Isabelle and I decided to spend another day at the FNAC Festival, we are especially interested in the band Revolver.
As we were very early a couple of days ago we planned to meet a little later, at 15:30.
When I got there the area was already open and a few people at the barriers, still I managed to get the same spot as yesterday, just waiting for Isabelle now. I get chatting to a young man next to me who is also waiting for a friend, shame on me, I forgot his name, he is very sweet though and we talk about London and Paris and the music scene. Once Isabelle arrives it’s time for a last minute visit to the facilities of BHV, the department store nearby. Standing in the queue it proves to me yet again how well the British have mastered the art of queuing. I chuckle to myself realising how “English” I have become over the years!
On my return the band Broadway is sound checking, I think we also spotted Rover on the stage; it can’t be long now for the fun to begin. The atmosphere was quite different today, there was a group of people sitting on the ground not far from us, I have to be honest here, but I did judge the book by the cover, I really thought they would be a pain in the neck seeing all the beer they brought along. But, I will eat my words, they were chilled, friendly, respectful and just having a great time, later on when the crushing started they moved away to the side so they had more room to dance! There is a lesson to be learned!!!

First band up is called B R OAD WAY, a 5 piece band from Saint-Etienne. The sound isn’t great to start off with but it improves a little while later. They played 5 songs, and I must say, I liked the energy that came from the stage, the crowd responded well too, it’s always hard to be the first band performing. I especially liked the song “run for your life” and the last song possibly named “Revolution”. I think I have to get hold of their Album ‘Gang Plank’.

Next artist on the stage is ROVER, I was told he is a very talented young man. And yes, people were correct, what an amazing voice. Before he started his set the young man next to me said: “If you see me cry, don’t worry”, awwww, there must be happy or sad memories attached. Again 5 songs are being played, but at the 4th one something seemed to have gone wrong at the start, just Rover on the keyboard as the musicians have gone off stage, maybe this is the way it was supposed to be. He did a brilliant set, going to buy his album for sure!

ALT-J (Δ) is next, a British band, I think its electronic music, I’m not sure, I have heard of the name but never actually  listened to them. Their debut album is ‘An Awesome Wave’, and they got their name from the delta sign when you hold down the alt  key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. As stated on their FB site: The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives. Also there isn’t really a good description of their music, it is quite a unique sound, I’m not sure it’s for me, than again I feel it will take a few times to listen to them to fully appreciate what they are doing.
For today guys you are not reaching me, but there are a lot of people here who obviously have fully emerged in your sound, maybe next time 🙂

While we were waiting for REVOLVER to come on strange things were happening in front of us, it looked like a filming of a crowd surfer, shame he didn’t do too well….lol, it looked all very awkward and there were many takes!
The guys with the free earplugs came along again as well, and yes, by the third time round the condoms were given out together with the earplugs 😉

Now, the band I have been waiting for, again I don’t know too much, but I love what I have heard, also Isabelle told me how good they are, and I know she has great music taste!! I have to say, from the word go I love them, the quality of the sound and their performance are fantastic, loads of energy being transferred to the crowd who in return show their appreciation by singing along, jumping and clapping, amazing atmosphere! The lead singer reminds me of someone, it takes me a little while to think of the person, it is Michael MacDonald, the American singer-song writer, he has the same smouldering look in his eyes! Eye candy is always a good thing in a band…;-)
For me, they are a great new discovery and I shall be back to see them again, with a bit of luck they may just come over to the UK in the not too far distant future.

The next two acts are very hard for me to get into, DOMINIQUE A and ARTHUR H.
Dominique A. first, the sound is good and some of the tunes are, but I feel I really needed to understand French in order to appreciate him properly. As I said, the performance is faultless, even when the guitarist lost his plectrum, he resorted to using a drumstick to play his guitar….mate, you could have used your! A young boy got pulled out of the crowd that is now pushing in from behind, the kid was stuck in there with a scooter, there is always one isn’t there! I do feel Dominique’s set was a bit long, I got bored towards the end, and a little samey as well.

Arthur was next; again, I feel I needed to have a better knowledge of the French language. He is great though, lively and real good energy all around. We only stayed for a little while as Isabelle needs to catch her train back to Lille, and I had enough by now as well! That of course means missing DON RIMINI, sorry!

Nevertheless it was a good night again, and I’m glad to have spent it with Isabel, au revoir mon ami, until next time!!

On the metro back I sat opposite a young man, he had headphones on and his guitar half out of its case, he seems to be practicing oblivious to everyone else in the packed train. Love it, it’s just him and the music in his world right now!
Nice view to finish a great day with! 🙂


About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

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