Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

Another Brad Spurgeon Rock Music Video, Following the Demiller, Oh Yes, and the Bridgestone

November 7, 2011

Sorry for speaking of myself in the third person. But there has been a very cool and satisfying thing that has happened in the last two weeks that kind of makes a little concrete confirmation of a project I’ve been working on all year. As regular readers of the blog know, I have been filming people at open mics, and especially interviewing people on-camera at open mics and jam sessions around the world since last February or March in a nearly one-year filming project that will come to an end at the end of this month, or early December. In the last two weeks, two different talented young French musician friends of mine have taken some of the rough footage that I shot of them during performances in Paris and edited these into video clips.

It was done with footage I had NOT intended to use in my open mic film, and some of it was pretty rough stuff done with simple cameras – to say the least. But these two guys, Niki Demiller, and a guy who calls his act/band, All-The-Roads, both put together very cool little music videos with what was available. And they both credited me with the filming. Talk about a beautiful encouraging thing. Check out the footage below. They’re both interesting musicians as well, I have to add. Niki used to front a band called The Brats, which along with BB Brunes, was one of the great hopes of the last decade in the wave of new bands that came out of French youth. He’s now worked on this solo project. All-The-Roads has just begun playing in the open mics around Paris, and I think the guy has a lot of talent – to say nothing of both a physical look to him and a sound/quality of voice as well, that reminds me of Elvis Costello…


Niki Demiller:

PS, these were not the first time my video footage was used in a cool little video. The Red Bulletin Formula One paddock newspaper used more than an hour’s worth of footage I shot on my Canon HV20 HDV tape camera in 2008 and they edited it down to a minute and a half for a little trailer on their web site. It was a race of former F1 drivers and journalists in go karts near the F1 circuit in Spain. Check it out:

End to the India Trip, Niki Demiller’s Video

October 30, 2011

I had a HUGE day at the racetrack today covering the first ever Indian Grand Prix, outside New Delhi. And it turned out to be a success, against all the odds. But that meant returning to my hotel very late and having no time to even consider looking for a place to play tonight, as I must arise early tomorrow morning to go to the airport to catch a flight. Fortunately, though, I have just a neat little nugget to put on this blog today before I leave the country. My friend Niki Demiller, who I met at open mics in Paris – and who even sang at my own brunch at the Mecano a while back – has just put out a video of his concert at the famous Paris landmark venue, the Bus Palladium. The video images are a compilation of stuff I filmed of him that night when I attended the concert. He has put it all together in a very neat little video, adding a soundtrack of the same concert but made by our mutual friend Alexis Raphaeloff, and the whole thing was also edited by Alexis. Check it out, it is very cool, as Niki has a very interesting style and look and a bunch of very cool, and very French songs:

The Burnin’ Jacks (and Niki Demiller) Burn Up the Bus Palladium in Paris

September 17, 2011

I am still trying to catch my breath from last night’s concert at the legendary Bus Palladium in Paris. The praise I am about to give has nothing to do with the fact that I have known and watched the Burnin’ Jacks grow for three years, since they played at Earle Holmes’s open mic at the Lizard Lounge in Paris, and since I first started playing with their lead guitarist, Félix, at the same time. Just looking at any of the videos I put up on the site will strike out all thoughts of bias. No, I was blown away as was the audience in the main concert hall of the Bus Palladium, where so many of France’s stars – and international ones – have played since the place was founded several decades ago.

I kept thinking to myself throughout the evening about how I had watched this band evolve from the time it was just a few guys doing their acoustic rockin’ rollin’ at Earle’s to this full-fledged band with its own sound and a real rock ‘n roll attitude. There was something very Stones about it. Every time I see the Burnin’ Jacks they are better, more together. And the solo that Félix and Antoine did together, oh man, that was an absolute classic. Félix came out with some screeching, crying Hendrixy sounds and then suddenly Antoine joined him and the two did a little chatting back and forth with their guitars and then they segued into Antoine’s country-like song – a favorite of mine – called “Baby Please Turn Round.”

And Syd Alexander’s singing and front-man performance whipped the audience into a frenzy. Scared the hell out of me as he lept endlessly into the crowd and I feared for his safety.

There was even a fabulous drum solo – at the end of the video I put up here – and much, much more (as they say in crappy fanzines).

The room was really full of spectators – including many older ones – and they loved the show, playing along at every move.

But the Burnin’s Jacks were not the only ones I enjoyed or knew or had watched progress. There were two acts before the Burnin’ Jacks. It was the second of the two that I liked the most, and that was actually on the same level as the Burnin’ Jacks but in a completely different way. This was Niki Demiller, whom I have also known through the open mics in Paris for somewhere near three years. Niki, however, unlike the Burnin’ Jacks, has not been on precisely the same road of development since that time. Niki was the leader of a punk-like band a few years ago called The Brats. It was one of the first of the new wave of young bands in Paris in the last decade, and it had some pretty good breaks. I mean, crap, they once opened for Iggy and the Stooges at the Zenith in Paris!

But Niki in the last year or so has buried himself away to write new songs and transform himself into something completely new. He has become a kind of next in line of the tradition of the French crooner or music hall pop rocker, like a cross between Charles Aznavour, Johnny Hallyday, Jacques Dutronc and Eddie Mitchell. Last night was the first time I have seen him perform anything like these new songs with the backing of a full group. And it was very cool indeed. A cool stage persona and an original sound, and about as far from the punk rocker as you can image…yet with some of the edge and anger still there just as it should be.

All together it was a very surprising evening.

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