Friday, 15 June 2007

La vie parisienne

A show to attend every night (if one wishes to commit suicide)! On Wednesday, I saw Stabat Mater Furiosa, a war wife’s poetic and violent ode for life. One actress on stage, and two musicians (and tow dear old friends): Rémy, playing bass guitars and violin, and Vincent, playing the percussions. The beautiful text was turned into a theatrical rock opera.
Unfortunately the piece was performed in a magic mirror located in a no man’s land outside of Paris and the whole staging and light design had to be altered. I wish I could have seen it in its original and ideal presentation. I nearly missed the performance by the way. Rémy had sent me a flyer stating the show would start at 9:00 p.m. and at 8:10, he called me saying that the actual time was 8:30, hardly believing I would manage to make all the distance in so short a time on my bicycle… he was wrong!
The performance was strangely followed by a ball advertised as ‘festive’ with a band named la Grenouille à Cheveux (The Frog with Hair)… Suddenly, we were in an isolated small town in rural France back in the 70’s…
Three or four girls were dancing in the middle of the dance floor.
‘Let your body move to the music, hey hey hey….’

Yesterday was another matter. A showcase of a French Chinese band called Gemini. She sings, he plays the guitar. Pose, attitude, gothic and rock… an acoustic gig given at the Asian, a trendy lounge bar near the Champs-Elysées on the avenue George V.
The music wasn’t bad at all, but I was turned off by the amount of attitude they displayed, especially the guy. Maybe he was dreaming of a career as a rock star and never really quite achieved and had this wonderful idea of forming a band with this Chinese girl.
I’ve seen too many self indulgent bands to be waste my time with another one. Talent is one thing, but wasted when coated with these layers of fake attitude. Apparently, they had made it big in China…
‘Hey, I don’t feel the audience tonight… Are you with us?’ said the guitar player between two songs. We were but they weren’t. The girl was singing with eyes closed all the time and he was wearing sun glasses and looking down most of the time. Let’s talk about connection with the audience now…

My cousin Laura was staying the night with me, so I took her and Errol to the gig as well. She’s always curious to see where I am going to take her (usually to some weird underground performances…).
This time at the Asian lounge bar was more unadventurous. However she liked the place.
We then searched another nice café for a dessert in the Champs-Elysées area. Nothing. Just all these gilded tourist traps that offer below average quality food and service for a way beyond average price. We picked one at random, just to be sitting down and have a last drink. Laura did most of the talking, Errol listened and I dropped an occasional comment. Stories of love, lost loves, happy or funny loves…
Then came the time to catch the last metro. It started to rain hard. We were too late for the last train. It had just left a few seconds ago. Taxi cabs kept running down the avenue without stopping. They were all taken. Errol had brought an umbrella with him. The three of us were walking under it, like a strange three-bodied and three-headed creature.
An overcrowded bus appeared, which was heading to Châtelet, so we took it as our last chance. We were so jam-packed in it, it wasn’t even necessary to hold on to any pole. The ride turned into a riotous rollercoaster drive. Everybody in the bus laughed and yelled merrily. And to think that some people pay for that at the fun fair…

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