Telegram sent on February 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm
Moriarty on tour: La Belle Electrique, Grenoble 16.01.2015
Early morning concert, live on the radio, performing “Ain’t no Sunshine” with Richard Lornac, we’re exhausted from a few sleepless nights. La Belle Electrique is a brand new building built by local architects Herauld & Arnod, who also built the Metaphone (where we performed a few months ago). In fact tonight will be the first public concert ever to be played in this venue. Heavy, heavy rainfalls keep us inside the building. Even the massive dark presence of the mountains is obscured by the fog. We rehearse with tonight’s special guests: the Mountain Men. Ian the tall harmonica player from Wollongong, strolls around barefoot, telling us stories about Australian mining-towns.
Telegram sent on January 22, 2015 at 9:30 pm
Moriarty on tour: Château-Rouge, Annemasse 15.01.2015
It’s one of the first venues we played at the beginning of the band’s touring years, in a distant suburb of Geneva, on the french side of the border. We used to live there for a week, in a small house, alone in the middle of a huge parking lot, like a remnant of a distant past resisting against the march of time and progress. Now they’ve demolished the house to make way for more parking space. But the Château-Rouge is still the same, wrapped in copper strips and ribbed concrete. The staff has changed but for a few people – like Gilles, the legendary cook. It’s our third or fourth time here, and it’s starting to feel strangely familiar. Old friends are here too, Christophe bringing local goods, and Xavier from Mama Rosin opening the show in style with Fred Raspail. The concert goes good and tight, we feel like we’re finally getting the energy and the rythm together on stage. However some people in the audience complain that the sound on their side wasn’t loud enough (?) During the encores, we try out a new cover – Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” – No time for hangin’out. Right after the concert, we take the road straight to Grenoble, arriving in the middle of the night.
Telegram sent on January 22, 2015 at 11:28 am
Moriarty on tour: Paloma, Nîmes 14.01.2015
As we drive away from Marseille along the rocky coast, a squadron of canadair water bombers fly low overhead and drop their tons of water in the sea. We approach Nîmes, the Paloma is a brand new venue positioned in the suburban zones, a kind of spaceship-alien-cyber-architecture clad with metal facetting, marooned in the middle of parking lots and highways. Luckily the inside of the building is welcoming and well-thought, around a central patio and wide dressing-rooms. Makes it quite easy to feel at home. The venue itself is huge, cave-like, walls covered with weird cellular purple patterns. All afternoon we work on the mixes of our new album, listening and cutting and trying last-minute ideas. At 7pm the audience floods the patio – some people coming in from Montpellier, Arles, Matseille – and The Skeleton Band opens the show in front of over a thousand people. The show goes smooth. Later in the night we gather in the red club for the aftershow party with the staff, Eric and Arthur hitting the stage with the local band for an improvised sessions of sweaty soul and blues. Then it’s time to retreat into the apartments on the top floor of the venue, but we end up working on the Epitaph mixes until exhaustion makes us sleep an hour or two. At 8:30am we’re back on the road.
Telegram sent on January 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm
Moriarty on tour: Théâtre de la Criée, Marseille 12.01.2015.
Back in town after 4 years. Away from the grieving skies of Paris. The air is filled with sunlight and the sea is near. It feels like another planet, as we drive down to the harbour, past Notre-Dame de la Major and the ferris wheel. Reminiscence of distant times, continents. The Mediterranean harbour-metropolis, archaic and wild and rough like its sisters, Napoli, Palermo, Athens, Istanbul… The theater is still under construction, but tonight is nevertheless the opening show, in the midst of plasterwork and paintjobs. Macha Makeïeff introduces the concert with a wish to overcome the current atmosphere of grief, tension and defiance – through performance, music & theater.
Late at night, after the show, we find ourselves marching along the Vieux Port, watching dozens of huge black rats run across the streets of Noailles, before reaching our hotel: an old run-down palace called Hôtel de Rome & Saint-Pierre. In the belly of the city.
Telegram sent on December 24, 2014 at 6:19 pm
Moriarty’s “Epitaph” tour: Moods-Schiffbau, Zürich (CH) 21.12.2014
At last we’re back in Züri. It’s been two years since the Rote Fabrik. Now we get to play in the beautiful Schiffbau, a gigantic shipbuilding factory transformed into a theater, in the upbeat-trendy ex-industrial zones north of the Hauptbahnhof. Carine & Rona welcome us into the intimate deep-blue jazzclub. It’s sunday-before-christmas night and we fear that the Zürich audience won’t be very numerous. But at 7:30pm the public starts to fill up the space, and it’s a warm crowd. We end the night (and the tour) at the club Helsinki a few blocks away, listening to the Trio From Hell: this is where Zürich gets hot.
Telegram sent on December 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm
Moriarty’s “Epitaph” Tour: Secret acoustic show in the Crematorium, La Chaux-De-Fonds (CH) 20.12.2014 (photos by Zim Moriarty & Emilie Blaser)
A special place: The Crematorium is a masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture built in 1908 by Charles L’Eplatennier – with the help of his students from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de la Chaux-De-Fonds (among which a young man called Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, later known as Le Corbusier…).
The building has an aura at once precious and archaic, recalling ancient temples, romanesque churches, and Viennese Secession sensuality. Its design, initially a very masonic composition (a white ashlar stone cube topped with a stone pyramid) was altered by L’Eplatennier to become an ornate, narrative, mystical Gesamtkunstwerk, bringing together architecture, sculpture, painting, mosaics, stone & copper ornamentation, and landscape design… We realized it fitted almost perfectly the theme of our new songs: the “Epitaph” project, and its tales of travels in the Underworld.
It was a cold, freezing day, switching from sunlight to dark overcast skies, as we entered the straight linear streets of La Chaux-De-Fonds, the industrial city dreamt by modernist watchmakers, to find the cemetary at the end of the Chemin de la Charrière.
The concert was organized by Emilie Blaser, who had performed a theater play here two years ago, “Nous ne faisons que passer…”. Her father and family helped us to prepare a Christmas Spiced Wine and some cakes to welcome and warm up the audience.
Fifty people came at 4:30pm, before sunset, and when they came out an hour later, night had fallen.
We played an acoustic set without amplifiers, using the acoustics of the space, the strange pyramid-shaped vault and the recessed-copper panelling.
Songs about the departed, prisoners and ghosts, but music with rythm and frenzy.
We wished that the audience would feel the presence of lost souls but would also rejoice and feel warm with the music. We didn’t think of it as a grim funeral concert, but rather as an exorcism, a way to think about life and death in a colourful, intense, physical way.
Telegram sent on December 24, 2014 at 4:56 pm
Moriarty’s Epitaph Tour: L’Usine à Gaz, Nyon, Switzerland 19.12.2014
A short drive from Geneva, along the lake in the low, warm december sunlight. Arriving in front of the venue, a remodelled grey factory, stainless steel gates, a few chairs on a gravel square; we recognize the opening sequences of Jean-Luc Godard’s “Adieu au Langage”… The venue sounds a bit like a cave – high and narrow room, black stone walls. We sleep upstairs, in an apartment on top of the dressing-rooms with a view on the lake, and realize it’s another experience to play and spend the night in the same place: it’s like a musical home. The place is packed with 250 or 300 people, people coming in from Lausanne and Geneva, Annemasse or other swiss towns, and the gig is good and long. At 1:30am, while there’s a loud dance party going on in the entrance foyer, some of us sneak into the kitchen and grab some leftovers: meringue & double-crème de Gruyère.
Telegram sent on December 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm
Moriarty’s “Epitaph” tour: acoustic session at Bongo Joe Record Store, Geneva 18.12.2014 (photos by Zim Moriarty & Emilie Blaser)
Telegram sent on December 24, 2014 at 12:23 am
Moriarty on tour: Bee-Flat / Turnhalle. Bern (Switzerland) 17.12.2014
Going East: The long road from Central France to Central Switzerland. Bern, federal capital, rain, heavy feldgrau stone buildings. The Turnhalle has changed slightly since the last time we played here, in 2009. It’s become cosier, with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling among the sports apparatuses left in place. The staff led by Christian is made entirely of volunteers, all very warm and welcoming. After the scrumptious dinner, we finally get to meet the man who mastered our last album “Fugitives”: Adrian Flück from Central Dubs Studios, the sound engineer recommended by our friends Mama Rosin… The concert tonight is split in two parts, like in a jazz club. The first half feels a little cold and shy, both on our side and on the audience’s. The second half is much bolder and warmer, ending with Diamonds Never Die, Long Live The (D)Evil, Ginger Joe and Little Sadie.
Late at night, silent streets – but for a few drunk parties – and in the early morning, a walk around the federal squares and buildings, looking severe in the mist.
Telegram sent on December 23, 2014 at 12:18 am
Moriarty on tour: Montluçon 16.12.2014
Right in the middle of France, the deep center, Auvergne, Allier. Another remote town, surrounded by suburban grands ensembles, blocks from the fifties. Anguish. L’Embarcadère: a vast, slightly rundown venue with backstage areas feeling like an abandoned schoolhouse. The stage is low-ceilinged, and there is an ominous buzz in the guitar pickups. We’re starting the third week of our Epitaph tour and the whole crew is already exhausted: an hour before the show, every available couch is occupied by a sleeping corpse, struggling to grab a few minutes of sleep under the harsh neon-lights. The Marshalls open the show with a swampy blues-rock gig. The venue is packed. A lady says she’s been waiting for us to play here for seven years. She tells us about a nearby place, called Noyant-sur-l’Allier, a former mining town, deserted in the fifties, which became a home to hundreds of vietnamese refugees from the Guerre d’Indochine. A Vietnamese-Auvergnat hybrid settlement…