Monday, 7 March 2011
Galaxie 500 in Paris
Last weekend it was finally time for Coffee Boy to cash in on his birthday present. I had bought him two tickets to see one of our favourite bands from back in the day: Galaxie 500. They were playing in Paris (in truth it was the main man Dean Wareham playing Galaxie 500 stuff, but the band had the kind of acrimonious split there's apparently no coming back from so it was as close as we were likely to get) and we'd decided to make a weekend of it. After a wonderfully easy journey on the Eurostar (the train is just so much more civilised than flying isn't it?) we hopped in a cab to our hotel. We'd planned to get the RER but it was pouring with rain and frankly we couldn't be bothered. We soon regretted that decision as we sat behind an extremely slow moving demonstration for 20 mins (according to our enlightened taxi driver it was "some rubbish about Africa") but before too long we arrived at our lovely hotel - with a rather wonderful view - in the Latin Quarter.
After a freshen-up, a delicious vegetarian pho and a wander through the drizzle it was time to head to the Fleche D'Or to see the band. There's always a worry with seeing a band you have loved for so long - in this case 22 years (yikes!). Will they be old codgers? Will their voices have changed? Will the passion have gone? Any concerns we had evaporated in the course of the first song. Dean's voice was still amazing - better if anything; and his guitar still had the swirling, atmospheric, dream-like quality I've always loved.
Sadly I have no photos of the gig as I am firmly in the "I'm here to watch the band not to take photos and chat" camp. But it was truly wonderful. Unlike me, other people seem only too happy to spend the entire gig with their mobile phone in the air recording the entire thing. I've found a film of one of my favourite songs recorded late last year - the filming and sound are not brilliant but it gives you a flavour.
Alternatively, if you've never heard the band before, give them a listen on record (or whatever we call it nowadays). And if you like what you hear check out your local listings as they're still touring. In fact they are playing in London on 24th April and I find myself wondering if I can make it off a plane, through customs at Heathrow and to the venue on time... Does anyone know if you can take a suitcase to a gig..?