I saw Noel Gallagher

A little while ago I went to see Bob Dylan play live and despite him being one of my heroes I left feeling quite disappointed. I got the impression he was just going through the motions and didn’t really care about being there. The only thing I could take away from that gig was at least I had seen him with my own two eyes.

The contrast when I saw Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds play earlier last week was amazing. He too is the sort of figure who could sell out a venue with very little effort but it turned out to be one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. To start with the people at the Transbordeur in Lyon, France had got the sound and lighting perfect.

And things started out very well when this chap came on stage:

Supporting act Jake Bugg is still very young but full of stage presence and he can play the guitar like a demon.

He takes his influences from folk artists of Dylan’s era and he has produced some really nice songs of that ilk with a modern twist. At the time of writing his single “Taste It” is being given away for free on iTunes (Log in on your own UK itunes account to find it) So I strongly recommend that you check him out.

After that performance by a young hopeful I was half expecting a lackluster performance from an established artist just turning up for a payday, but from the moment he walked on stage I realised how wrong I was. With the enthusiastic but tame French crowd all chanting No-el! No-el! No-el! he came on stage and immediately showed his true star quality.

The man who has been awarded the 2012 Godlike Genius award by NME then wowed the audience with a collection of new songs such as the hard hitting Freaky Teeth:

And unlike Dylan, Gallagher really took the time to interact with the audience throughout the gig, although he kept the same confrontational style that Oasis were known for – he threw out a few insults with a twinkle in his eye – and the audience loved it.

He also struck the right balance between old and new, playing some of his contemporary songs but knowing the audience will also be filled with diehard Oasis fans it lead to some really magical moments:

At the end of the gig a humble Noel Gallagher came forward and thanked the audience who had all been treated to a fantastic evening.

I hope you’ll take two things away from this article, check out Jake Bugg and go and see this Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live. You won’t regret it.

J’ai vu Bob Dylan!

Donc, ici il s’agit d’un clip vidéo du concert de Bob Dylan, hier soir, (en fait il etait strictement interdit de filmer et de prendre des photos donc c’est pourquoi c’est un peut comme un video pirate!)

Après le concert quelques personnes étaient déçus en disant que le mixage sonore était horrible, Dylan a joué un grand nombre de fausses notes sur le piano et l’harmonica. Même ses chansons les plus célèbres étaient méconnaissables. Il semblait ne pas faire beaucoup d’efforts pour se connecter à l’auditoire, et sa voix etait cassé. Même moi, un anglais, j’avait du mal à reconaître ce qu’il chantait – si on peux dire qu’il chantait et pas seulment grogné – je suis désolé pour la majorité du peuple français dans le public.

Cela dit, j’ai apprécié chaque seconde! Je ne suis pas un grand fan de Dylan, et je savais qu’une poignée de ses chansons les plus célèbres. Il n’y a pas un moment que je connait pas le nom Bob Dylan, il etait toujour dan mon universe. Il a toujours été là, dans les magazines, les documentaires, la radio, même au cinéma. Lorsque j’ai commencé à apprendre a jouer de la guitare, ‘Blowin’ in the wind’ et ‘These times are a changin’ étaient dans les deux ou trois premières chansons que j’ai apprises et je dois avoir joué chacun d’eux des centaines de fois, et il est si souvent decrit comme le plus grand chanteur auteur-compositeur qui ait jamais vécu.

Et là, j’ai été assis dans l’amphithéâtre romain de Lyon, et cette figure monte sur scène, et j’en avait la chair de poule. Est-ce que c’est l’homme qui a presque un status de Dieu? ? Une vrai légende vivante?! En fait, ce n’était pas lui, c’était son bassiste…

Mais alors quelqu’un d’autre vint sur scene, et c’était vraiment lui cette fois! Je venez de voir LE Bob Dylan avec mes propres yeux, et c’était merveilleux, et dès ce moment, je voulais simplement en profiter peu importe – et de la façon dont il a joué, je pense qu’il le savait.

D’ailleurs c’est dans le verbe, vous aller voire un concert à ne pas l’écouter, et je peux maintenant dire que j’ai vu Bob Dylan! En direct! Et je n’aurais pas manqué ça pour rien. Jetez un oeil à la vidéo et dites-moi ce que vous pensez…

I saw Bob Dylan!

So here is a little video from the Bob Dylan concert last night, (actually filming and taking photographs was strictly forbidden so that’s why it has a slight pirate video  feel about it!)

After the gig a few people were disappointed saying that the sound mix was awful, Dylan hit a lot of bum notes on the piano and harmonica and even his most famous songs were unrecognisable. He seemed not to make much effort to connect to the audience, and his voice is shot. Even I, as a native English speaker struggled to hear what he was singing – and I use the word singing in the loosest possible sense – so I feel sorry for the majority of French people in the audience.

That said, I enjoyed every second of it! I’m not a huge Dylan fan, and only know a handful of his most famous songs, but he is a man I can’t ever remember not knowing. He’s always been in my universe, on magazines, documentaries, on the radio, even cinema. When I started learning the guitar, Blowin’ in the wind and These times are a changin’ were in the first two or three songs I learnt and I must have played each of them hundreds of times.

He is so often spoken of as the greatest singer-songwriter who ever lived, and there I was sitting in the Roman amphitheater in Lyon, and this figure walks on stage, and I just felt a chill. Is this the man who’s now achieved an almost god-like status? Who so many musicians set out to be? A real life living legend?! Actually no on closer inspection it was his bass player walking out…

But then someone else came on, and my god it was really him this time! I was seeing the Bob Dylan with my own two eyes, and it was wonderful, and from that moment, I was just going to enjoy it, no matter what – and by the way he performed I think he knew that.

But even if the the sound wasn’t great… it’s in the verb. You go to see a concert not to listen to it, and I can now say ‘I have seen Bob Dylan!’ Live! and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Take a look at the video and tell me what you think…

Lyon Music Festival / Fête de la Musique

World Music Day takes place on June 21 on the day of the summer solstice.  Its aim is to promote music, and on this night amateur and professional musicians perform in the streets. Free concerts are organised to expose people to a wide variety of different genres of music. The first was organised in Paris in 1982, and it is now celebrated in 32 countries around the world.

In Lyon hundreds of concerts take place throughout the city featuring local groups as well as international artists. Although I only got home from work at midnight on this night, I still managed to dash out with my little Lumix camera and take some videos around Vieux Lyon where I live. It’s really a fantastic night with something to discover on nearly every corner. For the moment I only have Windows Movie Maker to edit with but I’ve made do. Let me know what you think:

Fête de la Musique, Lyon

La Fête de la Musique a lieu tous les 21 juin, c’est-à-dire le jour du solstice d’été. Son principal objecitf est de promouvoir la musique.  Cette nuit, musiciens amateurs et professionnels  performent dans les rues. Des concerts gratuits sont organisés pour transmettre aux auditeurs (et spectateurs) un spectacle varié en genres musicaux. La première édition a été organisée à Paris en 1982  depuis, la Fête de la Musique est célébrée dans 32 pays à travers le monde.
 
A Lyon, des centaines de concerts ont lieu dans toute la ville, avec des groupes locaux ainsi que des artistes internationaux. Cette nuit là, bien que je ne sois rentré du travail qu’à minuit et toujours armé de mon petit appareil photo Lumix, j’ai quand même réussi à me précipiter pour faire des vidéos autour de Vieux Lyon (où je vis actuellement) . C’est vraiment une nuit fantastique avec un petit quelque chose à découvrir dans presque tous les coins de la ville. Hélas, je n’ai que Windows Movie Maker pour éditer mes vidéos, mais on fera avec pour le moment… N’hésitez pas à laisser des commentaires

Angleterre victoire / France défaite

C’était – comme je le prévoyais – un match difficile, et c’est Wayne Rooney qui a marqué le but gagnant après sa suspension lors des deux derniers matchs.Cependant ce n’était pas joli à regarder et le jeu aurait pu finir autrement. En effet,Joe Hart a arrêté beaucoup de balls ce soir et cela pendant toute la compétition.Son équipe lui doit une fière chandelle.

J’ai regardé le jeu à Lyon dans un pub anglais qui diffusait simultanément les deux matchs ce soir.Je ne sais pas si vous pouvez le voir sur la photo mais on peut apercevoir à travers la porte quelques supporteurs Français qui eux regardaient le match France-Suède. Perdre 2-0 contre la Suède n’est pas un très bon résultat avant de jouer contre les favoris – l’ Espagne.Je suis sûr que la France aura besoin d’un miracle pour gagner le prochain match sans cela c’est perdu d’avance…

Mais pour nous,l’Angleterre,qui allons jouer contre l’Italie au prochain tour cela va être tout aussi difficile.Je sais qu’il faudra jouer beaucoup mieux que nous l’avons fait ce soir, mais j’ai la foi. Bonne nuit à tous.

Back to blogging

As you’ve taken the time to have a read of this, you’ll see that I have made a few more regular updates to this site, including a lot of the work I have been doing for euronews. If you don’t know the channel is available in multiple languages so I am not responsible for the video editing in any of the content so far, but you can see from this a bit about my writing and my voice, as well as the huge number of topics I’m asked to cover.

Since I’ve been working properly on this site over the last few days I’ve been mostly working as a sports reporter so that content is particularly strong for the moment, but with time I should have a nice wide variety of things to show off. Also if you hover over the blog link you will see my long awaited French blog which I’ll run at the same time.

I’ll also be using this blog to write about my thoughts and life as a journalist in Lyon and Paris for those who want to follow my progress. That’s all for now, more to come soon x

‘Tis the season to be jolly

We are now just two days away from Christmas, (I hope you like my wonky Christmas tree) and I have been totally neglecting my blogging responsibilities. So just a short post to explain what I’ve been up to recently.

Very soon after the last post I went to Nepal to make a solo documentary on child trafficking. It was a very sad story in which children were being moved from Nepal to India and forced into the circus. I maintained a separate blog throughout this project, so if you want to see what I found and the watch the final piece you can find that here.

I’ve now finished my masters and begun work at an international news channel in France, it’s really fantastic to be able to put some of the things I learnt over the last year to practice straight away.

On one of my first shifts I was live reporting on the death of Colonel Gaddafi, I couldn’t imagine a much bigger story to start on, (a real baptism of fire!) but with the help of some very kind colleagues I got through it very well after a somewhat shaky start, and now really enjoy any time we have to go live.

I’m due to be staying in France for the foreseeable future, and hoping to keep working at the same place as long as they’ll have me. Now that I’m a little more settled in, I’ll find the time to keep this up more regularly, and for my francophone friends, stay tuned, I’ll be starting my blog en français very soon.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to read this, please leave a comment, and Joyeux Noël to you all.

Breaking News: What a brilliant day!

I’ve just had my first few days at Euronews, it’s been great, I’ve done lots, you can see some of the website work I’ve done here and here if you’d like. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today, because today amazing!

Of course we’ve been running the story about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal for the whole week, but just before I was about to leave, a colleague came to ask me about a wire that had come through, I opened it and read the words, after 168 years Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is closing down News of the World after this Sunday’s edition. This is HUGE!

All of a sudden, the newsroom came alive, there was an almost tangible electricity. The phones were ringing, journalists everywhere were hurrying. Read the wires! get the scripts! get the pictures! and get on air! No time to lose!

As the news was breaking it was my job to write the first release about it for the website, and time was everything. Lots of pressure, but it felt good to be given the chance to prove myself, and I bashed out the article, and got it up.

And there you have it, my first experience at being on the front line of some real breaking news. I’m definitely hooked!

Phone-hacking bombshell: News of the World to close | euronews, world news.