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David Byrne

Byrne at Ether

The Talking Heads legend is playing two London dates
09 April 2009 - Ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is set to descend on London this Easter weekend as part of the Ether Festival.

The singer, who will perform two dates at Royal Festival Hall on 12-13 April, will play tracks from numerous collaborations - starting with Talking Heads tracks Brian Eno produced in the 1970s through to the 2008 album they wrote together Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

"Last spring I could see we were going to have enough songs for a record and that it was nearing completion and I really was enjoying singing the songs," he said.

"So I thought, 'I'm really enjoying this and it would be a shame to never ever get to sing it again,' so we decided to do these dates."

Byrne said he initially only intended to sing tracks from their recent album but he then had a change of heart.

"I thought, 'I don't want to just do a hodge-podge of stuff'," he explained. "I then realised I could thematically bring some stuff in that the audience would like to hear using Eno as a connection.

"So that opened the way to older stuff and newer stuff and seeing if we could thread the two."
"I will be waving a massive banner saying 'I Love You'" Anita Blay on David Byrne 

Anita Blay, aka thecocknbullkid, who is performing with Peaches on Friday (10 April), hailed her hero and said she can't wait to see him on stage.

"He is just an immense talent, he's got a lot to say about music and art and he writes brilliant pop songs," she gushed.

And she'll be in the crowd for the gig: "I will be waving a massive banner saying 'I love you Byrne'," she added.

Concept album

The ex-Talking Heads singer is currently involved in numerous side projects including a new concept album with Fatboy Slim.

The record Here Lies Love, trails the life of Imelda Marcos, the widow of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The pair have roped in a host of guest artists for the project including Santigold and Roisin Murphy.

"We've got three more singers who have still to record on it but we're almost there," he said.

"There is a different singer on every song including Sharon Jones from Amy Winehouse's backing band The Dap Tones, Alice Russell and Tori Amos. There's a lot of singers, it goes on and on."

Byrne also recently collaborated with The Dirty Projectors, with whom he recorded the track Knotty Pine for The National's Dark Was The Night charity compilation.

"He was really cool, I was really surprised at his openness as a collaborator," Projector Dave Longstreth said.

"You expect a person like him to have a certain rigidness about how he approaches music making at this point.

"But he was really just interested in challenging himself, he was so unafraid of failure and childlike, it was pretty liberating."

Damian Jones

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