before you get to see her you may be tempted to come over all Samuel Johnson and say it's not that it is done well but that it is done at all that is impressive about a revived career for a woman old enough to be a Central Coast great-grandmother.
This is after all an artist who was never considered a singer, isn’t a dancer or a substantial songwriter and was last on these shores when Bob Hawke was king.
But then she appears atop a hydraulic lifter, long legs in dark tights disappearing up into a fitted jacket and ageless face set on haughty before she begins declaiming the opening lines of Nightclubbing and you shut up and admire.
The crowd - among whom definitely are at least two, maybe even three straight men, and one Cate Blanchett – roars and assumes the position. That is, the equivalent of leaning over the desk and waiting for Headmistress to apply the cane. Please.
Which Jones does for the rest of the night with a swagger and a smile playing at the corners of her mouth.
Soon there is the jaunty My Jamaican Guy, the slinky I've Seen That Face Before, a new take on Love Is The Drug which plays up a heavy electro pop arrangement and, in the first encore, Warm Leatherette, which still has a vicious groove that makes up for absence of song by accentuating a killer punch.
Reminders all of the glory days of androgyny and amyl, of reggae and shoulder pad disco, of sass and pride.
The new material fits in smoothly, while never challenging the old songs, with I’m Crying (Mother’s Tears) coming close as the most personal we’ve ever seen from her. That said, returning for a second encore of one more new track after Pull Up To The Bumper has turned the stage into a big dancefloor is a rare misstep.
Not that I’m going to say anything to her. Not to her face anyway. Hell no.