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One evening in February last year, Furtif Garrincha and I were discussing the problems of “big” bands, one of which we agreed as being the fact that they never came to visit us in France; Spoon being an example of this. And then, as if to put a lid on our discussions, God, (or at least some omnipotent force,) decided to fulfil our wish of seeing them return to Paris.
Britt Daniel and his band arrived at Pigalle around midday nine months later. Remote and undoubtedly tired, he seemed a touch inconvenienced. We were intimidated, and silently worried upon what remedy would be needed to help relax the atmosphere. Finally though, they made the first move. As soon as those starting chords struck out they formed a somewhat tense jubilance within us that rooted us to the spot, whilst the sound of thumping sticks upon dusty old vinyls sent a shivering rhythm down our spines. This pure version of “The Ghost Within You Lingers” was their way of showing us they were happy to be here. Finally, there was no need for words.
The four lads took it upon themselves to play in the narrowest part of the Phonogalerie, which became even narrower once the crew had squashed themselves in too. In this small corner, brimming with music archives, we were given their compressed, claustrophobic rendition of “Got Nuffin.” With their growing promiscuity acting as a catalyst, the band’s emotive excitement began to sweat through the impeccable facades of their compositions. The voice of Britt Daniel delved dangerously between the pulsing rhythm and guitar flecks, revealing the hidden desperation contained within the muscular indie hit.
Then there was “Black Like Me,” at the back of a deserted hotel where you wouldn’t have been surprised to catch a glimpse of the ghost of the Overlook keeper. However, the cleansing chords teased out of the glass piano finally exorcised that other spectre; the one of lingering tension.
And then it was dark. It was quite a tour-de-force, at 2 pm, to throw us into those hours when all you have left to do is to cry and dance at the same time; the applause serving as the close of a seemingly timeless parenthesis. And whilst the members of Spoon fell back onto the street, the time came for our eyes to re-adjust to the glare of the street-lamps.
Translation : Harry Denniston