[Live Report] Alex Henry Foster & The Long Shadows on Supersonic Records: “Love! Love! Love!”

Alex Henry Foster who played two nights in Paris is a rare thing: the star of Quebec Rock, accompanied by his Long Shadows, offers us very long recitative sets, emotional, intense and maybe… boring if who cannot share his delirium. In any case, a wonderful experience!

Alex Henry Foster of Supersonic Records – Photo: Eric Debarnot

Night event at Supersonic, which also moved for a few days to the area next to the record store, due to the good improvement work of the room: Alex Foster and its crazy Quebecers The Long Shadows is in Paris, and this passage of Supersonic follows a night we described as epic, the other day, at Zèbre de Belleville (2h40 of the set, it’s almost Springsteenian!…). So it is necessary to arrive very early, at least two hours before the concert begins, to ensure access, and the very nice little room, very air-conditioned – even more, beware of sips- on! – quickly filled up. The set itself was brought forward almost an hour to give the band time. An additional particularity tonight: with 6 musicians and very impressive equipment, the small triangular stage of Supersonic Records is not enough, and Alex and his two guitarists are placed on the floor: it’s perfect for intimacy (well, for those who are no longer afraid of exchanging bodily fluids, as Alex would jokingly say…) but not good for visibility if you don’t get the front row. Otherwise, the sound will be absolutely perfect, and the lights will be more acceptable than in the main hall…

8:40 pm: that’s it Chef Lemelin. which is placed in the background of electronics. Unfortunately, a large and noisy crowd of restless, perhaps very alcoholic, raging all night, will prevent the concentration needed to appreciate this original work.

2022 08 04 Alex Henry Foster Supersonic

9:20 pm: Alex Henry Fostersmall format troublemaker, starting a set that lasts (only!) 2h10, which should be a perfect record for Supersonic: let’s start a long time. Turning in the form of an abstract sound chaos of about fifteen minutes, which, somewhere, lays the foundations of the night.

The music ofAlex Foster solo – in the end it’s a bit unfair to call it, because of the importance of the five musicians who accompanied it, but it should be separated from that, triumphant, of his former group. Your Favorite Enemiesmore “normal” rock – this is a particular concept: Alex, we know that he was very inspired by a group of classical poets (Baudelaire, Rilke) and modern (Kerouac, Ginsberg), recites his texts more than he sings them, in a soundtrack that has no form and is always intense … As if he chose to remain only moments of stasis from a Rock concert – when the music suspends during a piece to add. the tension – and the paroxysms, by removing all the rest, structure, melody, verses and restraints: well, we exaggerate a little, but hardly. If we have to look for similar things to explain our approach to people who have never heard of it, we can say that we are between Nick Cave (an admitted influence) from the beginning of Bad Seeds and Patti Smith and its long, somewhat hippie beaches.

2022 08 04 Alex Henry Foster SupersonicAlex embodied on stage, with undeniable passion, his long texts – written in a notebook placed in front of him on his small keyboard. He always plays with an emotional tension that rises and falls, he allows the music to explode for a moment, and always in an abstract way, never liberating. Like a game with public expectations and also with the intensity codes of a regular rock concert. Sometimes it is surprising, interesting, but in the end it gives an impression of standing that is equally interesting (original…) but seems unbroken, in pieces that each reach about twenty minutes. Moreover, after an hour, part of the public left, while others shouted their enthusiasm, and unfurled a flag in honor of the group and Quebec. To our taste, it is very tasty The Hunter is the most convincing title of the night, but everyone will undoubtedly find their way in their own way through this exhausting maze of strong emotions.

The last part of the set sees Alex talking to the public, philosophizing on life after the pandemic, on the need for social relations and contact tout court, on the friendship between France and Quebec, and finally on … Love, with generosity and without fear of breaking down doors. Alex sings in the middle of his audience, goes up to the bar, asks for whiskey (“I don’t drink, but whiskey is not alcohol”). At the end of Shadows of our Evening Tidesa long lyrical piece which he presents very intimately, written on the death of his father, he has the public sing in chorus: ” Love! Love! Love! “.

An emotional experience.

Text and photos: Eric Debarnot

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