Que je t’aime

Posted on 03/01/2017

Here’s a throwback to 2009 when we played the Stade de France in Paris with Johnny Hallyday. 240.000 people came out to the three sold out shows – this was in proportions way beyond anything I’d tried before, and I doubt that I’ll ever get to see these kinds of crowds again. We played in front of a million people at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille day – nobody gets to play in front of a million people! So I cherish this unique memory, as strange as it was. I didn’t grow up with these songs, so they don’t trigger the same nostalgic feeling in me as they do in people from France – much like I discovered the songs of Louise Attaque or Jean-Louis Aubert in front of huge, nostalgic crowds. It’s a true privilege to get to catch up with French popular culture this way!

Johnny is one hell of a singer, can’t argue with that, and I enjoyed playing with this great band a lot.


2017

Posted on 02/01/2017

Happy new year to all, and thanks to everyone who stopped by this blog in 2016. Many exciting things already lined up for the new year, looking forward to sharing it all with you! I hope that all of you will have great adventures in 2017 and that we all can keep pushing things ever so slightly in the right direction. And hopefully have some fun along the way!

Oberheim OB-X

Posted on 07/12/2016

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I have an old Oberheim OB-X that I love madly. I have used it on many recordings, and it always sounds unbelievably well. Crazy old machine, it’s wild and unpredictable, one of the very first Oberheim polysynths, from before the production was tidied up with the subsequent OB-Xa and OB-8 synths.

It’s getting to be too old, big and precious to carry around to studios these days, let alone taking it on stage, so this week I’ve been painstakingly sampling and looping every note on the keyboard. Dual-oscillator sawtooth waves with the filter wide open, to be used inside my Nord Stage 2.

At first I was tempted to keep these samples to myself, but actually the right thing to do is the exact opposite: http://tinyurl.com/jyb64jb

Any Nord Stage users wanting to use these, feel free. Only 8mb and an enormous sound reminiscent of the Bladerunner soundtrack and early Prince recordings.

Aux Petits Joueurs

Posted on 22/10/2016

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One of my favorite small clubs around Paris is Aux Petits Joueurs. Olivier David, Christine and everyone working there do such a remarkable job welcoming bands and the audience. You always eat very well, and you can be sure to catch a quality band there practically any night of the week. I would recommend anyone to go spend an evening there – musicians, tourists and Parisians alike.

Olivier and the team have been going through a lot of trouble with their landlord over the last years. It’s very unfair, and they need all the help they can get. You can read more and chip in by clicking here if you want to support one of the quality venues around town. There aren’t that many, and having places to perform, learn and listen is so important to keep a music scene alive.

Tomorrow night, October 23rd, almost every musician in town including me is going to come play for a marathon, 5 set evening of blues/rock/soul in support of this special place. It should be a fun, rare occasion of everyone getting together at the same time. I’m particularly looking forward to hearing all the keyboard players I never get to hang out with, since it’s rare to have two keyboards players in a band – the brilliant Jean-Luc Leonardon, Vincent Bidal, Laurian Daire, Thierry Eliez, Michel Lecoq and certainly many others.

I hope to see you there!! 59, rue Mouzaïa, 75019 Paris.


Greg Zlap, the Polish-French harmonica player I have worked with many times over the years even wrote a melody about “Aux Petits Joueurs” that we recorded at the Polish radio studios in Warsaw in 2005 with the fabulous contribution of Piotr Wojtasik on trumpet: