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Mercury Rev With The Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Barbican - live review

Live Review

Venue: The Barbican, London

Mercury Rev team up with The Royal Northern Sinfonia for a night to remember in London

Jonathan Donahue seems awestruck by the skills of the orchestra behind him. “Amazing!” he sighs. “What’s also amazing,” he continues, “is the urge to conduct…”

And despite a laughing acknowledgement that he has no idea how it works, he can’t resist joining in when he’s not singing.

At the climax, in a moment surely untarnished by premeditation, he produces a blue lightsabre and takes over the podium with the enthusiasm of Tigger. He’s already explained that Mercury Rev’s music embraces the childlike. “If I’m honest, most of our records are children’s records. We relate to the childhood experience.”

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