Francofolies, and Barney’s voice

La Rochelle, July 1986

My dear Epo,

It’s always extremely funny , when I read your letters having in mind Colin’s phone calls to note the variations in your two stories. That’s so nice of you not to mention the frightful drunkenness with Rioja he had in Madrid… But you didn’t told anything either about your exam of June.
You poor know well that your elders didn’t need to write it to enter High School, you’re a pioneer, and Colin told me you did it wonderfully. Congratulations, Lark ; this , I hope, will boost your self-esteem , it should…

It is now 4 o’clock as I answer you, and I don’t sleep of course, not because of insomnia; Saint Nicolas’quarter is constantly noisy with the Francofolies’ festival days … It’s only the second year of it, but thanks god, it brings a lot of people and tips are plentiful. It’s time to work damn hard, but also to enjoy some free places that we can glean from the organizers who come for a drink. You won’t believe it, I dragged Virgil to the Indochine’s concert ! He spent the evening bitching, as the Cure’s obsessive he is; but it was fun.
Whisper Breathless like a mermaid She sees her waking body She throws off all her clothes in his ears and see him swing my cushions, my glasses and myself is a very special pleasure which I can’t refuse myself when I feel his grumpy and sissy mood … He hates summer. He hates beach. Even with Valentine.

You’re lucky to have real beach enjoyers with you. To take the ferry for the island of Ré during this overcrowded touristic season is quite as hard as crossing the Mancha , maybe… and Virgile almost gives me an old husband fit because of my trip in Lucca which will prevent me from going to the Cure’s concert in Orange. I know it will be an historical event, but I think we’ll have traces of it; and I don’t want to compromise on this moment in Italy that I can finally afford after all these years.

I liked what you wrote about Subculture, and the fact that you’re attached to keep Barney’s voice and inflexions on the first plan. Well, it’s an old story for me, maybe comparable to the epiphany you had in this fitting room by listening to “Shake The Disease” for the first time.


I was almost 15 when “Movement” was released. I had been playing guitar for two years with older guys from La Pallice who were absolutely devoted to Joy Division. They logically listened to the first New Order’s LP with great mistrust; it sounded very Joy Division like ( except for a visionary song like “Senses”) .
It really emerged on “Truth” , oh what a jewel, spread over the port landscape, with the cranes silhouetted against the stormy sky, with , between the slate clouds,  these treacherous sunshines at sea. The mesmerizing deep bass, the plaintive melodica; and of course the words Oh it’s a strange day
The guys looked at each other with suspicion, and curiously I was afraid of their judgement, I was afraid they would talk about a too obvious sham, because I was so convinced, or even conquered. He was struggling. He was truth.
He was hesitation, fear, misunderstanding ,claustrophobia.

I don’t give the slightest fuck about what people might say about Barney’s voice. What is the unanimous voice anyway ? It is the only one which in my opinion suits to the constant instrumental research of the band and production, which has perpetually broadened its sound spectrum, and which has imposed itself all the time the difficulty of live performances.
This voice that speaks to me is forged in the most arid industrial world; and it fumbles, uncertain and genuine in the eternal darkness of human feelings.

Well, that’s it Epo, and very personal as always… We may cross the most animated season , let’s cherish our elegiac mood however , after we’ve laughed and danced.
I may write my next letter from Lucca; so have the most beautiful Black Celebration live until then …

All my kisses,
Alb

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