Wednesday 29 May 2024

It's Nicer In The Dark Anyway

Lou Reed with six songs from his performance at L'Olympia Bruno Coquatrix in Paris, France on Sunday 26th May 1974. I missed a trick by not posting this on Sunday 26th May 2024, exactly 40 years on, but I hope you'll overlook this and just revel in the performance.
Lou's band comprises Danny Weiss (guitar), Prakash John (bass), Michael Fonfara (keyboards) and Pentti 'Whitey' Glan (drums). A slightly different line-up and six months on from the New York concerts that birthed the live albums Lou Reed Live and Rock n Roll Animal, it continues Lou's reworking (some may have argued mangling) of his back catalogue. The band are more than up to the task.
Whereas Rock n Roll Animal features a Steve Hunter solo intro to a cover of The Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane, here it's a full-band funk workout for the first minute and a half before switching to the more familiar rhythm, Lou watching from the sidelines before sauntering onto stage a minute later.

Peroxide cropped hair, shades, chiselled cheekbones, flashy jacket and slim black jeans, Lou's image here alone is the springboard for post-punk and every iteration and reimagining since. The sad reality is that Lou was increasingly in the grip of meth and alcohol but in this moment, his performance is red hot. Never mind the vocals, feel the swagger.
00:00 Intro / Sweet Jane (Cover of The Velvet Underground)
07:02 I'm Waiting For The Man (Cover of The Velvet Underground) 
12:28 Lady Day  
15:55 Vicious  
22:13 Sally Can't Dance  
26:13 Ride Sally Ride
This selection is taken from a VHS transfer and you can see, especially in the prolonged close ups of Lou's face, that songs have been edited and spliced together out of sequence. Here's the 12-song setlist as performed on the night.  

1) Intro / Sweet Jane (Cover of The Velvet Underground)
2) Vicious
3) Ride Sally Ride
4) Heroin (Cover of The Velvet Underground)
5) Sally Can't Dance
6) Lady Day
7) I'm Waiting For The Man (Cover of The Velvet Underground)
8) Oh, Jim
9) Walk On The Wild Side
10) White Light/White Heat (Cover of The Velvet Underground)
11) Goodnight Ladies
12) Rock & Roll (Cover of The Velvet Underground)