jump to navigation

Freie Liebe! mars 29, 2006

Posted by herraheri in Sentimental journeys.

Dear Diary,

Monday was a big day.

I got up at eight in the morning. Considering that I didn't have to work, you would say that I'm fucking crazy. Well, that might be true, but besides, we had big plans: We (me and three other drug-addicts) wanted to go to Strasbourg where the fabulous Youngblood Brass Band was playing a concert in the course of their Is that a riot?-all-across-Europe-tour.

We spent a nice day bumming around in Strasbourg. Before we went to the location the concert took place, we visited "ATAC", the anti-globalization supermarket, and bought some 100% French Baguette, Coulommiers cheese, bacon, vine and Prinzen cakes. Haw.


It was a great pleasure for us to spread the breadcrumbs all over the interior of my car. Then it was time to get things started. A little nose-powdering at the toilet of the club and the party could begin.

(!Attention: If you are not interested in a serious review of this concert, please stop reading now and, if you like, try later at the end of the text!)

The evening began with French singer/songwriter/producer David Walters. His roots are in the West Indies, and as a consequence, his music is inspired and influenced by reggae; but also afrobeat, hiphop and some kind of Ben Harper-Style flows into his compositions. So far so good. On stage he had arranged a strange assortment of "instruments": a glass harmonica with a self made resonator, a don't-no-what metal cylinder, a game-boy-like…thing (which made sounds, surprisingly), a kazoo, and such boring things like a guitar, his voice, a shaking banana…oh yeah, and about 8 delayers.

His performance was memorable. I've never seen anybody with such an uncroyable amount of rhythm corpuscles in his blood. He built up his songs by "recording" some beats of music, then delaying it, and recording the next track, delaying it and mixing it with the first one and so on. Unbelievable what came out. Very complex and amazingly exact music, and the sickest of all: it grooved hard. The beat never ran out of round. How can one do this? He kind of records his songs every time he does a gig, without the slightest error. It was exceptionnel. That's the modern kind of one-man-band. The fact that his singing wasn't really my case didn't bother the great impression. At the end of the show, he offered some freestyles to the more or less enthusiastic crowd. All in all, David Walters did a great job and was worth getting to hear.

David Walters 2

Then it was time for the warriors of Youngblood Brass Band to come out and play. YBBB is not a common Brass Band, even if the line-up is (almost) that of a Brass Band in common sense: two trumpets, two trombones, one saxophone, one sousaphone, three percussionists, one of whom is also the rapper of the band. They do hiphop/afrobeat/latin/"riotjazz"/"posthype"/New orleans – Jazz, which may sound awkward right now, but in fact really makes the bear dancing till his feet bleed. No one who has ever been at a concert of YBBB will deny that.

Daughter of the Revolution Joe Goltz

YBBB changed his line-up for the last record (Is that a riot?), which was more experimental than the last ones, so I was curios if the new line-up would still be this loud and intoxicating as they used to be. Well, they are. They rocked the place. It was the fourth Youngblood concert I've been to, and I've never jumped around this much. Ok, you have to be jumping if you are standing in the second row. My ears were bleeding. So what. I still feel like a hearing aid would be great. But it was worth it.

The first three songs were killing it, including their "anthem" Brooklyn (it was in the top ten in Belgium and the Netherlands), which they changed slightly. By that time, I didn't feel my legs any more. It really was a riot, but a friendly one. Some more calm songs followed, and the saxophonist, who seems to be a little introverted in real life, performed a couple of crazy soli.

During the first third of the concert, the crowd was a little stiff (except for the first rows), and the following tribute to New Orleans didn't change that neither. In fact, they are solid at playing traditional New Orleans Jazz, but there are things they can do better.

It's clear that the people at the club didn't know the new album, so they kind of didn't know what to do when YBBB played songs out of it. But later, they played a couple of songs from the old record (Avalanche & Camouflage: YEAH!), and now the people knew what to do: they went crazy, all screaming and jumping around…it was sick. In the end, Youngblood could play what they wanted, the people were enthusiastic about it. I was sweating blood.

Youngblood 1
Now that the rush of blood has gone, I can say that YBBB is now performing better than in Darmstadt (one and a half years ago). Ok, when the former sousaphonist was still playing, the band seemed to play more exactly, they sounded as one big sound box. Now, it's a little confused from time to time (to be precise: the New-orleans-tracks and some new stuff), and some of the songs don't groove this hard any more. However, they still know how to make a crowd go scream and dance the souls out of them. The line-up as a whole is better than in old days: the saxophonist knows what he does, the trombonists are insane animals as usual and the sousaphonist is getting better and better. Additionally, D.H.Skogen really polished up his rapping skills. But despite their musical development, they didn't loose their energy playing live.

For me, they are at least one of the best (live-)bands existing nowadays, no doubt.

The concert was a ball and worth every euro paid.


herra? héri!

P.S: For more frankanatic pictures from the show go to herra's pic corner!