First recollections of the Paris "Trabendo" show or
"Black Orpheus brings back unheard sounds from the Deep !"
Arrived in Paris from Marseilles the day before and spent the day
visiting friends. A nice sunny winter day.
March the 4th After queuing up for half an hour, finally managed to get
inside the hall but the security guys asked my wife to leave her camera at
the entrance. Out of luck on that one. We won't be able to send you any
photos from that gig.
Met Mike inside the hall, who recognized us from previous gigs last
year and talked with us for a few minutes.
Couldn't hear him too clearly though amid the noise / vintage garage
sound of the supporting group playing (Sky Saxon and the Seeds). He had
time to remind us that Arthur's birthday was on March 7th and that his
favourite wine was Merlot (red if you please !). I asked him about his
forthcoming record and he told me he hadn't had time to complete it yet.
Took the opportunity to buy the House of blues DVD at the merch. stand.
The Love "Trabendo"show in Paris was magnificent. Arthur Lee sang as I
had never heard him sing before.
He did unheard things with his voice. Although I had seen him e few
times before and could suspect he had it in him to perform such vocal
feats , he did incredible things here, attempting vocal flights which I
never had seen him perform, as if he was drawing deep down from a well
inside him a river voice that would surge in waves of sound at the right
moments, drawing everyone inside that tidal wave , sucking everyone in
that vortex of a voice. People could feel it and responded so much that at
times you could hear another vocal surge rising alongside Lee's voice, the
crowd cheering up and singing along their appreciation ! It was a pleasure
to see him work it, holding his mouth open in that special position some
singers use when they let their voice swell, using their whole body and
palate as a resonator , pushing back the mike from his mouth to let out a
bigger sound and let that voice soar like a bird in full flight.
Impressive to say the least ! For women only : Arthur has such mellow
tones in his voice that I could feel my wife melting at his rendition of
"You set the scene", specially in the part where he goes" I see your
picture, you with the same old smile, stay for a while"…
The group was utterly dedicated to his music, completely focussed
behind Arthur and served him to perfection. What's fully evident now is
that they've developped that inner understanding of the way each one of
them reacts and they can follow and respond to Arthur's subtle change of
moods with that unique cohesion you can only acquire after years of
touring . Their control of sound and dynamics is equally impressive,
passing from real rocking energetic moments to dreamy and relaxed ones as
in "your mind and we.." with remarkable ease. The music breathes and lives
with such intensity that you feel blessed to partake in such an
experience. Arthur is surely blessed to have found such faithfull
companions who enable him at last to reclaim the throne he was from the
very beginning entitled to. Hail to the real vindicators ! The general
acoustics of the venue were good, at least from where I was standing, with
the sound engineer doing a fine job.
Elated as I was, it struck me on the way out that Arthur had given
another of his best vocal performances in Paris. Although different in
material, atmosphere and rendition, this Trabendo Gig could only compare
in quality with the previous gig at the "Café de la danse" the year before
where he had recaptured almost all the intonations and vocal "nuances" we
associate with "Forever Changes" (pure perfection) Maybe it's just a
coincidence, who knows ? Anyway, we were lucky to attend both these gigs.
Here he sang with such confidence that you could feel him basking in the
sheer beauty of that sunny music.