Antony and the Johnsons to play Athens in summer

He is built like a rugby player, looks like a medieval monk, and is charismatic, unique and androgynous. Elements of Nina Simone, Bryan Ferry, Billie Holiday and Lou Reed are rolled into his persona. Antony is the David Lynch of music. Describing his singing qualities, avant-garde musician Laurie Anderson recently remarked: «When you listen to Antony’s voice, it feels like you’re listening to Elvis for the first time.» His work leaves a lasting and permeating impression. Listening to just one song is enough to make you want to learn an entire album by heart. He and his band – Antony and the Johnsons – will perform in Athens on July 2 at the Melina Mercouri/Anna Synodinou Theater in Vyronas. Antony and the Johnsons, essentially a stunning bunch of New York derelicts, ended up winning last year’s British Mercury Prize for Best Band and had their music included on the soundtrack of «V for Vendetta» as well as «Hidden Inside Mountains,» a film by Anderson. «There must be some kind of mistake,» Antony repeatedly uttered when receiving his band’s Mercury Prize. «It’s like a crazy competition between an orange, a space ship, a pot, and a spoon – which one do you like more?» Tall with jet-black hair, the 35-year-old Antony has a voice as peculiar as his features. Born in the UK as Antony Hegarty, he spent time in Amsterdam and eventually settled in California in 1981. Antony plays piano, sings, and writes songs that are, in most cases, highly personal with no sense of time, gender, or labels. He sang work by Leonard Cohen for a tribute documentary to be screened in New York later this summer, he recently joined forces with Philip Glass on stage, performed John Lennon’s «War is Over» with Boy George, and has performed some 70 shows with Lou Reed. Some popular song requests for the concert in Athens might be «Hope There’s Someone,» «For Today I Am a Boy,» «My Lady Story,» «I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy,» «Hitler in my Heart,» «I Am a Bird Now.» «I often like to whistle and ask the crowd to whistle along with me… I am very concerned by how lonely we are,» he says. «Each one of us is an island. Why don’t we spend more time together? My grandmother used to tell me to write happier songs. But that requires work.»

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