The question of whether Sinead O’Connor would go into a ranting meltdown was swiftly answered with a flash of her beaming smile at her Crazy Baldhead Tour at the Brighton Dome.
Back at last, the singer boldly exhibited her critically acclaimed, and brilliantly titled, comeback album, 2012’s How About I Be Me (And You Be You), as a prelude to her Celtic musings and reluctant chart successes.
Dedicated to that other heretic Joan of Arc, the show opened with O’Connor, stomping barefooted and angst-ridden through a biting version of John Grant’s Queen of Denmark, which features the gem “I wanted to change the world, but I couldn’t even change my underwear”, all before bouncing straight into the rustling-in-the-hay, barnyard shuffle, of 4th and Vine.
Now 21 years since that incident on Saturday Night Live, it was the territory and the message of Take Off Your Shoes, a pledge to the Vatican that she will “Bleed the blood of Jesus over you” and that they are “running out of battery”, which were still the most pertinent, and saw O’Connor on familiar ground, sans fragments of a photograph of Pope Francis.
Not one for mono-syllabic album titles, O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got was touched upon with the rocking Emperor’s New Clothes, the misty ode to child mortality Three Babies, and a semi-catatonic Nothing Compares 2 U (well, it has by now been 13 years, 7 hours and 15 days), whereby O’Connor virtually vacated the premises.
The casual fan may have been disappointed with glaring omissions; there was no Troy, too angry, nor was there Mandinka (her first UK top 20 single). But then she’s not one to peddle to the masses.
VIP, a venom-filled attack on the vacuity of celebrity culture, ended the set; a sign that she’s done with the lip service and instead lets her music pull the punches.
For future tour info, view: www.sineadoconnor.com