Sunday, April 1

European tour 2012, Paris gig #2

So Warren Ellis appeared on stage as an humble artist, very dedicated to his music and very thankful to Jonathan for considering him as an opening act. The guy was an interesting mixture of Robinson Crusoe having just come back from Woodstock with his violin. but the violin he knew how to play. the first song took everybody by surprise, no one was expecting this droning loops of violin sounds and overlayed to generate an incredible trance. For the second song, Warren had Jonathan and Tommy to join him and they played the soundtrack for "the Proposition" for which Warren got an award, best soundtrack. And it was amazing, Jonathan was mesmerized in the trance and Tommy was beating his bongoes like a robotic shaman. And being just nearby Jonathan I could see how he enjoyed this music.

The audience became crazy, and the three musicians had to start a third song as hypnotic as their predecessors. I was remembering the concert of Lamonte Young I had attended thirty years ago and it eventually made sense. Jonathan had found his John Cale and his Dream theatre. The Velvet Underground link was still of some importance.
Then it was over for Warren who seemed so pleased to have touched the parisian audience.

The actual start for Tommy and Jonathan. The concert was very successful, people were singing along Jonathan, were cheering each of Tommy's solos and everyone was knowing the songs. That was my disapointment, we heard only the good ol' songs, which we all love of course, but I would have like to hear "Bohemia", "London" or "Keith Richard". We got "Lesbian Bar" for the 100th time in 20 years, or "Let her go into the darkness"... The room was completely packed and every one was really enjoying himself. The show started with "Vermeer", we heard the whole French catalogue ("le Printemps des amoureux", "il y a du soleil", "Silence", "sa voix m'attise",) some songs in spanish and Italian. There was the nice "Oh queen", the beautiful "her beauty in high heels", "Celestial" in spanish. Here is something unusual called, I believe "José Bové" at least it is what I understood..

Jonathan did a great version of "Old World" , changing the lyrics and translating them in French
The show lasted just a bit more than an hour and the audience became amok when Jonathan was trying to leave, saying "good night". Immediately he remembered he had not sung "Lesbian bar " yet and started the song under the house loud applauses. Then he did a nice improvisation about his european tour, especially the last dates, Madrid, Bayonne, Reims where he had been visiting the cathedral and Paris where he had gone to Montmartre but he said that the building over there is a .. building, sure. Last song was in spanish. And it was over, no more encores. The two musicians went backstage, followed by Nicole who was in the audience. I went to drink a beer and discuss with a spanish fan and her friend, she had been following Jonathan since the Madrid concert which she had found better than this one.Eventually Jonathan appeared with a béret basque on his head, the real thing which is 10 inches in diameter. He looked like the archetypical and ludicrous French guy in US movies, he was just missing a baguette under his arm and a bottle of red wine in his pocket. I spoke a bit with him and introduced him to the Madrid fan.


  1. I was in the audience and was thrilled by the whole set ! I am looking for a particular song Jonathan Richman sung that night but I have no clue about it : if by any chance you took notes, do you have the complete setlist ?
    Thank you for your blog !

    1. Je n'ai pas noté l'ordre des chansons, et par rapport a ce que j'ai écrit plus haut, il y a "Yalla" (chanson en Hebreu) que je n'ai pas citée ainsi que "not so much to love as to be loved", l'instru obligatoire "Egyptian reggae" et surtout "when Harpo played his harp" que j'aurai du mentionner parce qu'il ne la joue pas souvent. Je dois regarder la video que j'ai faite de la chanson en Italien pour retrouver le titre. Je mettrai quelques clips de plus sur Youtube.

    2. here's the setlist

      sa voix m'attise
      love from somewhere else
      egyptian reggae
      moon queen of the night
      "cosmica galactica" (?)
      le printemps
      old world
      when harpo
      "josé bové"
      her mystery
      my baby loves loves me
      lesbian bar
      como el pan

  2. thank you for this wonderful report jacques! i look forward to viewing the youtube clips

  3. First of all, many thanks Jacques for introducing me Jonathan and special this blog.
    Yes, I found better concert the Madrid one, maybe because I understood much more his comments and it was more interactive. However, I liked much more La fleche d'or, I found it much more charming. Casa América, it's more comfortable and wide, and most of the people was sitting (except when Jonathan made the people be excited..)
    Madrid concert it was full of children. They were enjoying a lot with the concert, they didnt stop of playing, dancing, speaking..Jonathan, far for being upset, he said something about "a los padres que no se preocupen porque los niñitos hables o grite,esto es más una fiesta que un concierto".

    Just Jonathan.

  4. Merci Jacques pour ta réponse et tous ces détails ! Impatiente de voir les autres vidéos !

    Thank you Oli I found my song : it's "My baby love love loves me".