Alban Arena, St Albans, 10th August 2013
Patti Smith is a true artist; Far from being circumspect she has continually thrown aside all expectations and conventions in favour of letting her work speak for itself. In the 70s she emerged at the vanguard of popular music culture after being dubbed the 'poet laureate of punk.' Hugely influential, she has inspired the likes of REM and Morrissey and her songs have been re-recorded by the likes of U2 and Marilyn Manson.But she has always seemed to ride alongside the likes of Cohen and Dylan never quite achieving the same kind of commercial success.
However, the fact that she has remained outside mainstream music whilst simultaneously influencing it, is possibly the key to her success as an artist. She is an outsider, a rebel, a pioneer and a poet. It is perhaps little wonder when she took to the stage she was once again sporting a 'Mockinjay' pin badge on her jacket. For those unfamiliar with the image taken from the futuristic novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins it signifies hope, rebellion, inspiration and the power of the people, even (People have the Power?) In fact many of the things that encompass Patti Smith.
Words and Music is another performance piece from Patti featuring fellow writer and musician Tony Shanahan. The show is a collection of Smiths Music, set against readings from her book Just Kids: A funny and heartbreaking memoir of her early years in New York with fellow artist Robert Mapplethorne.