mercredi 30 avril 2008

Service Note

Hello, this is Thomas. This is the 50th message, congratulations Jean Michel, you did it!

I just wanted to warn you of possible hiccups, as I'm off for two weeks in deep Asia. Louis will act as the JMJ relay, but it might take a few days to iron it out. For those who wonder, JMJ sends the text to me and Louis by mail or MMS, and we correct the typos, blend in his images, and post. 
Talking about mistakes, shameful apologies to the fans in Valladolid for slaughtering your beautiful language: I hadn't spoken spanish for 20 years, and minutes before the show, the production announced there was no interpret. I hope that didn't spoil the show.

lundi 28 avril 2008

Day off in Porto

Today, we finished the shooting of the documentary in Porto. We had quite a good time visiting the caves of Sandeman Porto. Then we left Porto by bus for a 7 hours trip with the band. We had fun with Francis playing Stylophone and Tenory-on.
Zorro drinks with an artist.

The film crew: Benjamin, director, and David, cameraman.

First bootleg edition of the blog, published in the bus by Dominique "Gutemberg" Perrier.

(posted on a mobile phone)


Arrived in Porto late in the afternoon. We started the sound check at 18:45. The temperature dropped down and the ARP was as usual uncontrolable when we don't have the right heat.. Apart from that the concert went well with an overexcited crowd. We filmed a lot of things today, first of all, in the bus for a long interview while we were going from Lisbon to Porto. Then Benjamin and David intervied Claude and Dominique. Then they interviewed Phil, the executive producer, Alain Courieux, the sound engineer FOH and Julien Vouillon, sound engineer monitors. Last day of shooting tomorrow, good night.
Coliseu in the 40's.

One hour before the concert.


Filming each other with Dominique.

(posted on a mobile phone)

samedi 26 avril 2008

Between a circus and an opera house, the Colyseum is a magnificient venue made for a central stage or a traditional one.
Yesterday was the National Day. So doing a concert that night was even more special. It was also my first concert in Portugal. The temperature was over 30 degrees. So, for all these reasons the ambiance was really hot. We had no technical problems with the instruments, and I think the music we delivered was one of the best. David Perrier filmed everything like in Oslo, but with different angles. Tomorrow, we play Porto in the same kind of venue. We go there by bus in the afternoon..
(posted on a mobile phone)

jeudi 24 avril 2008

Valladolid, 2:00 AM

Great audience, very enthusiastic, the theater was quite modern but nice.
I still had to fight with the memorymoog and the ARP 2600 but the energy was there again. We are now in the bus ready to go to Lisbon. Waiting for the drivers. The 3 busses are on the parking. We are charging the small helicopters bought in Oslo for an attack against bus 2 where the sound and light crew is sleeping. More news on the issue of the fight tomorrow.
We are supposed to arrive in Lisbon around noon..
Good night......
(posted on a mobile phone)

Clash Magazine

Hi to all
you will find hereafter the link of the latest interview I did for Clash Magazine

mercredi 23 avril 2008

Nightmares and Ola

Everything started yesterday when the truck carrying the backline equipment arrived 5 hours late because of a bad puncture. Then we finally did the sound check at 20:35, the concert starting by luck at 22:00.
And then the problems started for me.....
The MemoryMoog went out of tune, the same for the ARP; we had very little time to set up everything. I tried quickly the Moog Liberation (the portable keyboard) and it had a constant vibrato that I couldn't stop. We tried everything and eventually Patrick succeeded to make it usable.
I decided to go on stage with a maximum of energy and ready to cope with anything and..... everything happened!
First of all the Egg chair did not turn properly, the arpegiator of the MemoryMoog was blocked, the ARP was out of tune and I had to retune each of its oscillators live, one AKS had no sound, I had to switch the power off and on to make it work, I had to re-pitch the flute sound constantly all along Oxy 2, the DigiSequencer was blocked and I had to reload the sequence for Variation 2 and play something else in the meantime, the percussive sequence on Oxy 5 was hard to start and the Eminent went crazy on Oxy 13 during the encore..
But I felt Claude, Francis and Dominique really on the case full time and the audience totally with me from the beginning and it gave me the necessary energy to rage against the machines!
The Moog Liberation solo with its strange sound was probably one of the most inspired I've played since the beginning of the tour and the concert one of the most spectacular since the beginning as well.
The result was that the audience went really crazy screaming and doing the Ola at the end - we got the most animated standing ovation. ¡Viva Madrid...!
The French Ambassador in Spain and his entourage came backstage. They all said they enjoyed the concert a lot and were impressed by the excitation of the audience generally quite young. He is a very nice man with a good sense of humour quite different to your ordinary diplomat. He said there is a lot of interest in Spain for an outdoor concert of mine particularly around the theme of the environment - we must meet again soon to pursue. I also spent some time with Rodriguo Sangro from EMI, a very nice, articulate young man, who was in school with Emilie, my daughter. We'll definitely keep in touch.
I am on my way to Lisbon in the bus, I spent some time with Dominique. Janet, his wife was there in Madrid. It was so good to see her around. After difficult times, I found her in very good form and looking beautiful. She loved the show and Domnique told me that she said she received such good vibes that she felt much stronger this morning. In the end, it is what music is made for.
Then we talked with Dominique about our relationship along all these years, the fact that this tour is doing a lot to reinforce our links. He said that he was really amazed by the fact that we are sold out everywhere, with such a success. We're all feeling lucky to get such a positive feedback in the unusual genre that instrumental music is. It is, actually, what makes these concerts so unique. We then talked about future projects and the direction the music should take.
(posted on a mobile phone)

mardi 22 avril 2008

Liceu, Barcelona

Monday has been a tough long day. We went directly from the airport to the venue, one of the most beautiful of the tour. The Liceu is the classical Opera house of Barcelona and has a worldwide reputation. It is like Fort Knox, you have to show your passport for going backstage, you cannot film inside the theater. Thomas, after long negotiations between Fiona and the directon of the Liceu, got the permission to film no more than 20 minutes, staying at the same position.
The stage is very deep and one of the problems was the distance between the first row and my main position.
Because of it, we had to change Oxy 13 at the end: we had to built a riser with one Eminent, replug the Andromeda, plug the Arp Omni and the new MFB synth with a small stone for wind fx (the VCS3 being too far away). I had also to be aware, throughout the show, of the distance with the audience for the Theremin and the Moog Liberation solos for instance..
The final result went well and the concert was a great success. Meeting again with the spanish audience was really exciting. Then I had dinner with my Mum who travelled to join us - she was in good form, considering her age.
Outside the theater a lot of fans were waiting for signatures and photos..

Lunes fue un dia difícil. Fuimos directamente del aeropuerto al sitio del concierto, un de los mas guapos del tour. El Liceu es como Fort Knox: tienes que mostrar to documentación para entrar backstage, no puedes filmar dentro del teatro. Después de negociaciones sin fin con Fiona y el director del Liceu, Tomás obtuvo permisión de rodar 20 minutos de película, no más, quedándose en el mismo lugar.
El escenario es muy profondo, y uno de los problemas es la distancia desde mi posición y el público. Por eso, tuvimos que cambiar el final Oxy 13. Construimos un riser con uno de los Eminent, el Andromeda, el Arp Omni y enchufamos el nuevo MFB sintetizador con una Small Stone para el efecto de viento, el VCS3 siendo demasiado lejos. También tuvo que pensar en la distancia con el público para el Theremin y los solos de Moog Liberación, por ejemplo.
El resulto final fue bueno, y el concierto fue un éxito. El encuentro con el público español fue excitante, pues comí con mi mamá que había venido - estaba bien, considerando su edad. Fuera nos esperaban muchos fans para firmas y fotos.

Week-end in Paris

Just a quick break before Southern Europe.
On friday night, I went to see "Sacred Monsters", a modern ballet with Sylvie Guillem and Ashram Khan. Sylvie is always extraordinary in the way she defines the space around her as soon as she moves. This time, on top of it, she speaks and she is funny and witty. Ashram Khan, signing also the choregraphy is all right but not at her level. Then I went backstage with Gilles her nice husband, to say hello. I met Phillip Sheppard, the composer who did a real good score, mixing classical music with a string trio, a fantastic percussionist and indian music with a pakistenese singer musician and another belgian female singer, making all kinds of sounds with her voice. He told me that" Concerts in China" gave him the desire to become a composer.
Then Saturday I had to find a MFB synth 2, the small german synth, in order to play the white noise part in Oxygene 13 because the VCS3 is too far away at the Colyseum. Actually, because of the unusual distance between the first row and my main position, I need to play the encore more upfront with a proper instruments set-up.
Then I watched" Shine A Light", the Scorcese Movie on the Rolling Stones.
I found Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronny very moving and impressive. Old pirates with untarnished innocence, Mick and Keith being incredibly fit and delivering a great performance. I have been a bit disapointed though by M. Scorcese's work. The audience in front of the stage looked fake. Mick was right, complaining about the numbers of cameras,18 in a theater like Marigny. So apart not missing one moment of what is going on which is the least of things,, it looks like a TV show and the mood doesn' t match the sweat, the fun and the rough energy of the boys. If I was not particularly impressed by the duet with Jack White, it really works with Cristina Aguilera, such a great voice..
One of the best moments is the duet with Buddy Guy. What he is doing with his guitar and voice is so simple but so unique that for a moment the Stones are becoming his backing musicians! That's probably why Keith offers him his own guitar at the end of the song..
Then I went to the Theatre de la Ville to see " Good Bye Umbrella" by and with James Thierre, Charlie Chaplin's grandson. He is a pure genius. Everybody must see him. He his a poet, an acrobat, a clown, an actor , a director, an author, a musician. His shows are completly unique and magic... impossible to describe. This show is what any artist would dream to express: the purity of a child, the absurdity of life with the control and the talent to serve true unique creativity..
Barcelona today. It is going to be a tough, long day after 3 days off. We'll see...
My mum is also coming tonight and I am glad to see her.
(patiently posted on a mobile phone)

vendredi 18 avril 2008

Pictures from Luxemburg

Sound check at the Rockhall, Luxemburg.

Phil, one hour before the show.

The Band.

Morricone wouldn't do better.

My new hat.
(posted on a mobile phone)

jeudi 17 avril 2008

Fiat Luxemburg

Travelling from Frankfurt to Luxemburg by bus. Lots of fun. We saw excerpts of films which Francis R. filmed through the years. Today a making of about the stadium tour in 1993, Europe in concert. Funny and moving to see all of us through this mad mega tour.. More tomorrow.

In case he forgets..

(posted on a mobile phone)

mercredi 16 avril 2008


After 2 days off, I was a bit worried about the crew being a bit out of focus, and I was right. The sound was for me not loud enough and the light was not really in time. The audience did not seem to notice and reacted very well. More tomorrow from the bus on the way to Luxemburg.

Francis, cool in Frankfurt.

Claude, focused in Frankfurt.

Dominique, dandy in Frankfurt.

AKS keyboard und Opera de Frankfurt.

(posted on a mobile phone)

lundi 14 avril 2008


Hello, this is Thomas. Jean Michel is having a well-deserved day off, and he asked me to share a story with you. Fiona is Jean Michel's assistant, spokesperson, problem-solver and best friend. She has been working with him for over 20 years, and her dream during all those years was to have him perform in Ireland, her homeland. Most unfortunately, when this finally happened at the beginning of the tour, her father had just passed away, and she buried him in Galway the very same day Jean Michel was playing in Dublin. He improvised a little tribute, and the audience followed. Louis happened to be filming at that moment. Please share our sympathy to Fiona and her family.

samedi 12 avril 2008

Oslo Motion

Saturday night in Oslo was hot. For the first time the audience stood up the last 12 minutes of the show on all Oxygene 12. We have all that on film. What really makes me crazy is that nobody lit up the crowd properly as I asked during the sound check. Anyway I think David Perrier, the cameraman did a great job on stage. Actually I introduced him as a member of the band at the beginning of the concert explaining we choosed Oslo for making the documentary about the tour and when he came in the follow spot, continuing filming, all the audience applauded him like a special guest! It was really funny. Then he became like an invisible black animal. He was everywhere at the right time. I think he'll get some good footage. We all had fun, Dominique was jumping everywhere, at one stage he even suddenly appeared in Francis' zone . The audience again was one of the best even if Francis and myself had few tuning problems.
Every night some details are improved and it would be great to do a final date in Paris and/or Lyon, the concert being so different now than in Marigny, we'll see, it is probably too late...

Mr. and Mrs. Pelamourgues, the most sexy couple on the tour.

A tiny man facing big machines.

Our power station.

Dominique, almost ready for action...

Julie Noyat, our tour manager is great. Everybody loves her. Tonight, she saves our lives by getting the expresso machine back from the bottom of the truck, ready to go to Francfort.

(posted on a mobile phone)


Arrived in Oslo, O snow,
A city I always liked with snow or with sun (today it was with the sun), a web-city, punk, rock, electro, ecolo...
We chose to start the film about the tour here. Benjamin is the director and David Perrier is behind the camera.
All the crew knows David who filmed the documentary in Egypt and in China. He will be on stage with us tomorrow night. I am going to bed now because we start shooting early in the morning..
Waiting for my luggage with other well dressed passengers at Oslo Airport.
(posted on a mobile phone)

vendredi 11 avril 2008

Country side, it is good to visit such a place and to play in this small town with the same energy than if it was New-York, Paris or London. It is what we did and we've been rewarded by an enthusiastic and sincere audience.
When french artists, if any, played Skive last time, I don't know, but we all had the feeling that we were carrying a bit of our french soul here tonight.
Talking about the french presence, we are always astonished by the absence, most of the tIme, of french diplomats during these concerts, not necessarily for us, but for them, it's even becoming a joke.
Not taking the opportunity of a strong presence of french artists and technicians making big headlines in the national press and not using it in their own interest is crazy and a big mistake, because it is also their job.
Ironically, we have regularly the presence of foreign diplomats or national political figures.
In all cases, along the road, that does not change anything for us..
The musicians, Dominique, Francis and Claude are really great as artists and friends. After all these years I am still discovering them. They are so different and like in any good band so complementary. I would say that the fifth and sixth members of the band are Julien Vouillon on stage and Alain Courieux behind the console in the hall every night, our two sound engineers, great pros and humam beings. I know that we can go and play on the moon and they will deliver the best possible sound...
Good night.
Francis during the sound check, Berlin

Aarus, in front of the new Digico console, Alain Courieux and Julien Voillon, 2 dear friends and talented sound engineers doing a great sound every night. See

Bananas, flowers and Dominique.

With Ras Bolding, one of the heads of the danish fan club,

Artist attacked by an army of suitcases in a tiny lift.

Is Hannibal Lecter on stage tonight? No it's Patrick tuning the ARP in the dark..

Skive, Concert Hall

(published on a mobile phone)

jeudi 10 avril 2008

Aarus, and other double-A

Aarus, second biggest city in Denmark went great also. It seems that we have fun on stage with the band. The energy is there...
Being in Jutland again, we remembered Aalborg, the fantastic concert in a windmill field which ended under the rain. Good memories..

Aarus Concert Hall, one hour before the show

mercredi 9 avril 2008

Meeting people

After the concert in Berlin, I met a lot of people from the electronic music world:
Jon from Elektron, who brought me a drum machine I ordered in Copenhagen last week, the director of Neumann, the people from Memotron, who have built an extraordinary new version of the Mellotron with even some Eminent sounds in it. I took one as a spare for the one Dominique has on stage.
Also a guy from Ploytec offered me an amazing midi pedal allowing to control live any tempo variations and doing a lot of other tricks ( see
Picture: At Steiners Buero, the most important store of electronic music in east Berlin. I bought a tiny drum machine for the bus..
(posted on a mobile phone)

Memories of Berlin

It is always exciting to come back to Berlin where I have so many memories. I used to spend some summer holidays when I was a child, my cousin was in charge of the food in the french army. One of his sons was my age. I remember going by train from Paris, going through East Germany. We were not allowed to look through the windows, the curtains were shut. We used to go to east Berlin through the metrop and it was for us the ultimate dangerous adventure. We were playing spy games, James Bond games.
Then I came back later on for doing some music, especially to play in the Waldbuhne, a huge outdoor amphitheater, close to the old olympic stadium and built by Hitler. I remember the very strange vibes of the tunnel backstage going directly to the stadium used a lot by Hitler and Goebels to visit the athletes in 1936.
I remember the wall and its amazing grafitti, the sadness of families being cut of for years. I remember that my mom, a great resistant, stayed in Berlin after she had been in a concentration camp. She travelled back from Berlin to Paris on the roof of a train risking her life at each tunnel.
Berlin, its soul, its architecture, its museums, galleries.., is more than ever impressive today. It is one of the most important cities in the world, a city of culture- official and underground. A great city of art and music, classical and modern. One of the centers of electronic music in the world. It has been an honor to be welcomed by such an enthusiastic audience, to get a standing ovation from the Berliners who know so much about music. We could have played all night...
The Berlin concert will remain for me and the band as one of the highlights of the tour.

The Reichtag, a good venue for a concert..

Victoria Platz, I remember the Wim Wenders' movie "les ailes du désir".

Schlotz Platz, where the nazis burnt thousands of books, may 10, 1933.

(posted on a mobile phone)

mardi 8 avril 2008


The Berlin audience was electrified and amazing. We could have played one more hour. Since Stockholm, it seems that I found the right energy and attitude on stage. The music is more energetic even with some minor problems with the MemoryMoog and the RMI. It is a real honor for me and the band to get such a welcome in the town of electronic music. More to come tomorrow..
(posted on a mobile phone)

dimanche 6 avril 2008


Right before entering the stage in Hamburg

Tonight I'm a Hamburger

Hamburg went with the same energy as in Stockholm. The audience was great.

Dominique was specially good tonight even if we lost him for a few minutes just before going on stage.

(posted on a mobile phone)