Daniel Johnston - The Angel & Daniel Johnston: Live At The Union Chapel

Outsider music from inside a church

A document of Daniel Johnston’s
2007 gig at Islington’s Union
Chapel, The Angel & Daniel
Johnston is an entirely
independently produced affair
that, through its personal and
intimate portrayal of the concert,
not only makes the viewer feel
like they were there, but also
offers a glimpse into the complex
and tortured world of the man
himself. As such, it’s not
necessarily easy viewing –
Johnston’s shaking hands and
clearly damaged personality may
shock the unsuspecting, while the
songs, though beautifully
arranged with the help of James
Yorkston, Adem and other guests,
are a baseball still very much lost
in the long grass of left field. It is,
however, irrefutable evidence of
Johnston’s raw talent and his
innate and natural ability to move
and inspire.

In the settings of the church,
captured beautifully on film, this
becomes even more apparent.
His songs are childlike yet
haunting, clumsy yet powerful,
naive yet incisive, and they fill the
venue with pathos, humour, hope
and wonder. Watching him shake
through the sadness of Some
Things Last A Long Time or sing
through the heartbreaking
splendour of Living Life is as
honest, wonderful and revealing a
portrait of Johnston as could ever
be possible.

5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars

Adjustable Productions | ADJ 1005 UK

Reviewed by Mischa Pearlman
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