Wednesday, May 14, 2008

“This is a Monday night, in Paris!,” announced Peter Zaremba mid-way through the set at La Locomotive at the start of the Fleshtones’ latest Euro jaunt. A near capacity crowd reacted with enthusiasm to an upbeat performance (are they ever downbeat?) as the ‘Tones commenced a two week trip around France that includes “one night only” appearances in Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Holland. Placing the emphasis on material from Take A Good Look, the new album on Yep Roc, the band refused to remain static and used every square metre of the venue for strumming power chords, performing press-ups, and singing a cappella. The audience responded by dancing to current party starters like Feels Good To Feel and Love Yourself, inserting “Hey!” at the appropriate moment, and following the band from one end of the venue to the other. Thank the gods that the ‘Tones can still perform in such a manner and in front of fans that are not inclined to launch beer into the air or wrestle them to the ground. One of the warmest moments of the evening was spotting members of the support band, the New Christs, crowded around the stage door, wearing big smiles and taking pictures of the mayhem. Thirty years down the line and the Fleshtones continue to deliver catchy material with energy and enthusiasm that puts most bands to shame. On current evidence there is no reason why they should not enjoy many more Monday night’s in Paris.