"Step on the gas! FULL THROTTLE!" I was shouting to Tyna, my friend, who was currently behind the steering wheel. I was jokin', because we were approaching Perpignan some 6 hours before the gig - in our small Citroën Saxo car and behind us was a half of the Europe - 20 hours of driving, 1600 kms... Yep, the same car that took us to Amsterdam to see Asian Dub Foundation gig now covered a distance from Prague to the southern France. We were tired, but anxious to see our friend, who studies in Perpignan and we were really lookin' forward to go to Festa d'Hiver together...', 'I didn't sleep for some 27 hours now and I couldn't go to sleep after the arrival. But that didn't matter, we have our own experiences with this kind of....of....clubbing.
We entered Parc d'Expo slightly after eight. The architecture was really interesting. A round hall with the auditorium in the middle. Bars were near the side walls. But there was one really big fuckup with the drinks. First you had to buy a "drinking ticket" for some 2,5 euros and after doing this you were allowed to buy a beer for another 2,5 euros. Welcome to the western Europe amigos!
There was one band on the stage already, the name was "100 g de tetes" (French weed smokers knows what this is about). The mix of SKA and reggae wasn't bad, but it wasn't our cup of the tea... Because after them there was the first top of this evening - french punglist (the mix of jungle and punk) group La Phaze. So... We went outside and scored our first coffee and one energy drink.
As we soon found out, it was a good idea. La Phaze entered the stage and the crowd went mad. We were standing in the first/second line, but it was totally imprudent, or more precisely said IMPOSSIBLE to stay there. With the first riffs of a guitar player and after a few spins of a DJ there started the true and only. People started jumping around, pushing one to another and doing a really massive and phat stage dives. I survived five minutes out there but then I had to sound the retreat.
The rest of the gig I enjoyed from the back line. La Phaze played mostly songs from their latest album "Fin de Cycle" (Nouveau defi, Assault Final, Rude Boy, Scott - without Rocky Singh of course), but they didn't forget their well known CD "Pungle Roads" (which I like more than Fin de Cycle) and played phat tunes like R.A.S, Nervoushealth, In Jury and others...
And the acoustic...it was MARVELLOUS. Again I was almost crying, when I had to compare czech and french sound conditions... When I was down near the stage or on the top of the auditorium, the sound was still perfect!
The performance of La Phaze was coming to an end, everybody was totally satisfied. But then happened something which I didn't get. As an encore La Phaze played a song called "Police on my back". I heard this song presented by Zebda and Asian Dub Foundation. Well, on the Zebda and ADF Paris bootleg it sounds funny, but generally - this tune is a crap. And that was the only encore. I guess that this song is pretty popular in France, because everyone was singing with the band, wawing their hands and whatever, but me and my friends - we were pissed off! La Phaze is a marvellous band itself and there is no need for them to play some cover songs... But - in general, the gig fulfilled my expectations.
After this show it was time for another coffee... But hey, we had no change. We had some, but not enough for all of us. So we drank only 3 coffees in a circle of 6 people. Like joint goes around the circle. The next band - Patrice (pretty popular in Germany) would be good, if we weren't tired like bitches... Slow reggae riddims nearly made us sleep, while sitting in the middle of the auditorium. The only thing that kept me alive was my camera. I was takin' some psycho-strange pics of a people passing around me in the dark (see the photoreport). It was kinda fun.
But then... The band we were waiting for - Le Peuple de l'Herbe - started to prepare their instruments on the stage. After a short while they popped up on the stage and started their drum'n'jazz hop carnival. The beginning was slow - as usual. But then JC001 appeared on the stage and injected a huuuge doze of adrenalin and energy to the veins of the audience and also to the main artery of this evening - the band itself.
His beatbox in the song "20 years gone" is well known, but here, on LPDLH home ground it sounded even more phat than in Prague, where I saw them two months back. The songs with a JC's input were going alongside with those with instrumental content and made a perfect musical mix together!
My favourite pieces like Mission, Adventure, Gumzilla, Les rues de St. Paul or the most famous track No Escape, originally with an input of UK APACHE, but JC with his excellent rap skills and at least 3 different colours of his voice substituted him more than excellently. His typical "stage games" - like tossing the mic from hand to hand kept the eyes of the audience on him from the moment he appeared on the stage till he went down to backstage to chill out a bit...
The atmosphere was more "tranced" than during the La Phaze gig, musically it was more exciting. The main difference (d'apres moi) are those punk riffs. LPDLH are excellent music experimentators, I love their voice interludes. If I have to compare LPDLH and LP gig, I have to say, that the win of LPDLH is very tight...
The gig ended and we were tired, but happy... There was one more band playing, but we had not enough of strenght to listen and watch even one more band - we went home.
But I have to say, that this even was worth to see despite it was 1600 kms far from our home and it costed nearly 30 euros (for which you can visit 4-day long music festival in CZ)...
Well peace out y‘all, take care and keep supporting your favourite bands!