A group of people united once a week for a common interest in tennis, for example, is unlikely to share any other interest outside of tennis, and musical taste in particular.
When I told my Tennis friends that the Monks had seen Anthony and Johnsons at the Barbican, and that the concert had received a 5 star review in the Guardian, I was confronted by 8 blank faces, who had apparently not heard of him.
“But he won the Mercury Prize for the best new album”, I explained.
“So what is he like?” They wanted to know.
“Well, he won the Mercury Prize, but he’s not like the Arctic Monkeys,” I explained.
I felt compelled to bring up his gayness since virtually every song Anthony performed was about sexual identity. I was on dangerous ground since, like the Catholic church, there are no gays in Essex, apart from that incident at the Billericay Rugby Club.
Someone said ambiguously, “I see you in a new light now.”
I handed over the Guardian Review so that I would not have to describe out loud, the strange multimedia event that we witnessed at the Barbican. As Anthony sang his heart out, a continuing live succession of striking and outrageous New York models and transsexuals were filmed and simultaneously projected onto a screen behind Anthony and the musicians.
The audience were transfixed.
. Shoestring Chronicle