Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jacques (Still Shakin') Ball kindly sent this report from last weekend's Chris Wilson show in Paris...

"Chris did a great performance at La Mecanique Ondulatoire, a nice and cosy venue near Bastille. I met him before the show and he looks young, slim and relaxed. He told me he would be playing his semi-acoustic twelve string that had just been refurbished by his favourite luthier in London. Familiar faces filled up the foyer, the die hard core of the French Flamin’ Groovies fans. Musicians, rock critics, photographers are there too.

Chris introduced the Stones “I’m free” as a slow song. What strikes me at once is that his voice is in great shape providing a feeling that it would be a good show. Little did I know to what extent. We were treated to a great and unpredictable setlist, “Tell me again”, “Hide your love away” (Beatles), “You tore me down” (a pristine rendition) and an unreleased but very promising new song “Cold cold night”. “He who waits” and “all the action” from Second Life too.

Chris said there would be a surprise as he is inviting his buddy Jimmy Ferrell to join him on stage (“he’s going to hate me for that”). James is on vacation in France and had showed up just before the show. Asked if he was going to play, James denied. saying he was a bit rusty. But here he was, smiling when Chris hands him a Telecaster. “Shake some action” is the obvious song they share with the audience that knows the lyrics off by heart and sings along. This perfect pop song is always at its peak when sung by Chris, James is knitting his licks smoothly (“rusty eh?” he must have been kidding). Everyone around me is getting hypeexcited, and this is going “at full speed” indeed.

James smiles and when Chris suggests “Slow death” he jumps on the unmistakeable riff and the audience goes wild. The two pals are finding out unconsciously about the old Groovies stage acts that leads James, as if caught in a trance, to step on the cable of his guitar and unplug the jack. After that’s fixed , both catch up and the song is ended with the perfect crescendo it deserves. Waooow !! James leaves the stage to an overwhelming ovation.

Chris resumes his solo act and breaks a string that sticks into his finger. He rips it quickly with a wince and starts an instrumental improvisation teasing all the sounds his guitar is capable of. How did they say in San Francisco in the old days? “Far out “. The set ends with an emotional “If wishes were horses” that was just magic.. Of course there is an encore, nobody wants Chris to leave the stage. And, what an encore, a cover of The Records masterpiece, “Starry eyes”. That’s how I left the cave, starry eyed.

An awesome evening with Chris Wilson definitely back in action as the recent CD, “Second Life” suggested. Before leaving, I discussed a bit with James about the Phantom Movers, the Fondellas and of the Groovies in 72, old timers never resign."

There are pictures of the show shot by Baldo at the following url :

and I put some videos on mytube :
monks: the transatlantic feedback

by Dietmar Post & Lucia Palacios

finally plays LONDON (UK)

May 19th at SW1 Gallery

May 20th at Lexi Cinema