Archive for April, 2008

1st of May 2008

First of all, and as every year: EUROMAYDAY!

AACHEN , BERLIN , COPENHAGEN, HANAU, HAMBURG, HELSINKI, LISBOA, MADRID, MALAGA, MARIBOR, MILANO, NAPOLI, PALERMO, TERRASSA, TÜBINGEN, WIEN.

And about London (click on the image below):

 

Blonde Redhead turns to pale

21/04/08_ KickandRun Crew at Shepherd Bush Empire

First of all, the venue. To enter the Shepherds Bush Empire is like going into a retro club in the one you know many people got shivers and aesthetic heart attacks. You can definitely feel it. This theater is a marvelous place with gorgeous balconies.

But as a music venue, the only issue – which can be quite annoying when you attend to a concert – is the sound. It goes poorly lost in the arcades of the building. It was even more annoying for the sonic experiments (vocal and instrumental) that Blonde Redhead is used to give to their audience…

A good bunch of friends with us and a fresh pint of industrial beer in our hands, we are more than ready to welcome the first support on the bill:  the Canadian electro-pop-punk-noise combo Holy Fuck. At first sight, I found my friend quite rude because I was behaving myself and the invective was about to burst when I finally realized this was the lovely name of the 1st band. Okay. Friendly gaze. Smile. A mouthful of beer. Let’s go!

The less that we can say is that Holy Fuck is a holy smoke of a band! What a stunning energy on stage with a pure rock’n roll attitude!  There was barely no lyrics (except shoutings) so you straight excuse the lack of communication between the band and the audience. Anyway, the music was so good that it would have been a waste of time! Come one guys, rock on!

Their sound is a very interesting mix of experimental groovy post-rock, not too intellectual- with-the-black-thick-glasses genre and much more dancefloor oriented. The crowd was already headbanging after just 30 sec. The place was electric. Honestly, Canadians do it better! A gorgeous opening that put the level on high standards. Big expectations for the second band…

 

…And then came the black hole of the night. Well, no need to comment their name: The Devastations. Ok guys so you’ve checked on the “Rock’n Roll dictionary for bands that want to have a name starting by The…” but you definitely picked up the sleaziest one! 

Fair enough, you are not supposed to be Nobel Prize for Literature and maybe your manager only understands Albanian. Fair enough.

Though, there are some things you cannot forgive. First, you should not have broken your alarm clock because you’re ten years late: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/ Jesus and Mary Chain already made their career with that sound. Too many clichés. Imitation equals limitation.

Honestly, can you consider in 2008 writing a love song with lyrics like “Stand with me” sung ad lib! Me neither so please try to consider it! 

Finally, when the acoustic is already largely improvable, don’t try to flood the audience with useless decibels that cover up the lyrics… Sounds really bad, like a “Look dude, my friends have a band and they rehearse in my garage this afternoon. Wanna have a look?” level.

After 6 songs and a cold-like-freezable-cold-fillets round of applause, they went back in their cabin to change their T-shirts for clean ones and brush their teeth to be on the cover of their favorite magazine, NME.

A second round of beer was much needed. I had to get rid of my heavy legs caused by the boredom of the previous band. Okay, a couple of random chats with my friends and I am  back on track. Just before the lights turn down on the musicians of Blonde Redhead. The beast is in! Though… To put it a nutshell, Blonde Redhead played a professional set but without the spark, the intensity and insanity that we were waiting for. So as a result, we did not really breathe the atmosphere that is in “23” (as they almost played the album). 

No need to mention that the poor quality and the sound in the venue did not really help both the band and the audience to be as one. The long-awaited first shivers finally came at their first and only encore with their latest album anthem “23” as Kazu Makino literally uplifted the people singing her complaints on a torrent of decibels. That girl is a real weapon of mass destruction, hotter than 1.000.000 playboy bunnies, can lead a crowd as easily as she would teach her dog to sweep the leg. 

At some point, she also seemed stuck in the Blonde Redhead formula and many people would share the idea that she is got something to do on her own.

Blonde Redhead was good. Holy Fuck was awesome.

 

 

Aujourd’hui, 21 avril 2008.

Le 21 avril n’est pas une date anodine pour quiconque participa au premier tour des élections présidentielles de 2002. Pour ma part, ma première grande expérience électorale s’est soldée le soir-même par un de mes plus grands frissons de terreur. L’écran de télévision à l’annonce des résultats est toujours présent dans mon esprit et fait partie de la conscience collective de bon nombre de personnes assurément. A ce moment précis, mon droit de vote en tant que citoyen s’est alors révélé être un devoir. 

“La politique est l’art de concilier le désirable avec le possible” : la citation d’A. Briand semblait paradoxalement si loin et si proche. Le présent était cruel mais le futur appelait au réveil des consciences.  

 

Si on regarde dans le rétroviseur historique (chose que l’on fait de moins en moins tant l’ l’instant T a pris les pleins pouvoirs et nous dirige comme un berger héle ses moutons), on se rend compte que le 111ème jour de l’année (du calendrier grégorien) est une journée au pied de laquelle il y a déjà plusieurs pierres blanches… Notamment au XXème siècle.

 

21 avril 1928 : Aristide Briand présente un projet de traité (Briand-Kellogg) mettant la guerre hors-la-loi – « arrière les fusils, arrière les mitrailleuses et les canons ».

21 avril 1944 : le droit de vote est (finalement) accordé aux femmes dans le pays des droits de l’Homme.

21 avril 1961 : Tentative de Putsch des généraux à Alger contre la politique d’autodétermination de l’Algérie. Ailleurs sur le Globe, les Américains tentaient de renverser Castro lors du débarquement de la Baie des Cochons.

21 avril 1989 : sortie de la Game Boy.

 

Que de grands faits en cette simple journée. Mais celui de 2002 laissera à jamais un goût amer. Au-delà de l’annonce du duel final, j’avais surtout l’impression que la France voyait Candyman dans le miroir (sic). Répétez 5 fois “La peur” devant le miroir et “Fearman” apparaîtra. 

Mon pays n’avançait pas, au contraire, il reculait. Presque 40 ans après s’être mobilisé pour que les moeurs changent et que la société se décloisonne, le voilà faible et en proie au doute. Il remet en cause des fondements sur lesquels repose mon éducation et la vision que je me fais du monde qui m’entoure. Il y avait clairement une contestation mais celle-ci était aphone, elle ne trouvait pas de voix et en perdait sa voie.

 

Quid de la situation 6 ans après ?

 

On célèbre les 40 ans de Mai 68 avec un parfum de nostalgie. On aime se souvenir en France. Et c’est toujours la “Chienlit”… On s’est pris à rêver mais les questions soulevées par les débuts de la mondialisation restent plus que jamais posées quatre décennies plus tard. Certes, certaines moeurs ont évolué mais dans une époque où les flux d’informations nous inondent, on sent que la société se crispe. L’ordre revient à la charge et pour nous faire avaler la pilule, on nous divertit. C’est notre “Soma”, le fameux anxiolytique que décrivait Aldous Huxley. Les ingénieurs en Emotion sont au travail. 

 

Ephéméride : “A la Saint-Anselme, dernières fleurs sème”.

 

Bad Covers: “Staring at the Rude Boys”

 

This is a new section in kick and run about bad-covers, or…when a good song from a great band became shit because the second band doesn’t understand the sprit of the song, or try to do an experiment when it’s not necessary.

“Staring at the rude boys” was an original song by The Ruts released for the Album “Grin and Bear it” (Virgin, 1980) a compilation of Singles, B-sides and Live Performances.

 

The Ruts were one of the biggest English bands of reggae-punkrock-ska of the end of the 70’s, and “Staring at the rude boys” is one of my favourite songs of them, because it’s a good description of  an historical, british-underground moment, with skins and punks f*****g around the clubs.   

 

“It’s a very small world in the middle of a crowd, the room gets dark when the music gets loud, treble cuts thru’ when the rhythm takes the bite, but there’s no room to move ’cause the floor is packed tight. A voice shouts loud, ‘we’ll never surrender’, A voice in the crowd,’Never surrender’. A hand in the crowds flying propaganda: ‘Never surrender, we’ll never surrender’. The skins in the corner are staring at the bar, the rude boys are dancing to some heavy heavy ska, it’s getting so hot people are dripping with sweat, the punks in the corner are speeding like a jet”. 

 

On 2007 the band played a “cover”, with Henry Rollins (Black Flag singer, and Ruts fan) singing in a benefit gig for Paul Fox (Ruts guitar player) with a cancer diagnosis. Was a really  good one…but we are here to speak about bad covers so…

 

Finally this song is coming back again because The Gallows, a not-bad English Hardcore Band (in a gig Frank Carter, the Gallow’s singer, receive more punches and kicks than Cradle of Filth playing at the Oups Dei central office) has played this terrible cover introducing “hip-hop” elements (Lethal Bizzle fuck the song in the minute 1’40”) and following all the MTV-NME quality standards.

 

 


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