Amazing Grace Lights Up Pula

By 1 September 2017

TCN's Dave Gasson gives us a closer look at Grace Jones' performance in Pula!

The 6th Dimensions Festival kicked off in spectacular style this year with an eclectic mix of musical talent. Headlining the opening night was the formidable Grace Jones who celebrated her first time in Croatia with an unforgettable performance.

In the setting of Pula’s Roman amphitheatre, musician Moses Boyd began proceedings with a 45 minute set which delighted the growing crowd. The highly acclaimed electronic musician is the London born winner of the MOBO Awards 2015 and has collaborated with the likes of Four Tet, Floating Points and Sampha whilst leading his own outfits,The Exodus and Solo Exodus, infusing electronica, grime and jazz.

The jazz theme continued as The Kemaal Williams Experience bought their rendition of the debut album ‘Black Focus’ to life with a performance featuring original member Tom Driessler who delivered intricate jazz baselines.

Brockley resident Mcnasty, accompanied keyboardist Kemaal Williams on drums to produce a full hour of seamless high-vibe electro-jazz-funk.

As the anticipation grew, the curtain dropped allowing the Dimensions crew to create a bespoke 30 foot stage set designed specifically for Grace Jones. The now packed arena quietened on the cusp of her arrival. With the opening bars of the classic hit ‘Night Clubbing’ filling the arena, the crowd erupted as the curtain raised to reveal the iconic Grace in all her full glory wearing a spectacular costume made complete by a golden mask hiding her universally recognisable features. Grace proceeded to lift the mask unveiling her striking beauty which has enabled her to achieve a hugely successful career as a model as well as a celebrated musician.

With the show now well underway, the audience was entranced. The iconic singer showed her ability to take command of both the stage and her fans as she continued with high energy renditions of the self-penned ''My Jamaican Guy'' from the 1982 album ''Living My Life'' and an excellent cover of Roxy Music’s ''Love Is A Drug'' which included an outstanding light show.

Throughout her show several costume changes took place, each as dramatic as the last showing that Grace Jones has true style that only comes with experience and natural talent and which sets her apart from so many.

As she sang her penultimate hit of the night, Grace took to the shoulders of a very happy security member and proceeded to treat the front row to an intimate performance of her huge hit ''Pull Up To The Bumper''.

By now the atmosphere was electric and the show was bought to a climax with the wonderful track ''Slave To The Rhythm''. Grace chose to show off her hula hooping skills throughout the entire rendition, never failing to impress and surprise the audience with her varied and unusual talents.

Although a hard act to follow, Moderat rose to the challenge with confidence and perfection. Originating in Berlin, Moderat is the fusion of two very different groups consisting of Apparat’s Sascha Ring and Modeselektor members Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary. Modeselektor became known to select audience on the Berlin club scene through their releases on BPitch control record label, a German electro/techno label founded in 1999 and became bass music heroes going on to work with an army of collaborators and guest artists.

Apparat’s Sascha Ring fuses electronics with heart felt pop pushing boundaries by exploring previously unknown musical styles and involving guest musicians in the process. The trio performed a faultless set testing out the capacity of the sound systems bass to the max with the full appreciation of the audience.

Their most memorable tracks included the brilliant ''Bad Kingdom'' from their second album, II and a stunning version of ''Eating Hooks'' from their third, III. Moderat recently announced their choice to take an indefinite break after the close of their 2017 world tour which concludes in Berlin on the 2nd September. This made their performance all the more special and provided an exceptional start to this years' Dimensions Festival.

The festivals continue and next week it is Dizzee Rascal opening the Outlook Festival on the 6th of September, 2017. Still to look forward to in Zagreb later in the year are Bryan Adams on the 9th of November and Beth Hart the following day at the Boogaloo club.


Photography by Dave Gasson, text by Hannah Smith