Friday, March 30

European tour, Paris gig - part #1

Jonathan played on March 29 in Paris at la Flèche d'or (the Golden Arrow), a former train station revamped as a club.
Here are my impressions on a show which was very well attended, the place was packed and the audience warmly interacting with Jonathan (considering he had asked for the air Conditioning to be shut off, the atmosphere was already quite hot before the first song !!)

Around 7 pm, I emerged from the metro station in Paris 2oth district where the venue is located. I had still a 20 minutes walk to reach my destination and half way through I figure out a familiar character coming in my direction. It is Tommy who recognizes me as well and welcomes me. We shake hands and Tommy tells me no to miss the opening act. I have seen on the program that it is Warren Ellis, a member of the Bad Seeds and Nick Cave partner in crime. I ask Tommy if Warren is playing Bad Seeds type of music. "No, he replies, definitely not..." Kay... I leave Tommy to his walk and eventually find myself in front of the place. The gates will open in 5 minutes and I am intrigued by Warren Ellis. I was expecting some kind of dark poetry rock, boy was I wrong !! .. (to be continued)

Monday, March 5

2012 UK tour impressions


26 Feb: Jonathan Richman performs 'My Affected Accent' at The Kazimier in Liverpool, then sings the first words of 'I Want to Take You Higher' by Sly & The Family Stone

Review by Peter Guy from Liverpool: Best of all his new songs and a perfect example of this duality is the brilliant My Affected Accent, where Richman apologises for his gauche teenage self and admits that 'I should have been bullied more than I was' for 'saying feline instead of cat' or 'aforementioned when I should have said that'.


28 Feb: Review by Robin Wilkinson from Cardiff: All night he is nothing but inclusive, gratefully playing requests and performing a shuffling, shamanistic dance in a thwarted effort to encourage audience participation: “If you’re not going to dance with me”, he implores, “you may as well at least keep time.”


29 Feb: three more wonderful videos from Shepherds Bush in London, at Bush Hall via StanMission:

'These Bodies' via

'Bohemia' via

'Sea' via


2 March: Poetic review by Ciarán Ryan from Islington, London of the Union Chapel show, with lovely photographs:

Jonathan’s guileless music wound around and into the twists and curls of the venue’s architecture.

He sang his songs of joy, sorrow and suffering. And danced.


If you're interested in my own trip to see Jonathan at Union Chapel in 2006 you can look here. Unfortunately the pictures I posted disappeared when file host AOL melted down without warning some time ago. One day I'll find them again and repost them. Also there were some nice comments from Jojoblog readers originally but they were lost when the old Haloscan commenting system we used in those days went poof. Gosh, I'm really sorry about that...

/shakes fist at nefarious technology


Speaking of nostalgia and obsolescence, if you didn't see it, Tim Jonze penned a thoughtful appreciation of 'Corner Store' in The Guardian in anticipation of Jonathan's appearance at Union Chapel.


There were reports via Twitter that the recent 2012 show at Union Chapel was both gratifying and disappointing to various audience members. I understand this appearance of there being disparate realities at Jonathan Richman performances- you could say it is similar to the Rashomon effect and this in itself is a fascinating phenomenon.

If you ask me what any Jonathan Richman show I had the good fortune to experience was like, I would assure you that I was over the moon about it. To me the night ends too soon, always.

Ask my long suffering husband (who dutifully accompanies me and waits in the shadows) and you would hear the opposite. He doesn't complain. He sees me transported. This makes it worthwhile and reason enough to endure. That he doesn't necessarily enjoy the show for itself so much doesn't mean his subjective response isn't valid. He's not wrong, and I'm not right. It's just the way it is.

And then there's my son, a fan since infancy, himself now a musician influenced by early Modern Lovers. He would have a third recollection of the exact same show. He would have been standing in front of the stage keeping time with enthusiasm, but no expectations, and open to what happens.

Perhaps it is context, this flight into the mystery – not so much of music but of alchemy. Or perhaps it's dependent on where you are relative to the space, such as what happens to energy waves in a whispering gallery.

Update: Wonderful review of the Union Chapel show here! With also a great description of the church itself.

Thursday, March 1

Jonathan Richman "London" Bush Hall London 29.02.12

via StanMission

Jonathan Richman singing a song about [and/or called, who knows] "London", city of intrigue and unfamiliar sensual stimuli, at Bush Hall London 29.02.12 featuring the very wonderful Tommy Larkins on the drums.

Thanks Simon!