No news on the blog for a long time and especially since the thunderstruck news received on the night of the 10th to the 11th of January whilst being precisely in New York at the same time. How to keep on writing after the news that your number one artist and godfather to many other musicians has left the music planet to watch us from the black star ? I guess reviewing this gig is probably the best cure…
I have always been a fan of Edwyn Collins and his music either through his first band Orange Juice or his solo career. Originally known as a band from Glasgow, Scotland, Orange Juice were one of the most inspiring bands of the early 80’s, mixing indie rock sounds with a Caledonian soul sensitivity. Their leader went on having a interesting solo career, in particular thanks to two great first albums but mainly with his 3rd LP “Gorgeous George” and its massive “A girl like you” global hit. Pretty weird…but nice to hear people whistling this song in France in particular and not having a clue about music in general (hello “Losing my Religion” by R.E.M….).
Anyway, everything for the best for Mr. Collins in his life, the man being known also for his witty mindset and his skills as producer.. until in 2005 he had two sudden brain haemorrhages in a row within a few hours’ time. He miraculously escaped and despite being physically diminished went back to life little by little but even more amazing to music since the early 10’s.
Seeing him live was particularly very moving and astonishing at the same time… The man is clearly struggling to find his words between songs but with such a sense of dignity and joy that this is a real beautiful lesson for many of us I guess. The way he arrives on stage on his own with a cane and without wanting to get any help was to me the best example of what I am trying to explain. The most amazing thing is that when he sings there is no difference in his voice and tone compared to before the accident and that he really is on top of his game when music is concerned.
The setlist was excellent, covering all periods of his career and the band really supportive of their leader, including his son who came to sing for a song. I more than recommend as well the 2014 movie documentary made on his recovery, called “The Possibilities are Endless“. Incredible film about music, the will to survive and the importance of the Scottish Highlands on the way he went back to life. And what a beautiful place Scotland is by the way.
A great way then to get over our life-without-Bowie blues and keep on sharing news and reviews on music!