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 English Version of Yaew's review of April 9th Gig

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Zen2003
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Registration date : 15/02/2005

MessageSujet: English Version of Yaew's review of April 9th Gig   Ven 11 Juin - 11:25

Live Pleasant Fiction & Waiting for Words - Caves St Sabin



On Saturday May 8th 2010, your servitor went to attend 2 concerts at Les Caves Saint Sabin, produced by Night Live Events.

First, Pleasant Fiction, a german synthpop band, with a growing reputation over the Rhine, coming for the first time in France, followed by Waiting for Words, French synthpop band that has been reviewed here a couple of times and who knows how to renew themselves of the years.

The party starts with a DJ Set by Warum, administrator of the site www.synthpop.fr, mixing many synthpop/electropop from various periods and artists like Parralox, Lavantgarde, Mesh...

Then Pleasant Fiction comes on stage. The singer, Niels was, until recently, with a keyboard player, Dirk. This one gone, a member of F.P. (another German act) took keyboard for German concerts… but who can it be to perform here for this unique French gig?
Peter Rainman, aka People Theatre, who have remixed more than a hundred different artists and now working on his debut album, a double CD. Peter is actually producing the new Pleasant Fiction album.

Niels arrives on stage very classy looking, with a nice hat and a cane. Peter
is looked with a simple suit, some dark sunglasses, very well looking with the band’s futurist sound

The first album of Pleasant Fiction, "A Smile in the Crowd", had some very nice melodies but sounded a bit cheap in terms of production. Since then, sound changed a his now more powerful, without losing a strong melodic side. The most recent released EP of Pleasant is entitled "Disaster".

Many danceable and synthetic tracks, with catchy melodies were performed
tonight, such as "Did You Ever Want", "Only The Fear". Niels have an excentric way of moving, tying to have the French audience dancing as they discover the band for the first time.
Compared to a lot of German synthpop bands Niels sings extremely well live which surprised me. No out of tone mistakes or very few.






In the middle of this BPM attack we can find a peaceful track "A Last Goodbye", and then some trancey songs that makes you fly, before ending on the powerful "All Things".




Like many in the crowd, I was pleasantly surprised by this very good performance. Too bad the audience was not that receptive on some moment.
Pleasant Fiction is quit unknown in France. The set ends under the applauses, but not as much as we could find in Germany (which is finally not something I was expecting)

In between bands, DJ M@T proposes a synthpop set featuring Polakreis, And One... And here we go for Waiting for Words.

The band’s line up moved on since last concert on April 9th . From now on, ZeN remains on his own in control of the musical project, after the planned El Lute’s departure, and the one, less expected of Mycrotonik, both of them wishing to move on toward new musical orientations, and other private lives projects.
Zen told me more, in an interview, about the future projects. This interview
will be soon online.
So ? What about this new live formula ? ZeN is now accompanied by Grégory Ledroit (from the projects Electrocaïne et Just Two) on keyboards and machines, for a 100% electro line up. ZeN even leaves the mike to stand behind a small keyboard for instrumental moments, 2 or 3 times during the concert.

The set has been modified, many tracks reworked and visual screenings are still there… Summary of the evolution...







The set starts now with Here Comes The Shame, a classic track from Waiting For Words, but remixed in a club version inspired by the Electro Vocoded Remix by Commuter (the man himself helped ZeN to produce this new version). Travelling Man is then performed in a version close to Rings The Phone Mix, with still the video clip in the background, with the previous line up of the band, like a souvenir of the times changing.

Then comes the cover of Military Fashion from the German synthpop/EBM band, And One, efficient cover, even more powerful than the live version of the original band itself (that sounds more comical than the studio version, a deliberate choice of the band, which I respect). The audience that came in numbers tonight appreciates the sound more electro, more powerful of the actual WFW.

The tone gets calmer with the mid tempo Out of Control, then the remixed
version of The Curve, inspired by the People Theatre remix, and the new single to be released "Miles Away" (with, as a virtual guest, Soe_V, ZeN’s
wife
).
I always thought it was a good synthpop track, but to which a little something was missing and I started to get a bit bored with it… But tonight,
obviously, what was missing has been found and this track sounded much more powerful than in the past.







The band’s hymn "Cause I Do Believe" is then performed. This tracks might have been improved by a changed and new break too. The track has a very powerful beat, but it makes me feel weird not having El Lute’s percussions during the break, that now is a more classical synthpop sounding.
Having said that, ZeN & Gregory had a very limited time to re work the all set (less than 2 weeks during which they did a crazy job by re arranging all tracks!).
The Camouflage cover, "We Are Lovers" stays loyal to what WFW always did and the set ends under the audience applause after the very emotional "By Your Side", in a version where drums have been programmed differently, more powerful Waiting for Words have a new future ahead of them, proving once again they could renew themselves despite of times changing.

Respect to Peter Rainman (aka People Theatre) for the drum programming of Military Fashion Show, Miles Away and Travelling Man, and his sound engineer work during the set.

On my side, I’m more than curious to hear the new album of Waiting for Words, scheduled for release before the end of the year.

(pics by Kevin Bertin)
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English Version of Yaew's review of April 9th Gig
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