Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul @ La Cigale, Paris - June 28, 2017

The E Street Band hiatus is a good opportunity for "Little" Steven Van Zandt to slow down a bit and enjoy the quiet life a man of his age should aspire to. But "Little" Steven Van Zandt has other plans. He has his acting career, he has his radio show and he also has his resurrected seventies band Disciples of Soul. And this isn't just some low-key rock trio playing covers in the dive bars of New Jersey: this is a 15-piece soul/rock revue with engagements all over the globe.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Pretenders @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - June 26th, 2017

The last Pretenders album was a band effort in name only. It was recorded by Chrissie Hynde and some session musicians. But then Pretenders has been Chrissie's toy for a while now. Thankfully, the touring unit saw the return of Martin Chambers, and any concerns one may have had about his playing turned out to be unfounded: the veteran drummer was great through the whole show. The other musicians also played their parts perfectly.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

King's X @ Le Forum, Vauréal - June 20th, 2017

The first time King's X played in Paris, they were opening for AC/DC in front of almost 18 000 people. Tonight they play a little club in East Bumfuck for about 300 punters. Their problem is that people don't know what to make of them: Christian Rock? Hair Metal? Stoner Rock? And what's with these Gospel-like harmonies? Perhaps King's X are too sophisticated to make it big.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Songhoy Blues @ La Maroquinerie, Paris - June 14, 2017

The band everyone is buzzing about right now, Songhoy Blues hails from Mali but don't expect a Tinariwen soundalike. Their refer to their music as Desert Blues, and if there is a rustic element to their music it is also very reminiscent of the Talking Heads Remain In Light-era. Their upcoming record Résistance is produced by the Yeah Yeah Yeah's guitarist and features an appearance by Iggy Pop, so they have that authentic punk seal of approval.

Sandra Nkaké @ La Maroquinerie, Paris - June 14, 2017

Sandra Nkaké's music is a wonderful mix of jazz and soul with French and African influences delivered in a voice that alternates between lyrical power and smokey veil. A very good concert by a generous performer.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Primal Scream @ la Gaité Lyrique, Paris - June 8, 2017

Primal Scream may be a part of the rave culture, they may dabble in electronica, but at their core they are a garage rock band with a songwriting style indebted to the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, Funkadelic and early psychedelia. Their new album Chaosmosis finds the perfect balance between their retro inclinations and their more modern experimentations, but this concert is a more rocking affair.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Deep Purple @ Accorhotels Arena, Paris - June 3rd, 2017

The last twenty years have been rather kind on Deep Purple. Replacing key members like Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord is no easy task, but the living, breathing Deep Purple marches on.
If there is tremendous good will towards the guys thanks to the quality of their recent output (their most recent album Infinite, produced by Bob Ezrin, is excellent), the old songs are still the main attraction. Unfortunately, Ian Gillan can't sing Child In Time or Highway Star anymore, but apart from that every major classic was played. Fireball, Strange Kind Of Woman, Lazy, Space Truckin', and of course that other song with the famous riff...

Great performances all around, highlighted by a great light show. If this is their last tour, as they've been cheekily teasing (I don't believe it for one second) then good on them for leaving on a high note.