On our journey to at least once have experience some of the grand old bands, we caught The Offspring back in September and were supposed to have seen The Buzzcocks earlier this year. The Offspring was a bit of a miss and The Buzzcocks were cancelled as the venue burned down the day before.
Next on the list were Peter Hook & The Light, giving a Joy Division tribute concert last night at Train in Århus. Peter Hook was the only ex-member but otherwise they stayed true to the music.
Peter Hook behaved slightly strange, apparently taking some pleasure in the “here are my genitals, please kick them”-stance (as illustrated in the “Sense & Senility” episode of Blackadder, link) but only to a funny degree. At any rate we got to see the big giraffe. I really enjoyed the concert, even the guys trying to pick a fight up front — I guess it just helped to bring it a tiny bit closer to what it must have been like.
Added on 22 May 2012: I’ve just discovered this (Danish) Gaffa interview with Peter Hook (along with their review of the Copenhagen gig). Besides the somewhat amusing anger he apparently feels towards the other two original members of New Order, I also noted this quote:
Da du besluttede dig for at drage ud med Joy Division-sange, hvorfor valgte du så at spille de to album hver for sig og i deres fulde længde?
– Personligt synes jeg, det er den eneste kunstneriske måde at gøre det på. Det lyder måske utrolig dumt, men jeg synes, lp’erne i deres helhed giver en stemning eller en følelse. Hvis du begynder at blande numrene, så synes jeg, du er et coverband.
Det virker måske også lidt gammeldags i dag, hvor det handler mere om singler end albums?
– Nu laver jeg jo heldigvis ikke musik til nutiden. Jeg kommer fra en tid, hvor hvis Ian Dury udsendte en lp, så satte man sig ned og hørte den fra start til slut … og lod sig opsluge af stemningen fra hele albummet. Det er det, jeg synes er så ærgerligt ved internettet og måden, unge mennesker forbruger musik. … Man kan ikke give sig hen til musik på tre-fire minutter, det kræver altså mere!
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!
I bought my first LP record, or vinyl, today! For a while now I’ve been talking about getting an LP player and some LPs. There is just something very romantic about the idea of coming home tired from a long day at work, searching for the right LP to fit the mood, pouring yourself a drink, and sitting down for half an hour undisturbed by others and listing first to the needle in the empty groove and then suddenly great music.
Although I’m still without an LP player, my girlfriend gave me an LP as a present at the beginning of this month: Astral Weeks by Van Morrison. Excellent choice, and she even provided a frame so that I can at least look at it on my wall until I can actually play it. Today, by accident, I stopped by the little amazing music shop in Paris, Born Bad. Don’t be fooled by the name. Carrying mostly punk-related albums, they have a pretty good selection of both new and second-hand LPs at a good price (14€), as well as some CDs and t-shirts. I came across a new print of Closer by Joy Divison and thought that this is one of those albums you have to listen to in full length instead of just picking a few tracks, and hence a perfect match for my above mentioned mission. Et voila, my first LP :)
Oh and by the way, they had a flyer at the music store mentioning that the Buzzcocks are playing in Paris later this spring. Tickets secured; they are pretty old by now but I don’t want to miss seeing one of the first punk bands playing. Apparently they have been giving concerts more or less every other year since the late 70’s, keeping a good shape. And although some new albums have been made they supposedly still play the good old songs. How can you not go see some of the old original punkers playing teenage songs such as Ever Fallen in Love or Orgams Addict?