Monday 22 July 2019

Grace Jones, Trinity Summer Series review: Jones opens series with a goddess diva bang

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 23: Grace Jones performs at Trinity College Park on July 23, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Kieran Frost/Redferns)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 23: Grace Jones performs at Trinity College Park on July 23, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Kieran Frost/Redferns)
Deirdre Conroy

Deirdre Conroy

Last evening, the streets of Dublin were animated with a style tribe heading to see the stage goddess, Grace Jones.

I am standing in front of a giant cave-like stage, misty rain falling in the humid heat that is so rare in our city. Even rarer though, is that Grace Jones is to come on stage in the middle of Trinity College parkland. The crowds of styled up youngsters from the 1970’s and 80’s, let’s not guess the ages, are standing with bated breath.

A banner with her distinctive face on it, is pulled across the stage, and we wait. And suddenly there she is high on a pedestal in the most frolicking cape and Apache-style warbonnet, kicking off with Nightclubbing and igniting a disco vibe all around.

Her costume is mainly her own skin, wearing a miniscule black bodysuit, her elongated arms and legs are covered in a white Aztec pattern, only when it smudges do you realise it is hand painted.

Changing costume from one extreme to another, she returns on stage with a pony tail, where a pony tail belongs and a golden headdress, creeping on all fours, singing Private Life [drama baby, leave me out]. The energy the Jamaican girl who was the highlight of New York’s Studio 54, still exudes is phenomenal, the depth of tone in her voice has not changed in 40 years. When she bangs out Warm Leatherette she has the audience mesmerised.

This Warholian and androgynous grandmother celebrated her 70th birthday this year and her classic funk-reggae style, obscure costume drama, and of course, Philip Treacy headgear, still rocks. For anyone concerned about withering into old age, be inspired.

Her Jamaican patois humour has not changed since the 1980’s, back in the day when damsels in distress were driven by her Pull up to the Bumper Baby to dance the night away. And when she sang that last night she was joined by her incredibly athletic pole dancer, painted up like her, splaying himself horizontally around the stage. As if to remind us that another legend, Bryan Ferry, is to be in Trinity on Friday, her rendition of Love is the Drug was captivating.

With opulent headgear and zoomorphic costuming it is a wonder how she can support the weight and dance and sing, especially as some of her fans are scattered around the park on chairs they’ve brought with them! Jones has got to be one of the fittest females of her time, and a star always ahead of her time. She displays it all in her final performance of Slave to the Rhythm while she hoola hoops the whole way to the end. And then introduces her son on the keyboards. Sensible mother!

Read more: Hail the fabulous Ms Jones, full of Grace

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