At The Bar with Lydia Lunch

She’s a spoken word artist, a self-confessed ‘bad seed’ and a teen runway that went to New York City and never looked back.

Lunch was part of New York’s no wave scene in the mid-’70s, finding refuge in the glam rock scene, hanging at Max’s Kansas City and performing with her band, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. She became the face of a movement that rejected rock’n’roll in favour of atonal noise and a nihilistic outlook.

As a musician, she has collaborated with all the heavyweights in her time – from Nick Cave to Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and the late Roland S Howard. She returns to our shores for a spoken word tour.

The new show, Tales of Lust and Madness captures the sum of its part – a slicing mix of angst, memory for art’s sake and a psychedelic sojourn through the eerie and punkish of emotions.

Here, Lunch collaborates with American singer, musician and writer Joseph Keckler – best known for his absurdist operatic monologues and balladry.

Joseph Keckler

Joseph Keckler will perform a series of arias, ballads and spoken word with video accompaniment broaching subjects such as sex with ghosts, tragic love and a psychedelic reinterpretation of a misspent youth,” says Lydia Lunch of the joint show.  

Collaborations allow for a sacred space where creative endeavours manifest which do not exist anywhere else,” says Lunch.

 “Having Joseph Keckler on the bill sets a seductive mood that encourages me to bring a new atmosphere into the realm of my spoken word.”

Lydia Lunch speaks to The Write Drop for our At The Bar series.

MY CITY

As a confirmed nomad who has lived in 10 different cities, moved approximately 20 or more times, and spends 1/3 of my life on the road, it’s usually wherever I’ll be next. Although whenever I am home, I rarely leave it.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Sister Alberta’s New Orleans. You had to be invited. It was in their ramshackle house in the 9th Ward. Six people maximum at a time. You couldn’t order, there was no menu. They fed you what they had, usually pork chops, jambalaya, corn bread and collard greens. Best juke box on the planet. Bill came to $10 a person, but everyone had to sing or dance for their supper. Sadly, closed due to death of the owners at age 95.

FAVOURITE BAR 

The Orient Bar at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul built in 1895. Agatha Christie stayed at the hotel above the bar and wrote Murder on the Orient Express. Ernest Hemingway, Mata Hari, Zsa Zsa Gabor- all hung out here at one time or another. Grand, mysterious, historical.

DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

Tequila Teaser. Tequila with pomegranate molasses, lime and club soda

BEST HANGOVER CURE

 I haven’t had a hangover in 20 years.

FAVOURITE WINE

French, Chilean, South African reds.

NEXT DESTINATION

The Rustbelt – Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, York, Youngstown & Philadelphia) in February, followed by the West Coast early March enroute to Australia.

Need a blast from the past? Check out Lydia Lunch on stage with Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld and Kid Congo Powers.

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