mardi 22 avril 2014

John The Conqueror

After a well-deserved Easter break, I'm back in town and before my computer screen -that is to say, before the numerous photos I still have to sort out and work on. I'm also taking another break from the photos of California to go back two months ago, when I was lucky enough to see John The Conqueror in concert in Barcelona. Here goes a bit of context.

I was going through a moment of slight musical frustration while seeing that a lot of international artists were excluding Spain from their tours, something that I finally understood not so long ago (thanks, Spanish government, for increasing the taxes and making it so expensive for national and international artists to play in the country). So to try and fight that feeling, I checked the musical programme of one of my favourite concert venues in Barcelona, the Apolo, hoping to find something exciting. Among unknown names, suddenly appeared before my eyes "John The Conqueror - produced by Dan Auerbach". You have to visualize my raised eyebrows at this point. Quid?... Filled with curiosity and expectations, I immediately listened to their first self-titled album. I had hardly finished listening to the record that my concert ticket was bought... Yeah, just like that. This is just one of these records, you know... Some kind of power blues-rock that takes you to the guts and irresistibly makes you want to move your feet at the same time.

So of course, I was pretty impatient to see them live. I rushed to the Apolo on the 15th of February, thinking I was running late. I arrived there just to find the three musicians smoking their cigarettes before the entrance. That just set the tone for the gig that I was about to see. And my... What a fucking great concert! The three of them just looked perfectly at ease and relaxed on stage and played their "soulful amalgam of bluesy rhythm, smooth bass and tight percussion" (as much as I'm trying, I just don't seem to come up with a better description!) for I don't even know how long because I was so caught up in the moment that I didn't see time pass by. This mixture of energy, which sometimes verges on electric rage, and of bitter-sweet melancholy somehow takes you right from the first notes, right from the first guitar riffs and doesn't let you go until long after the last note resonates in your ears. Saying that these three guys are amazing musicians would be an understatement at this point. A guitar, a bass and a drum kit, it's all that it takes them to convey a whole array of emotions. 

Sure as hell: it was one of these raw, soulful concerts that you leave feeling both happy and slightly melancholic. My only hope now is that they come back to continue conquering Europe real soon...

In blue and red
Smokin' drums
Music for the soul, music for the feet
Beers and drums

For once, I managed to make a couple of videos that are not shaky... but of course, as it would have been too easy, the sound is crappy! Guess I was standing too close to the stage and the amps. Anyway, I'm still sharing the links if you're interested in having a glimpse at what the gig looked like: I recorded "Lucille" and "Southern Boy", one of my favourites of the first record.

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