Friday, 20 November 2009

Yann Tiersen by Theo

One of the great things about our jobs is that we finish work at 9pm, whereas at my old job I finished at 10pm thus ruling out midweek musical fun. Even so, we still had to jump in a taxi to make it across town in time to catch Yann Tiersen at the Riveria, arriving too late for Matt Elliot's support slot. Never mind, as he was on stage playing with Yann anyway, along with two chums of ours from Bristol: Robin Allender and Dave Collingwood (formerly of Gravenhurst). It's a small world! Familiar as we are with seeing them play in front of 200 or 300 people (at most) it was a bit strange having them appear as blobs on the stage in front of a sold out crowd numbering well into the thousands as part of tour that has already taken in Beiruit, Athens and Barcelona.
Yann Tiersen is probably best known for his soundtrack to the hit film Amelie, but anyone turning up hoping to hear folksy, accordion led instrumentals would have been bitterly disappointed (especially as tickets were €22!) Instead their largely instrumental set was more post-rock than anything else, though pigeon-holing their sound really does it an injustice as there was way more to it than that. A solo violin piece from Yann was particularly captivating as well as some of the slow-build choral numbers involving the whole band on vocals. As the set consisted of unfamiliar tracks to us, we weren't quite as into it as some of the more enthusiastic members of the crowd but it was really enjoyable and never dull.

Despite the best efforts of the ruthlessly efficient security guards who were trying to herd everyone out as quickly as possibly we managed to get Dave's attention and Robin came out to rustle us back stage. They'd had a hell of a day, with their bus breaking down in Barcelona and having to catch last minute flights, but it was great to see them both. We spent an hour or so backstage, managed a few rusty French phrases, bewitched them with Kate's bump before we all piled in taxis to head our separate ways. The next day they were due to head off to Santiago and then back to France, whistle-stop visits seeing the insides of hotels, service stations and gig venues. It used to be my life. While I had a little twinge of nostalgia last night, I don't miss it!

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