Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

From Tory’s Gig to the Machine du Moulin Rouge and BSMS

March 19, 2011
bradspurgeon

I managed to get through my two Irish songs without a single error on Thursday night at the Mecano. I was greatly helped by the fact that it was a drinking crowd, there was lots of talk and noise and so I said, “Hey, this is like singing all alone in my living room!” So I proceeded to do “Only Our Rivers” and “Peter’s Song,” of the Sands Family, without mistakes. I even heard afterwards that one or two people actually liked them….

But it was Tory Roucaud’s night of music to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and she did a great job and got the crowd really excited – those that were not talking. She showed what a great host she is with her open personality and fabulous singing voice and songs. But I’m not sure this Irishwoman even sang as many Irish songs as I did… unless you consider that her own songs are by definition and parentage, Irish.

She also invited Adrien Zerbib, also known as Zucco San, and he played a few of his own and sang with her on her Alice in Wonderland song. Sven Cosnuau also played a set. All in all, a very fine evening, one to remember, and a fabulous and full crowd – you WANT them to carouse….

Last night, as a form of recovery from Thursday, I went to the BSMS concert at the Machine du Moulin Rouge. I have mentioned this band at least twice before on the blog, and last night did not disappoint. The sound at the Machine was just fabulous, and the band got warmed up quickly and did a monumental set. My apologies for the crappy video image point of view from the back wall of the room. I was talking a little time to chill out sitting on the bench with a friend, and feeling like I was… in my living room….

Burnin’ Jacks, BSMS and Yann Destal – a Musical Night in Paris

January 23, 2011
bradspurgeon

Not many open mics on Saturday in Paris, but even if there were, I’d have decided to sacrifice my own music to go and listen to that of some friends and acquaintances. Because at the International was a double-header of the Burnin’ Jacks and BSMS, two excellent rising groups of talented young musicians in Paris. And then at the Bus Palladium, conveniently happening after the other two concerts, was Yann Destal in the third kind of formation in which I have seen him play – I’ll explain in a minute.

At the International I HAD to go and see the Burnin’ Jacks, whom I have watched grow over the last two years from Earle’s open mic at the Lizard Lounge, the Truskel and then the Mecano bar, to what they’re doing today, playing bigger clubs and stages all over the city. Not to mention that Félix, the Burnin’ Jacks’ phenomenally talented lead guitar player, is also the guy who recorded with me in my Ephemere Recordings in July (on Except Her Heart and Memories), and who will play with me in concert at the Disquaires on 27 February.

So it was off to the International to hear them play, and neither I nor the couple of hundred people present were let down by the music or their charismatic performance, led by Félix on the lead guitar and Syd on the lead vocals, and Antoine, jumping around on rhythm guitar like there was no tomorrow. Also, one of my favorite songs of theirs is that composed and sung by Antoine.

After these guys came BSMS, whom I wrote about recently at their concert at the Bus Palladium. So I’m not going to add many words here, just to say it was more of the same rhythmic, slightly spaced out and slightly acid sound last night at the International. Very together, very tight, and very cool bluesy rock.

And speaking of the Bus Palladium, I ended up going over there to hear Yann Destal in band formation. Aside from hearing his voice on the radio for a decade with that 2000 hit song, “Lady (Hear Me Tonight),” I first started listening to Destal at the Tuesday evening after work club in the restaurant above the main concert room of the Bus. There he plays solo and with one or two other musicians doing cover songs acoustically. Then I saw him with one other musician doing some of his latest music at Le China, near the Bastille. So yesterday was the first time I saw him in a full-fledged group situation, with a keyboard player, a drummer, bass guitar, his acoustic guitar and a lead guitar player. There was another singer too, a woman – sorry, don’t know who it was.

In any case, last night’s show really made it clear how interesting a performer and composer Yann is. He’s the kind of performer who has his own musical world, and he inhabits it like others might get involved in reading or writing a fantasy novel. If that sounds like it is pushing things, just check out some of the videos below. His singing voice is as good as ever, but the tunes and lyrics and presentation are very personal, and remind me in some ways of progressive rock from the early 70s. Maybe that’s stretching it too – but that is what came to mind last night.

BSMS at the Bus Palladium

December 4, 2010
bradspurgeon

I decided not to attend the barman’s open mic at the Cabaret Culture Rapide since I had played in the blues jam at the same venue on Thursday night. Instead, I accepted with myself to go out naked into the night – that is to say, without my guitar on my back – and to visit the Bus Palladium to see the band, Blue Shade and the Magical Smile, better known now as BSMS.

I did not regret it. This is a very interesting French band that has been around since 2004 and mixes blues and rock and psychedelia. Sometimes it sounds as basic as Ten Years After, sometimes it sounds like Frank Zappa and sometimes, sure, why not, like Jimi Hendrix. Above all, live, it grooves and moves and the musicians have some charisma, stage presence and coolness – in bred. That was never more visible than after they appeared after a warm-up band that had none of those qualities – gee, what was the name of that band? Doesn’t matter.

Check out the bits ‘n pieces of BSMS:

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