Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 17 July 2013

I say thee Yay! Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer has made a bit of a splash.

It’s something she’s good at, and something I admire her for... Mostly.

The truth is that Amanda Palmer is one of those women that I’m somewhat ambivalent about. I like and admire her work, her form of performance art that is often clever, witty and compelling, not to mention politically spot on. She has a kind of confidence that verges on the brash, though, an American style that I find disconcerting. Frankly, she’s a lot like I might be, and sometimes used to be when I was younger and more manic and less medicated, and when I used to scare myself.

I’m pretty sure she’s more in control of herself than I was, but only pretty sure, and that’s what makes me uncomfortable sometimes. Of course, that isn’t her fault or her responsibility, but you can see my ambivalence. People who haven’t lived with it or don’t understand it love that kind of danger, and I don’t blame them, the rest of us can still be moved by it, can still want to embrace it, but, once in a while, we also want to head for the hills.

Yesterday, I was moved by Amanda Palmer and her antics. Yesterday, I wanted to embrace her.

I’m a big, fat furious feminist, and I don’t care who knows it.

Of course, like most women, I’m my own brand of feminist, a brand influenced as much by Germaine Greer as by Erin Pizzey. I’m as likely to indulge in lipstick and louboutins as I am to sign a petition against genital mutilation, and I’m as likely to march for a woman’s right to equal pay as I am for her right to make a choice to raise her own children.

Several years ago, my daughter was asked, in class, which newspapers her parents took, and she reeled off a long list, including, at the time, the Mail on Sunday. Her teacher looked at her and asked her if she was sure, because it seemed unlikely. My daughter answered that it was fine, that we liked to know what we were up against and it was worth having something to argue with.

Amanda Palmer playing Glastonbury 2013
I don’t bother buying the paper now. I can get all the reactionary tabloid junk I care to argue with on-line and not line DMGs pockets, or anyone else’s for that matter, in the process.

Amanda Palmer is a feminist, too... Well, I suppose there’s no surprise there.

Amanda Palmer played Glastonbury, recently, and, if the footage is anything to go by, she rather enjoyed herself. She’s a vigorous performer, a performance artist, who often paints words and symbols on her body, who chooses songs with care, who fills the stage, and who struts about in her bra, not least to expose the messages on her skin. She sang Pulp’s Common People at Glasto. I thought it a rather good cover.

But I digress.

The point of this blog is what came afterwards.

The Daily Mail covered Glastonbury in its review section, and one of the acts the paper wrote about was Amanda Palmer. During her vigorous performance, I imagine while she was thrusting an arm skyward, Ms Palmer’s bra rode up, leaving her breast behind. Well, you know what? Shit happens. At some point during proceedings, Ms Palmer put her breast back. So what?

The Daily Mail’s review of Amanda Palmer’s performance  went as follows. Sorry about this, but it more easily speaks for itself than I can speak for it, and this is, in no way, me endorsing the paper,

She's never afraid to make a statement but Amanda Palmer made a bit of a boob of herself on stage at Glastonbury. 
The singer saw her breast left on show after it escaped her bra, while performing at the music event on Friday. 
Amanda's bra rode up while her shirt opened, leaving her wardrobe malfunction on show for all to see. 
The 37-year-old American singer is no stranger to performing in her underwear, or wearing provocative outfits on stage. 
Despite suffering the embarrassing wardrobe mistake Amanda managed to rearrange her bra, before ripping her shirt completely open. 
On her stomach she had the word 'YES' scrawled across it and a line of stars dotted across her chest. 
The bi-sexual singer also wore a pair of red velvet jeans and a pair of black arm bands for her set at Worthy Farm. 
Ahead of her set Amanda posted a picture of herself in her outfit to Twitter and wrote:
Fans of the singer were left annoyed at the BBC when the network failed to cover her set on TV. 
Many Amanda enthusiasts took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.  

That doesn’t sound much like a music journalist talking, now does it? Where’s the review? There isn’t even a list of the songs she played, for crying out loud. This is a review of a boob appearing on stage, and, what’s more, it’s chalked up as an embarrassment. Anyone who knows anything about Amanda Palmer can be pretty confident that this sort of thing is of little or no embarrassment to the woman whatsoever. Not quite sure what her sexuality has got to do with anything, either, come to think of it. Talk about the tunes! Talk about the performance! Did the audience have a good time?

The Daily Mail did a really stupid thing publishing this review, because the Daily Mail got Amanda Palmer’s back up, and in doing so, they fed the beast, and... guess what? The beast bit back.

Amanda Palmer did what she does best. Amanda Palmer wrote a song, and then she performed it. Amanda Palmer performed a rebuttal to this nonsense, and performed it to a live audience, and feminists and right-minded people everywhere are applauding her long and loudly for it. She claims that she won’t perform it again, but, you know what? She won’t ever have to perform it again, because I think she made her point, don’t you?


  1. Bloody right she has! If this kind of junk journalism grinds your gears I'd suggest totally avoiding Yahoo's entertainment news section. It's basically "TOWIE, BIG BROTHER, RIHANNA IS BACK WITH/HAS BROKEN UP WITH CHRIS BROWN OMG A LABIA/NIPPLE/VAGUE HINT OF AREOLA!"

    OK it's not all actually in capitals, but you get the point!

  2. I am going to see Amanda Plamer playing tomorrow in Dublin, can't wait. She has also kindly put several pro choice activists on the guest list. I know there there are some who have issues with her but this feminist thinks she is awesome.