Salut = toutes & tous !
Found this in " Les Inrockuptibles " number 200 / may 26 (it's a weekly= paper)=

First point :

there's a sort of celebration of the issue 200 and they recommand books, movies, records introduced as " hidden treasures " (I quote!) . AND Peter Hammill is in the list with NADIR'S BIG CHANCE . Second point:

In the same issue, there's a reader's letter about PH in Tourcoing. Third (and fantastic) point : the name Hammill is correctly written :)

So here they are ! (I put the English Translation after each French article)

1.Peter Hammill / Nadir's Big Chance (Virgin,1974) DISQUE : =E9videmment l'homme a beaucoup err=E9 dans les mar=E9cages de l'abominable rock progressif avec son groupe Van der Graaf Generator. Mais=

Peter Hammill a aussi flirt=E9 avec la rage, l'urgence et l'=E9nergie la plu= s= brute, devenant du m=EAme coup, l'un des pr=E9curseurs du punk. : ainsi sur= Nadir' big chance, disque passerelle qui use des qualit=E9s manifestes de= l'orchestre tout en =E9vitant compl=E8tement les digressions progressives. O= n dit= que Bowie aurait us=E9 ce disque jusqu'=E0 la corde.= Translation (thanks to Harrap's & Collins & others) 1.

Obviously the man rambled a lot in the progressive rock swampy lands with hi s group VDGG. But Peter Hammill flirted with rage, urgency and raw energy too, and so became one of the punk precursors. That's the way in Nadir's B C, a footbridge record that uses the evident qualities of the orchestra and avoids completely the progressive digressions. One says that Bowie's copy of this record is well worn !

2. Grces vous soient rendues , Peter Hammill Ce soir, au Grand Mix de Tourcoing, j'ai vu ce qu'est un =EAtre habit=E9 par = le feu sacr=E9 de l'art. Les rides vous ont marqu=E9, la chevelure grisonnante encapuchonne votre visage, mais la voix reste intacte, identifiable au premier timbre. Vous avez repris certaines chansons de "Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night" album qui remonte =E0 1973, avec la m=EAme densit=E9, l= a m=EAme

fougue, la guitare parfaitement au diapason, du violon sans que jamais la moindre h=E9sitation ne gauchisse la complicit=E9 nou=E9e entre vous et votr= e=20 >violoniste. Un violoniste hors pair, capable d'envo=FBter le public d=E8s le= s=20 premiers accords, et de la m=EAme =E9toffe que vous. Ah ! Quel concert vieux=20 fr=E8re ! Vous =EAtes l'=E9gal de Wyatt, de Scott Walker, de Tim Buckley, vo= us avez=20 une voix =E0 nulle autre pareille, une classe indiscutable, une ma=EEtrise i= nou=EFe=20

et je m'enorgueillis de vous avoir d=E9couvert voici quelques ann=E9es - et = de=20 vous avoir vu, ce soir, pour la premi=E8re fois -=20 Que cette bafouille me tienne lieu de remerciements plac=E9s sous le signe d= e=20 l'amiti=E9. God bless you, Peter Hammill, vous =EAtes de la race des seigneu= rs. Fabien, Lille Translation (thanks again to Harrap's & Collins & others /God Bless You!)

2. Tonight, in the GM of Tourcoing, I saw a man truly inspired by art. Wrinkles marked you, grey hair put a hood on your face, but the voice remain= s

intact, recognizable by his first tone. You played songs from "Chameleon, a 1973 rercord, with the same density, the same passion. Your guitar and the violin played perfectly together with no hesitation to warp your player's=complicity. Your violonist's unequalled, he is able to infatuate the audienc= e

with his first chord, he is of the stuff you're made of. What a show, old chap ! You are like Wyatt, Scott Walker and Tim Buckley. There's no voice like yours, you have unquestionable class, an outrageous= >mastery and I'm proud of having discovered you a few years ago and I'm proud of having seen you tonight for the first time. This letter's written to thank you very friendly. God Bless you, PeterHammill, You belong to the Lords' race ! Fabien, Lille.

Final comments:

You undestand clearly that progressive rock is not the finest for them ! You can see that the letter is a mix : sometimes Fabien tells us his feeling s and sometimes he speaks to PH. Hope I translated it correctly. Bye for now ! Jean-Michel.


Yes I was in Tourcoing last 18TH may, for the North France Convention.
It is most part of the time a real pity to live in Belgium, especially when you do NOT hide children in a cave. But my country also is in the middle of everywhere, and the PH's mass here are more or less frequent.

For the very first time of my life, I operated a shuttle service between two PH dates

: Verviers and Tourcoing. The club in Verviers was a little one, such a proximity does not always serve the music in itself.

I had the intuition that the french concert would be much better in terms of musicality.

Tourcoing lays in the North of France, just near Lille, a city you can compare to Brussels : about one million souls. But post-industrial and poor.

]From the street, the venue called LE GRAND MIX looked like a real garbage. Old factory or something. Very dirty. Alternative ? Underground ?
The ticketting was in a container ... I first said to my friends : - How does Gailforce send Him into such traps ... ?
> Happily, inside everything was renewed.
The stage was catched by a pseudo-blues singer. He probably knew only two notes, altough his instrument had six strings in a good state. He left around 10 PM.

But the main good news of the evening was the sound high standards of that place. A perfect sound, really. I've never heard it before. I wanted to congratulate the engineer and the architect.

When Peter started on piano, it was clear that the afternoon's soundcheck had been a good one.
I mean : the concert has been a dream. It was maybe my 15th Peter Hammill concert, but I found the man transformed that night : only a pair of mistakes. Singing as if he was in studio, very easily and naturally, without efforts, very often going in the higher range of voice.

Yes, for the first time of my PH fan's life, I decided to stay in the far end of the theater. I was not interrested by the man for a while, but by that smashing sound, that new experience. I closed my eyes as if a headphone was on my ears ... A full delight and a kind of concert I did not know he was able to make.

Yes, every Peter Hammill night is different. Still I guess I'm not too enthusiastic by saying that one was special.

So, the last song before the encore was of course PRIMO. He seemed to break a string of the casio, and continued on the acoustic guitar, then started something completely new : I've heard many rock or jazz concerts; but here he made something I cannot explain ... He played in way ... Well what way ?

I just cannot explain what he made with Primo ... Sorry, it was purely magic ...

I wish you such a rare experience.
I will not stop to love his music.


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