(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Friday, February 13, 2009

thursday! hallelujah!

I unexpectedly spent my Thursday at a gospel concert! There I was, minding my own business in Perigueux when my phone rang ... an excited JY informed me there was a concert in one hour and did I want to go? 'qui?" I inquired ... 'Liz McComb' he replied, 'tu connais?' ... um, no. 'est elle la francaise?' 'non, je pense est elle une Americaine!' 'Impossible' I replied, 'je sais tous les artistes Americaine and je ne sais pas Liz McComb' "le sigh, tu veut aller ?" "d'accord, je recontre toi"... (hopefully I haven't butchered that too badly).

Well, embarrassingly enough for haughty ol' me, Liz McComb IS American. Of course, wouldn't you know she is a diva in the one genre of music I know little to nothing about ... Gospel.

But this wasn't your run-of-the-mill Christian Choir. This was good old AME-floor stomping-wall shaking-ear shattering-arms uplifting hip-shaking bluesy gospel that you might find at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Sister had an Afro that would have put baby Michael Jackson to shame. She had some pipes that would give Aretha a run for her money (blasphemy, I know!).

She had 2 guitarists, an organ player, an electric piano player a drummer and an african bongo player and she played at a grand piano. She sang, she stomped, she preached, she put it ON. She couldn't remain in her seat (I was told that must be an American thing!), and much of the time stood at the piano, dancing as she played and sang. Oftentimes she unhinged the mike, and danced around the stage.

Just as enjoyable as the concert was watching the concert hall full of French folks, sat politely in their seats, occasionally clapping along (slightly off beat). Just as enjoyable for JY was watching me trying to restrain myself as I danced in my seat, wiggling and shaking and dying to leap up and DANCE MY ASS off. As was he. but just not quite so obviously.

She covered a few non-church numbers too. Etta James' "At Last". The Staple Singers "I'll Take You There" (oh wait, maybe that does originate from church. When she sang Edith Piaf's "Mon Dieu", the entire crowd sang along.

It was SUCH a treat.


La Framéricaine said...

Cannot think of a better Valentine from home than some gospel!

Congratulations, Kim. I haven't even finished leaving home and I already miss African-American culture. I've got some plans for making the mountain come to Mohammed in Le Blanc once I get settled.


Randal Graves said...

A little bit too much happy Jesusery for me - though I DO indulge in the occasional Mass in B Minor; religion is supposed to be a downer, dammit! - but I'm glad you had a good time.

So French audiences are mellow at a gospel show. This doesn't bode well for a metal one. Go find out!