Nancy France

14 May 1999

with Stuart Gordon

Reviewby Koen V

Friday, Nancy: nice little (but not too) place by some canal, and a verrry energetic show!

Peter was actually so revved up that in the second keyboard set, Tenderness (as prescribed by the setlist) was abandoned and replaced by a raucous Faculty X, and things were just pretty wild in general :-)

Half a world-premiere tonight: halfway into the traditional final song (for this line-up at least) Primo, Peter broke a string, asked Stuart for some obligato playing, and switched to acoustic guitar for the rest of the song...

A thunderous, and if I remember correctly, also a world-premiere for this line-up, Traintime as first encore, and Time for a Change as second encore... A satisfying evening.

Nancy France14-5-99

From Jean-Michel

Outside / the place / the informations= The Terminal Export in Nancy is quite easy to find , near the famous

Stanislas' square. Tickets were available in FNAC (I got mines before= travelling : we live in Saumur /650 km to reach Nancy / and we arranged a=family trip ! ).

No advertisement ... in the streets I walked. Minimal information in the local papers : a photo ( an old one ! A Corbin one circa 80 ) and a few lines in "Le R=E9publicain Lorrain" with the habitu= al=

mistakes : H A M M I L or H A M I L L :)

A show guide mentionned the Hammill concerts in Strasbourg and Sandweiler in the week-end. Finally, the national press (Liberation) in two lines : l'ermite inclassable du rock britannique excentrique (the unclassifiable hermit of the eccentric british rock ! )

en solo =E0 Strasbourg. Knowing this newspaper, not quite a compliment The Terminal Exp. is a small and warm place . It's an ex-store and one stil= l=could see the canal boats on the water just above . Before the show, some of the people waiting outside were walking on the canal bank.=

Inside My opinion:
a place perfectly sized for a Hammill show ! The bar, the drinks, the stools, people sitting or standing. But no noise ! I was impressed by the listening in the audience : quite good to enjoy the performance. I didn't count but I guess we were about 100/120 for the show. Ages ? People from 20 to 50 ...

Lights off : PH takes place on keyboards , he' s in blue . Stuart Gordon is all in black. Minimal "lightshow" and excellent sound ( before the first encore, PH said : "merci Etienne pour le son" and we all agreed with warm applause)

The show :

on keyboards:

- comments=
PH created a new French word ( accordissement) just after his tuning. We were in front of two guys apparently relaxed, in a good mood. And so was the crowd :)

An excellent debut (Siren and JGF), clear voice, good playing. On Nothing Comes, PH seemed more hesitant in his playing but the song was ok. Energetic and abrasive conclusion for the first part with Unrehearsed. As ever, great= playing by Stuart Gordon on the 4 songs !

I was pleased to see them as a cohesive unit, and Stuart had space (the right space, not too long!) in the music. A very good line-up indeed...



The guitar set began funnily for us, less for PH : he missed the stool and almost fell ! But the playing was great. I guess I prefered PH on guitar that night.

Comfortable was absolutely fantastic : PH and SG breaking out, Hammill= alternating on soft and raucous voice, music breaks. May I say that PH voice was excellent that night ? So, everything's in its place, it really contained=

all the ingredients for a memorable version. For me : highlight of the show = !=

The following three were great but suffered a bit the comparison with= Comfortable on the setlist. Nightman could've been more aggressive , Shingle Song was right and we enjoyed a vigorous Amnesiac on acoustic guitar with Gordon's violin at the top. PH stood up and pushed back the tool, saying " the second half without the seat !" =

--- back to keyboards:

comments :

Peter and Stuart turned their backs on us ... It was time for a chat ! Faculty X was not in the decided setlist as a smiling PH said : " a slight change ". And PH began his singing with a wink adressed to Gordon : "When the change is going to come, the change has got to come " . Powerful version ! Then came a calm A Way Out. Nothing special to mention on this one except it's a good song. The first half of the show ended with Stranger Still : a great arrangement, with a calm first part. On my left, one of my neighbours was singing for himself !

I have to thank him that he didn't cover Peter's voice ! In the final instrumental section (just before the STRANGER /WORDLY MAN one) Stuart's playing fitted perfectly the song. ---

guitar again:


comments A raucous GIFT OF FIRE to begin that I didn't recognize before the words. The

instrumental debut with Gordon leading the dance, then PH voice : what a voice ! Along the show, I was impressed by the powerful rendition of the songs : only two people to make so much "noise" ! Between the songs, Peter joked... Asking himself why he said Stranger Still (f.e.) with an Italian accent !Last Frame. Once again excellent, one of my tonight faves. Time for Primo,=20 with PH saying " c'est la derni ere ce soir". A change of guitar in the middle=

( broken chord ?) and the end on the acoustic one. I didn't listen to Primo recently but the song was interesting the way it was played. I suspect some change in the lyrics too ( Yes we forget ) but I'm not sure. They left the stage, walking on our right , we saw them behind the bar ! few minutes later they were back,

Peter crashing his cigarette on the stage. encores

TRAINTIME (keys) In the audience, someone asked " on en veut 10 !", then someone else shouted "MERCI!" . Peter answered "Merci =E0 vous" and began to play. Immediately the

recognizable rhythm led us to the passage of time ! A great song that never fails ! One more interruption, an empty stage for a while and finally... TIME FOR A CHANGE (guitar) Someone added "on en veut 20! " and it was the last number of that night. Peter's voice worked well in the high section, it was a good and beautiful conclusion.

PH said "bonne nuit" and it was all. A good show by two men in excellent shape, an evening to remember, and, of course , the hope he'll be back soon !

Salut =eo tous !=(If you were there, The Man with the Yellow Sweater and the Black Rucksack ! = )

Jean-Michel. ***

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