I’m leaving for Paris today, partially in order to catch the Thermals concert on 6 April. Finally! I’ve been waiting for this ever since they kicked arse at Point Ephémère a bit more than a year ago in the autumn of 2010. I even wrote them an email at some point asking when they would come back to Paris. They thanked me for the interest and said spring 2011.
So why the huge interest? First of all, the music is quite energizing. In the morning, during the day, and after work, putting on a Thermals album never fails to raise my beat and make my feet follow the drums. If not because of the soft punky energy it emits then because of the smile their raw naive tunes bring to the face.
Secondly, at the concert last year I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. They seemed genuinely happy to be there. And a bit nerdy in a very lovable kind of way – the drummer never parted with his silly happy smile; the bassist, living a bit in her own world, alternated between jumping and experimenting with monitor feedback by bringing the bass close it. Maybe the lead singer came off a bit arrogant – or maybe I read it in an interview later – but still in a cute younger-brother-trying-to-show-off kind of way. During the concert they managed to create a connecting with me that I only rarely get at a gig (Mumford & Sons did it as well). This was in sharp contrast with the Arctic Monkeys I saw a few months after and who seemed quite arrogant and almost annoyed that they had to come and play. Experience wise the 35€ I paid for this seemed up side down with the 15€ I paid for Thermals.
Joy Division has later joined them but Thermals were the first band to make it to my list of tracks I would play cover versions of, if I ever am to go on stage doing that. In fact, together with Springsteen and Clash I had Thermals in mind when I went shopping for my first guitar and later started to play.
I can’t completely rule out that my romantic memory of the concert may be coloured of me being new and naive in Paris. But expectations are high!