Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jeff Beck @ Grand Rex, Paris - May 27, 2014


Back to the Grand Rex to see Jeff Beck, sixteen years after I first saw him in that same venue. There was a time when El Becko was a recluse and seeing him live was a rare treat. He's now working a lot more, and this is my fifth time seeing him. Maybe he needs money to buy more spare parts for his hot rods?

Blues, soul, rock, fusion... This man does it all and still manages to sound like no one else. Another master class by the master.


 


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blood Ceremony @ Batofar, Paris - May 7, 2014


The Batofar is a docked river boat that, as well as serving food and drinks, hosts concerts and club nights. It's a very cool venue and tonight it welcomes Canadian retro-metal band Blood Ceremony. Their singer Alia O'Brien also plays the flute, but don't expect them to sound rural and bucolic. This isn't Jethro Tull. This is dark, occult stuff, straight out of a Mario Bava picture. Schlocky but sick. Of course it's all for show, a decorum for great songs like the Eldritch Dark, Goodbye Gemini and Master of Confusion. Just because it's a show doesn't make it fake: they rock for real. Like the opening act Spiders, their deference to old school aesthetics isn't a travesty. It's a way of life.






Spiders @ Batofar, Paris - May 7, 2014


Hailing from Sweden, Spiders are a great mix of early Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Stooges and other seventies hard rock luminaries. Led by charismatic and energetic front woman Ann-Sofi Hoyles, they play hard and fast but mostly they play for real. This isn't ironic nostalgia or a deferential pastiche: it's music born in another time performed by the children of today. Their new album Shake Electric is a great old school rock record and their performance at the Batofar last night was a time machine back into an era where hard rock was at its creative peak. Great stuff.