[ gigs & special events ]

La Cigale, Paris, France, 15 May 2004
Devil - Jack The Ripper - Beautiful Thing - Conversation - I Can Walk in your Mind - Century's Time - Biro - Orchestra - Liquefy - Body - Cells - Not Scared, Terrified - Jesus Says - Glowing Logos

Watch The Servant perform "Cells" at La Cigale
filmed by Lucie Yeung

Capacity: 1400
Audience: 1400 (sold out)
Concert Length: 70 mins.


Great night for me too with a brilliant performance from The Servant! A few days earlier in Brussels , Dan had told me that the Paris show was very important to them and I understood that it would be the show into which they would put the most effort. And they did put the best of them into it.

I arrived outside La Cigale shortly after six. I met Sandrine aka Mooness and my old Blur friend Soline. We chatted outside the venue for about an hour before the doors opened. Meanwhile, we saw the band members walk in and out of the building a couple of times. Surprisingly no-one seemed to notice. At one point I saw Dan come out and walk in my direction while talking on his mobile. He spotted me facing him, smiled and came to kiss me hello with an ingenuous “Hey Maryse! Comment ça va ? I’ll see you after the gig, ok?” Well, that’s how unpretentious and sweet Dan is!

In Paris the audience was larger, younger, wilder and there were more girls. The lights went out. The four boys walked onstage. The crowd cheered and girls screamed. Chris launched into an extended intro to Devil and Dan opened the show with a huge shout. I was standing on the front row right at the edge of the stage facing Chris. Dan was wearing a red long-sleeved T-shirt that said “Black”. A riotous version of Devil ensued with more shouts from Dan, furious drumming from Trevor and very impressive guitars. Devil is definitely a fitting concert-opener with a large, responsive audience.
“Bonsoir. Comment allez-vous ? Vous allez bien ? Nous allons bien aussi.” was how Dan greeted the Parisian crowd. In fact he spoke mostly French between songs and everyone loved it because he has such a lovely accent.  The audience responded with a huge cheer and a sexy Jack The Ripper followed. As in Brussels Matt had us clap our hands over the la-la-la’s.
“Pardon, il y a un problème avec le batteur ? Je t’aime aussi mon amour !” made girls scream again, of course! The crowd swayed to Beautiful Thing.
Conversation rocked on. Dan shouted, whispered, produced crazy wobbly sounds and shouted again “I wonder what FO.O.O.O.R.!!!!”. Chris played amazingly fast.
I Can Walk in Your Mind made the crowd sway and sing.
“Hou!!! Il fait chaud ! Et alors… voulez-vous écouter une nouvelle chanson ? Hé, pourquoi pas ?” led into a breathtakingly-touching Great Century’s Time. How beautiful this song is! I think it is my favorite Servant song already. It sounds less poppy than the band’s other songs, more indie rock if it means anything at all. Again we got amazing guitars from both Chris and Dan. I LOVED it.
A fiery Dan delivered a wild version of Biro, closing with “Maybe there is something for you.  A little something, like, I don’t know, a loved one? A bass player? That’s what makes life worth living for me. And you know that!”  “OK, un autre chanson. Qu’est-ce que c’est ? ” and the first notes of Orchestra were played to great applause.
After Orchestra, Dan commented: “Vous chantez bien ! Vous chantez plus bien de moi. Je n’aime pas ça !” and went on “Alors, un chanson pour les filles. Pour vous oui, mais pour elle aussi, et elle !” and  a wonderful rendition of Liquefy ensued. Dan teased the girls on the front rows reaching for their hands and they went berserk!
Then a girl cried out “I love you so much Dan! Do you want to marry me Dan? I want to marry you! And Dan went: “Do I want to marry you?” Matt burst out laughing. “I don’t even know you! Alright then!”  Body was splendid.
“Salut tout le monde!” The crowd clapped hands on the intro of Cells. Dan went mental, shouted and distorted his voice. Chris played wonderfully well. Another awesome live song this is!
“Merci Paris ! Bonne nuit !” Dan said. “Oh you are fucking good!”, Matt added and they all walked off the stage. The crowd screamed for more.
Chris and Dan returned to the stage. Chris sat down on a stool with his acoustic guitar, Dan stood at the mike with his 6-strings and they played a mellow, magnificent acoustic version of  Not Scared.
The crowd cheered and Dan said : “Oh merci, merci mille fois ! Oh vous êtes très gentils !” Jesus Says was a guaranteed highlight. The crowd went wild. Dan went furious. In the middle of the song, a fan heaved herself up onto the stage and started dancing next to Dan. It would have been fun if she had not stayed onstage till the end of the song. Obviously her aim was to have her picture taken next to each band member, shout into Dan’s mike and demonstrate her dancing skills. Dan remained unruffled and went on singing. After the song, the girl was booed when she started chatting Dan up. By then, the band had probably reckoned that the best way to get rid of her was to leave the stage. So Dan said “I can see you! - Bonne nuit ! ” and offstage they all went. They returned the next minute to close the show with a mellow Glowing Logos which Dan dedicated to “Daddy”. After singing “to someone like me”, he asked the crowd “Now come on! Are you like me?” A provocative “Now listen! I could touch you where your boyfriend cannot find” was followed by a VERY sexy ‘Yes, yes, You’d be miiiiine!”. The song closed with great guitar-playing again from Chris. “Merci ! merci ! Aurevoir ! Bonne nuit ! La prochaine fois ! » Dan kindly said before walking offstage.

After this sweaty, sexy and successful show I collected my MD at the soundboard, wished my Blur friend goodnight and headed backstage with Sandrine and my husband & daughter. I said a quick hello to Matt and Chris. When Dan was through talking and laughing with the Astonvilla (support band) guitar-player, he looked at me kind of saying “OK Maryse, I’m yours now!”. A great thing about Dan is that, when he spares you a moment, the time he gives you is really all yours. He looks you in the eyes, listens carefully to what you say, responds and asks questions without ever trying to rush things. That’s very pleasant. So Dan and I had an amiable little chat. A couple of pix were taken and then we kissed goodbye, wished each other a safe trip back home and went our ways. Sandrine and I parted, delighted to have spent a great night together.

The downside of it now is that, after attending that amazing concert, both my hubby (who has seen Blur a dozen times) and my daughter (only once) now say that they prefer The Servant’s shows to Blur’s. (By the way, you may not know but I am a HUGE Blur fan)…. Well… what can I say now?

listen to songs from The Servant's excellent concert at La Cigale
Beautiful Thing
In a Century's Time
Glowing Logos

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[ last updated, February 9, 2005 ] © obviously the servant