University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Gig Preview: Ani DiFranco

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Jan 16, 2011

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From Buffalo, New York, the little folksinger is back! Playing to an already sold-out show this singer, songwriter, political activist, and alt-folk music legend hits Komedia. Touring in support of her latest album, Red Letter Year, she promises a night to warm your feminist heart.

Admittedly, I have been an Ani fan for nearly ten years and the promise of her mere presence would be enough get me down to the ticket office. However, as it happens, her live shows are guaranteed to be worth the cash. She has an enrapturing stage presence, so even when she’s not ruthlessly playing her guitar or belting out her poetic lyrics, she can stand and tell a story that grips every audience member in a concert hall.

She’s been doing it for well over a decade now and her fan base is still expanding.In the queer/ LGBT community Ani is a brand with a cult following. An openly bisexual musician, her earlier songs on her relationships with women earned her a word of mouth fame, and her songs have been featured in many of lesbian cinemas dubious quality films.

If you ever had a lesbian lover make you a mix CD, Ani DiFranco would invariably be on it.

A night at Ani DiFranco will probably see more lesbian and bisexual women than the gay bars do. It’s more notable in the LGBT community if you don’t like her music than if you do. So it is no surprise that of Ani’s four cities she’s rocking up at in England that Brighton would be one of them.

Ani DiFranco’s music is deeply personal and reflective but also filled with political ferocity, sprinkled with a little quirkiness and fun. She has undoubtedly earned her status as an iconic do-it-yourself musician – having founded her own record label, Righteous Babe Records, at 18 years old, since then she has been tirelessly touring the world, releasing dozens of albums, and participating in charity and progressive campaigning in her home country of the USA.

If you want a musician who is going to sing about more than just another drunken night in the bar, look to raise your eyebrow to this woman, who may just reinvigorate your music selection.

Ani performs tomorrow, 18 January at Komedia.

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