Wednesday, October 18

Paris show part1

Just a couple of clips shot yesterday evening before my actual review..
first here is OLD WORLD



On 17th of October , Jonathan was playing in Paris in a place called "the Trabendo", which is located in Le Parc de la Villette, NorthEast side of the city, it is a kinda club built in what you would call a 21st century folie, in reference to folies which were fashionable in gardens during the XVIIIth century like the fake Greek temple you can see at Stourhead Gardens for instance.

The Trabendo is able to welcome about 700 people but when I came there at 7pm on Tuesday evening there were only six of us waiting outside, one was a girl giving away flyers for some other shows, the other one was a guy selling tickets for the Jonathan show at a 30% discount rate, though we all had at that point our tickets paid full price, then there were three girls giggling and having brought a large Warhol banana (see Velvet Underground first LP) stuffed like a Teddy bear, another guy and me. We were still the same number around 7:30 and the show was due to start at 8pm.


Around 7:45, about 30 people were around me, a majority of young students, smoking like Hell fire, and a few old timers, then the doors opened. Inside it looked a bit like a semi posh club with fancy graffitis on the walls.

I went straight to the stage on the right side. A support act selected by Jonathan started the show, they were called Sandes Martelez (not so sure about the name), one singer, one guitar player and a girl rocking an acoustic bass. They did a very interesting set of cool Cuban music mixed with neurotic El paso rock, something like Calexico meeting rockabilly. While they were playing the room got filled up. Next to me a young couple of students, the girl looking very young and asking her friend if that was the place where they would come to see the Flaming Lips, and how old was Jonathan (he must be around 40 answered the guy..). I heard she had not a clue about Jonathan and his music but she definitely was showing a piece of cleavage..you know..yes that sort of cleavage which does not leave anything to imagination, the real stuff.
And all those young guys around me were still chain smoking cigarettes.. even though a poster on the wall was announcing that people were invited not to smoke to the artist's request. Poor Jonathan with his aching throat would have to go through it stoically without complaining but I guess he could not play more than 75 minutes for that reason too. Jonathan entered the stage smiling around 9 pm , wearing a greenish shirt , a moustache, Wrangler jeans and black gym slippers called here "rythmiques" (excuse my French). he started with this new song , "Celestial" which I liked a lot and followed by "Her mystery.." . He was often looking in my direction but I found out he was more like looking more right , I turned my head and saw that the young creature nearby was making some show of her cleavage, Tommy from the other side also noticed at some moment and leered. But it did not distract the true professionals we had fronting us more than a couple of times. Maybe it will work better with the Flaming Loops, I mean boobs..

"Old world", "girlfren" Jonathan did a few of those Modern lovers songs from the very first album. All of them have turned out to be classics nowadays. Jonathan was dancing a lot, Tommy using these kind of breaks to entertain us with some drumming assault. It was obvious that the show was done in a way Jonathan would manage to relax his throat by dancing, use those cowbells and other various percussion instruments (the hilarious "no gazoline reggae") while Tommy would keep the beat steady and enjoying himself.

We were treated with several new songs, some in French with rather surrealistic lyrics, "silence" was joyful nonsense, "le tourbillon de poussiere" was describing a dust whirl connected to lovers passing by. I mentionned "Celestial", there was also "Partners in crime" which Jonathan seems really to like. The audience favourites were "egyptian reggae" and the mandatory "Lesbian bar" which I am personnally a bit fed up with.

After having been through a couple more songs including "in che mondo viviamo", Jonathan said he had been singing in French, English, Spanish and Italian, he asked what should he do next. To the request of a lady he agreed to keep English and then asked what he should sing.. of course everyone was screaming for his favourite song, on my right they were yelling "ice scream man", I heard "new England", "she cracked" so I came up with "roadrunner" because I never saw Jonathan perform it live, this brought other chaps to ask for the same song. But Jonathan was acting as if he could not hear the requests and keep on asking what we requested .. finally he faked having heard something and started "hospital" it was some highlight of the evening for me specially that he went directly into "Pablo Picasso afterwards, that was magic.

He had sung "girlfren" earlier , introducing it in French and explaining how demure and innocent he was at 17 ("looking even younger") and his failures to attract the attention of girsl, students who smoked Welsh cigarettes because in the US something coming from Wales was supposed to be very sophisticated. It was hilarious.

I remember the last song to be "let her go into the darkness" with the French and Italian sequels, we did not get the full multilingual treatment, but I noticed that Jonathan's voice was sort of getting away.
He did an encore because the audience really asked for it (they asked for more during about 10 minutes later but this did not work). When he thanked everybody, it was clear to me that he was losing his voice and would not come back.

Then the doors were opened and people invited to leave. I stayed, lots of people still screaming "Jonathan come back" and smoking like chimneys. As always after 10 more minutes the people started to go out .. I was trying to avoid the bouncers keeping a cool and collected attitude of someone important ready for an appointment. One of the bouncers came to me asking me to go out of the room, I started to say it was important for me to meet Jonathan, that I was co-webmaster of his webzine.. nothing worked. This bouncer had been neatly selected, huge, black, stupid with braincells where you could see that there was a missing light in or two of the cells but certainly an expert in martial arts. I moved to a group of what looked like Happy few with backstage passes. But even they got annoyed by the black bouncer, "you have to get out NOW", the backstage passes carriers sort of complained, one was a producer, the other one a record executive, some girlfriends, they called the manager of the Trabendo who said to the bouncer , "him, him , him, her, her , him" its Ok.. I was in the middle of the group and thought I was safe. Except that one more light must have ben switched on in the bouncer's head and he asked to see my pass, I handled him my professional badge just pretending to feel relaxed. He smiled and with a well trained movement throwed me out of the Trabendo.
I waited outside because I was determined to meet Jonathan
.(to be continued)

Here are Hospital and Pablo Picasso





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