I watched Grace Jones at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm last night, and I can confirm that she is an alien. I had an inkling the last time I saw her at the Secret Garden Party, but I thought it best to reserve judgement, given what happened that night. That night was weird. Daniel Paul Wilton said that he enjoyed watching fire poi, and I thought I had shat myself because I could smell sewage. It all turned out fine in the end: I happened to be sitting near the portaloos and Daniel Paul finally called the fire poi performers ‘a bunch of wankers’. He did however go on to believe whole heartedly that he was in Hell whilst watching Late of the Pier, and I ran around asking people whether or not they had ever “considered the possibility of… this!” – ‘this’ would entail a smack on the head with an inflatable hammer, of course.
Let’s not talk about that night too much. What I will say is that despite all of this, my impressions of Grace Jones were not too far off the mark: she is extraterrestrial, and she probably eats most things that aren’t over six foot tall. If she were an earthly creature, she would probably be an enormous locust, or one of those animals that are in to post-coital decapitation. But she’s not a locust, so she just wears absurd hats and a thong and drinks a lot of alcohol, a practice she calls ‘sucking’. She must have gone off stage for a ‘suck’ about ten times during the show. But as we all know, aliens are really good performers, so it was great to watch. Some of the songs are good – the ‘bumper’ one, and a couple of others – but the whole thing is really about watching her wearing a cape and thrusting her biblical crotch around stage.
Another thing that stuck out was that practically the entire crowd was made up of gay men. Understandable really, considering what straight men have to go through during a Grace Jones concert. Gay men can enjoy the spectacle from start to finish, whereas hetero men inevitably think of what it would be like to sleep with her, and this can lead you to dark places. At one point, I tried to explain how she got to be so strong. My theory was that she saps the life force of a man when she sleeps with him, leaving her chosen partner as a frail husk of a man. She gets away with it, just like a light bulb will never be punished for burning a moth.
Sexual fantasies/nightmares aside, she is a great entertainer, and the ideas behind the set and costume design are great – making a massive laser beacon out of her head, creating a hurricane on stage, raising her up in a platform so she looks even bigger etc. etc.
I need to find out more about the alien thing though. Maybe I’ll write a letter to NASA, or develop asparagus syndrome and try and find out myself. In any case, I’ll let you know.