Woven Hand in Paris (F), 23. November 2008
thanks Erwan, Alex and Magali!

Review by Alex:

Woven Hand (Paris, La Maroquinerie 23.11.2008)

So after the Kortrijk show our next concert was in Paris at the location called “La Maroquinerie” which is in the Rue Boyer. When we arrived it was great to meet Tony and Magali again. Although it was the first time to say “Hello” to Marie and Philippe – I only knew them via the internet so far. We had some time and so we went into the restaurant of the club. A very nice place and it was obvious that you get real excellent food here. The band was also there and they were enjoying their meal – there was a special “Woven Hand Menu” on the black board which featured the following: “Cabecou tori au miel et sa petite salade” and some “Pavé de rumsteack Poelé” and finally “Crème de Champignons epinard et pennes” – all French speakers will now get very hungry, I guess!

As we knew that it’s necessary to be one of the first to queue to get a place directly in front of the stage, we didn’t stay too long in the restaurant and began to wait outside until the doors opened. As we were waiting for the entrance the queue was getting longer and longer – no real surprise, because the concert was already sold out a few days before! Then suddenly the road manager came to me and told me the following “Please no flashlights tonight”. So he remembered me when I took pictures in Kortrijk the day before. “Yes, Sir!”, I answered. When the doors opened we were going down a stair and then on the right side there was another room which is the hall for the concerts. It’s a typical Punk-Rock location – very intimate and not really high. Also the stage is not really a big one. So we found us in the first row again, this time I was standing on the right side – in front of Peter. More and more people found their way into the hall and then the support band The Cave Singers began. A three piece from the USA played a wonderful set of eight songs (“Ramble”, “Seeds of Night”, “Helen”, In a House”, “New Drum”, “I don’t mind”, “Oh Child” and “Dancing on our Graves” – as stated on the setlist which I get after the show). Unfortunately I couldn’t buy their CD after the concert because they were sold out! So in the meantime I got my copy (thanks to Tony!) which is called “Invitation Songs”. A great album which is worth to check it out!

Well, after The Cave Singers grab their things together the club was full crowded. The air was not really good anymore and I thought to myself, that this is gonna be a very hot and exhausting night. Then the lights went out again and Woven Hand entered the small stage of La Maroquinerie. A nice drowning opens “Kicking Bird” again and like the show before in Kortrijk it kicked ass. Also it was obvious that the light was very dark again. So if you were not at least in the first rows you had no chance to take good pictures without flashlight. Luckily I had an excellent position to take at least some good shots. This night, Woven Hand sounded more heavy – so the location was perfect again. After the first song of the show the crowd cheered and applauded loudly and Ordy, who was not sitting directly behind David as usual, said to the crowd: “No flash”, because some people in the back took pictures by using the flashlight. “The Beautiful Axe” followed in which David shook his feet wildly again. And during this song the light was sometimes like it has to be – more brighter, so you could really see the faces of the band. But this was only for a few seconds and then it was dark and blue again. So you had to be very concentrated on the light changing, when you wanted to take good pictures. “Merci beaucoup” from David lead into some vocal improvisations (“She is turning into gold”) before “The Speaking Hands” rocked the hall intensively. During this one David repeated his vocal improvisations again after the first break. More vocal improvisations which some lines from “Slota Prow” provided an atmospheric feelings before the crowd cheered loudly again when David played the first riffs of “Splinters”. This night it was more heavy than the day before. Especially when David started at the end of the song with “Who is it now that loves you” the song exploded in some way. Then they rocked the La Maroquinerie again with an awesome heavy and loud version of “Tin Finger”. After “Here on this road, there are other who move so slow” the band created a musical thunderstorm – just unbelievable! David rocked with full force on his stool and shook his head and feet. Then David fetched his Banjola for a wonderful “Whistling Girl”. “Just like the lightening from out of the sky, all men will see Him and all men will cry” was the next vocal improvisation before the light turned into a dark blue for an amazing “Dirty Blue”. Then David sang more improvisations including the wonderful “Consecration”. By the way: If you don’t know this song then please check the 2-CD-Set “Awake, My Soul – Help Me To Sing” (it’s a soundtrack from a documentary about the Sacred Harp) – there you can find the studio version of this gem. So back to the show in Paris again: After that, “Cohawkin Road” filled La Maroquinerie in an atmospheric and beautiful way. During the song the road manager came to us (there were some photographers beside me) and told us that we have to stop taking pictures. Although nobody used flashlights we all stopped and packed our cameras. “Horsetail” was next – like the day before in Kortrijk, David supplied his lyrics with some gestures again. “Kingdom of Ice” followed, in which Peter created wonderful sound atmospheres on his guitar and Pascal joined with some great heavy riffs. “Merci”, David said after that before Ordy counted loudly “Three, Four” for “Not one Stone”. Wonderful again and once more a reminder for anybody, that Ordy Garrison is an unbelievable drummer. Especially at the end of the song when David sang “Behold the lamb, given for us”, he played with full power. “Merci, merci beaucoup” from David before some drownings, more vocal improvisations (some lines from “Swedish Purse”) and other sound collages created a new “Horse Head Fiddle”. After that, the crowd was absolutely quiet for a few seconds. It seems that they were completely caught by this amazing version. A heavy “Winter Shaker” gave us the creeps again and finished the first set. “Merci beaucoup, thank you very much” from David before Woven Hand left the stage and some Indian chants from the tape supplied the encore break. The crowd cheered, yelled and applauded loudly until David and Ordy came back for the Bob Dylan cover “As I went out one Morning”. Beautiful again and when David get his hands on the bandoneon, the crowd applauded and cheered loudly. Nearly everybody knew that another 16 Horsepower classic will follow, and with the first notes of the fantastic “American Wheeze” the people went nuts. Before the second verse, David cried loudly and the atmosphere was completely electrified. With the line “And if I die by your hand, I’ve gotta home in glory land”, which a lot of people sang with David, another musical thunderstorm was perfect and nearly everybody was shaking and headbanging in some way. Some drownings and vocal improvisations lead into the last song of the show: An unbelievable powerful “Your Russia” gave us the creeps again and like yesterday in Kortrijk Pascal was kneeling again for some seconds beside David for a few seconds. It was obvious that he was enjoying every minute to play in his native country. “Raise your hand, she is turning into gold” sang David as some improvisations after the first break before they rocked with full force again to create an unbelievable finish of “Your Russia”. “Thank you very much, thank you very much” were the last words from David before the band disappeared from the stage.

We were completely impressed by this amazing and heavy performance. As I was wet from the sweat I changed my shirt and then we went back to the restaurant to get some beers and food. Before leaving we said “Hello” to Ordy and Peter. So the next stop for us and the band was Salzburg in Austria. As they had a day off before I was really curious, if this will change something in the performance, because Paris was the sixth show in a row. So I did think that they were happy to have a free day and save some strength for the Austrian shows in Salzburg and Vienna. (Melomane)