2009/07/13

Bruges' gig review: the wild blue surprise!

Simon Cooper's pics.

Check The Marc Zalman's photos (was just behind you Marc!) on Paul Weller News!

To be completely honest, I Wans't expecting much of that gig. When I've seen Paul played in Belgium, it's never been the real Weller... Don't know why...2001, he was beginning the acoustic solo tour. It's a great memory because we spoke ten minutes, he signed me some photos, let me go to the soundcheck, etc... But the gig was pretty average... Average for Weller means a good gig but not the complete fire from the top to the roof... Everyone knows it can't be magic every night. 2004 was the Studio 150 tour in the royal circus of Brussels. A good gig, not a great one... And in 2008, he wrote "shithole" on the set list instead of Brussels. So I began to think he has a real problem with Belgium... Paris 1998, Bournemouth 2008 and Amsterdam 2008 were really great gigs... And to be complete, he played in the Cornwall the day before the festival and I thought he played only to be ok with a deal. He cancelled last year for that festival and I thought there was an agreement with the organizers.

But... going to Bruges with Gentleman Simon, a real cool cat and top toff, and with my ever Weller's friend, JC, you could imagine worst: And Bruges is such a nice city, it worths the travel anyway and we had good times from the moment Simon came here to the middle of the night! JC was there and then the "fun boy three" day began... We are friends and we talked so many times together, it wasn't really a discovery. We can say and think everything about the internet and sometimes it's very crappy but honest... How could I met Jean Christophe and Simon? I met them by the Splinters list, the blog, etc. Exactly like Magical Lady Wigzy lor Niels last year and we have here a very special thought for her and all the people we met by the Splinters' list. I have to thank them, I'm a bit grumpy sometimes about the "no thank" attitude but I have to be grateful too. I've met many many nice people! When you're french, it's not so easy to go to a Weller's gig even if you're as much motivated as us. He doesn't play anymore in Paris! We're the Weller's wasteland...

We had a bit of fun to find the festival place and Simon can tell you how it's good to stroll along the Bruges' street four or five times! The weather was pretty cool and we had no rain till the end of the gig! A minute later, the rain began to fall! Do you think he can stop the rain?

Aroun 10 PM, we were back in the festival place, very far from the stage and a bit anxious... There was a very important crowd for a local band named "Novastar". Very nice band if you're fourteen... At the end of the gig, miracle, we had no difficulties to go very near of the stage. And the show began! The roadies' work is absolutely amazing (no soundcheck in festival) and the lady's in charge for Paul is very efficient. We also had the maximum pleasure to see the delicious silhouette of ****** the so delicate and tasty bodyguard who needed all life long to learn five words "Fuck off, leave him alone"! He's been very rude and brutal with true fans who didn't want to disturb Paul Weller at all. Things can be asked in a polite way, don't you think? It's so easy to act like this when you look like an old wrestler. I can't understand that kind of behaviour and many of us had bad experience with him. It has to be said. He's not cool, he's not nice, he's rude and rough. He can do the same job with another style but I'm not sure he can only write the word. Insults are so easy.

Then, around midnight, Paul and band came on stage. He was absolutely elegant and classy, great hair cut (I know it's very important in the Weller's topics!) and obviously decided to do a real show. And man, I regret today all the things I've said about Weller and Belgium. He's been tough and brilliant and he gave anything he can in an hour and half! He was the real Weller, a bit angry, completely in his music even if he decided to have a break to smoke a complete ciggy while the other members tried some strange experiences on a very long version of the middle's song gig. But he went back for 45 minutes of wellership, the best Weller. You know when he's nervous, and when he comes to the front of the stage to challenge the audience. Weller gave thousands of gig but he's not completely safe yet and he always want to win the battle. He even asked Stevie Cradock to ask the crowd if the gig was good! It's not exactly the british audience and he wasn't self secured at all. He's been many minutes behind the piano, a bit hidden, playing Bright Star and You do something to me. The set list was pretty classic and a festival one... No new songs were played but even the classics, than Simon knows by heart from the beginning to the end, has been played with authentic passion, grace and fire.

The band is completely ok now. There's really a difference with the last spring tour. Andy Lewis is completely in the band and if it's not a great showman because he's very nice and modest and doesn't want to brag, he's a solid part of the sound. Steve Pilgrim is not Steve White, he knows it and doesn't try at all to play in the same style. Stevie Cradock is really the other side of Weller's guitar style, they're very instinctive and they know who has to play that part or another one... Crofty (his new nickname?) is a top guy, he's very nice and so happy to play with the man. And he's definitely a mod!

So, we really had magical hours! to say the truth, we're so wrapped in music we can't live another way and I won't miss another possibility to go to another belgium gig! After the gig, we talked under a smooth rain of our new projects: going to a Birmingham city fc's match on december the 12 nd and to the great Ray Davies' gig the same day... before... the Weller's spring tour and the new LP! life goes on! Then we went back home, Like naughty school boys.

7 comments:

Cpt.Stax said...

great review!
F

HeavySoulBrutha DaveB. said...

FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!

Peace and SOUL,
Dave...

Marc Zalcman said...

Entièrement d'accord avec toi!!Le concert était magistral, j'avais emmené un collègue qui connaît un peu, grâce à mes bons conseils, le Paul, qui connaît mieux le Style Council (il est Italien et le groupe y était apparemment assez connu) et qui est reparti impressionné et , je crois , définitivement converti. Tu dis que tu étais derrière moi mais je ne vois pas qui tu es...on s'est déjà vus? La seule connaissance que j'ai retrouvé là-bas c'est Sharon aka phunkyfootprint aka september sun. Bravo encore pour la chronique et le super website. Mod on!!

Cheesemaker said...

Great review Yann, photos are top also

cascatino said...

Absolutely fantastic!
Thanks Yann for your review and your authentic passion.

ciao!

Parry said...

Keep on burning the Weller community, Yann.

gubluche said...

merci pour les photo et le commentaire du festival et du concert de Paul. C'était vraiment comme tu le dis! Pour moi, c'était la PREMIÈRE FOIS! quel bonheur de l'entendre et le voir jouer avec steve cradock et les autres ... et puis avec vous tous, les accro-fan-afficionados ...