If it remains to be proven that Rock’n’Roll can still save lives in 2022, The Bobby Lees and The Schizophonics have demonstrated hands down that in terms of distribution of slaps, they landed there. Two of today’s hottest live bands in one night: balls, baby!
Tonight, it’s quite exceptional to underline it, we are going to La Maro without having the slightest doubt that we are going to attend what will inevitably be one of the biggest rock’n’roll evenings of 2022: disappointment impossible ! Because this double poster of The Schizophonicsone of the biggest stage slaps possible, we know it since their last visit to Paris in 2019, and The Bobby Leescertainly the most impressive “punk rock” combo (but not only…) that has arisen in recent years, is literally UNBEATABLE.
8:05 p.m .: Just enough time to complain about the fact that there has not been enough promotion regarding the presence of The Schizophonics tonight in Paris (many of our music-loving friends didn’t know about it!), and to discuss the end of fat with Pat Beers by remembering the wonderful concert given in 2019 at the Astrolabe in Orléans, and the madness begins. At the risk of repeating an affirmation that tends to be formulaic and that won’t convince anyone (at least before attending a group set, because YOU HAVE TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT!), Pat Beersit is something like a Mick Jagger very pissed off, who would like to compete Iggy Popwho plays the guitar like jimi hendrixand who sings like Rob Tyner or like James Brown, depending on the pieces. With him, his wife, Lety, who officiates behind the drums and carries the barracks, and a new bass player (it must be said that the bass players change regularly!) who will prove to be as convincing as spectacular. The music of The Schizophonics cheerfully travels the spectrum of US rock from the sixties to the seventies, with a garage accent that brings it all up to date, and, icing on the cake, very successful soul atmospheres. But The Schizophonics also cover the classic Train Kept A Rollin’in a version that ridicules that ofAerosmiththe MC5 (Back to Comm), which is logical, that Roxy Music (Remake Remodel), which is more surprising.
Of course, in addition to Pat’s breathtaking guitar playing, it’s the absolutely superhuman physical energy he displays – 1h05 of unleashed set – which built the legend of The Schizophonics : we don’t remember ever seeing a guitarist roll on stage while still throwing napalm guitar solos! As for his jumps and his big gaps, they always make us fear for his health…
At the end, a friend who was seeing him live for the first time shook hands with Pat, who was leaving the stage, and told him: “You are the Jimi Hendrix of the 2020s! “. Not less.
9:40 p.m .: We would tend to think that it is impossible for anyone to play after The Schizophonicsbut we trust The Bobby Lees, the big, big discovery of the past two years, the most emotionally intense punk rock band around. And all the more so since, while Pat and Lety revisit the classic past of Rock’n’Roll, The Bobby Lees play very different music, totally rooted in the violence and existential malaise of 2022. And the recent release of their excellent new EP, Hollywood Junkyardhas proven that they are virtually unmatched in this field.
” I left my love dyin’ / Somewhere down on the way / Stuck on that dead bus and then / Left in a desert way / I’ll never get it back, no never get back / My head after what I saw… (I left my love to die / Somewhere down the road / Stuck in that dead bus then / Abandoned in that desert road / I’ll never find it again, I’ll never find it again / My head after what I saw… ): the merciless text of Guttermilkone of the most iconic songs of The Bobby Lees, sums up perfectly what is going on in the songs of the impressive Sam Quartin : the difficulty of keeping a minimum of mental balance in a world of violence where everything that matters to us will end up being destroyed… no less! And when she sings, when she recites her lyrics, when she screams her rage, Sam has the potential to become one of the great rock’n’roll icons of tomorrow… even if her suffering is regularly perceptible on stage, for example when she needs to isolate herself for a few seconds from the reigning chaos…
Of course, the killer cover of the hymn – well forgotten – of Richard Hell, Blank Generationand its remarkable text (“ I was sayin’ let me out of here before I was even born, it’s such a gamble when you get a face” – I said “let me out of here” before I was even born, it’s such a gamble when you get your face…) is a perfect reference, even if too few people in the room will take it up! And then the interpretation of the titles of the EP Hollywood Junkyard will make the set even more intense: the two songs Hollywood Junkyard and Strange Daysperhaps the most original of the group to date, demonstrate without any ambiguity the capacity of the group to move towards a more ambitious music, even stronger emotionally.
Compared to the albums, what is striking live is the incredible power of the trio that accompanies Sam: in a punk spirit, they offer music that is ultimately very close to metal, which has a radically destructive impact on hearing and on the listener’s brain. Macky, behind his drums, is a spectacularly effective drummer, radical in his striking, but little Kendall brings us a veritable tsunami from her bass: such a rhythm is blessed bread for Nick’s solo eruptions and for Sam’s vociferations. Wow!
Perfect conclusion of the set on a Be My Enemy whose bellicose chorus we sing without restraint, before the little bonus of Ragged Way as a quick reminder, the scheduled time being exceeded…
It’s a little past 10:30 p.m., and we leave La Maroquinerie half-stunned by this double discharge of extremist rock’n’roll. It will be difficult to tell that to those who were not there, but we will try, as every time we live a perfect evening, like this one.
Photos: Robert Gil
Text: Eric Debarnot