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waitingforwords liveinparis vol1
Artist: Waiting For Words
Title: Live In Paris Vol. 1 & 2
Genre: Synth Pop, New Wave
Release Date: 10th November 2013
Label: Foundry Records


DVD / Album Review

How can you please a Synth Pop fan? Having two of the most talented bands releasing their Live DVDs almost the same months! Funny how DE/VISION and WAITING FOR WORDS regularly walk in each other steps. Funny but not surprising the two bands being familiar to each other and having performed live already three times together in Paris since 2008. For the last three years, the French act WAITING FOR WORDS has been on the road to support their critically acclaimed album ‘Follow The Signs’, and to date, this tour was the band's longest one: 29 dates, five countries (UK, Belgium, US, Germany and France), 15 cities and they shared stage with bands like A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, DE/VISION, PSYCHE (for nine of the dates), NACHTMAHR and supported OMD at le Trianon, Paris in front of a thousand people. As no Live DVD was available, they decided to release two different DVDs both filmed and recorded Live in Paris at La Scene Bastille over two different shows: one as part of the ‘Follow The Signs Tour’ and the other for their special Birthday Concert (see Live Review WAITING FOR WORDS & DE/VISION) with a complete different tracklist.

Volume 1 - 30th November 2012

The sound is awesome, pure, very powerful and very well mixed... I'd be tempted to say, too clean for a live recording as we don't hear the audience a lot (almost not at all, apart in between songs or on specific interaction between ZeN and the public). In that aspect, it reminds me a bit of SIMPLE MINDS’ ‘Live In The City Of Light’ where we had the feeling the band was playing in an empty venue. “We couldn't use the ambiance recording we did as there were a lot of feedbacks, echoes and it kind of wasted the quality of it” the band explained to us. On another hand I prefer enjoying a good quality recording than feedbacks all over the place that's for sure. As per the DVD, the very nice thing is that it really focuses on the Live performance. There is no big editing effects and after a couple of songs you are really into the live show in itself. The first thing that stroke me is the quality of the visual screenings used during the show. There are two different kinds of visual on stage: 3D or computerized imagery (Cyber dancers on the opening track ‘Please’, standstill pictures based on the album imagery of ‘Message’, the well-known video of ‘Cause I Do Believe’ with the band computerized as SIMS characters or abstract imagery on ‘Again’) and pure videos with the use of ‘Miles Away’, ‘Out Of Control’ and ‘Pain’ promo videos.

The concert starts with a shorter version of the album's instrumental ‘New Town’ that appropriately gives a  kind of a drama to the show about to start. Three album tracks start the concert: the very Synth Pop ‘Please’, the almost EBM ‘Message’ and the latest single ‘Pain’. All of them were slightly reworked compared to the album (more basses, harder kicks, different intro for ‘Pain’) and of course Soe sings on all tracks wherever to support ZeN or add some stuffs here and there. 4th track is a long time no play, taken from their 2004 album, ‘Waiting For You’, one of the first Soe's appearance in the band, at the time as a “featuring”. There's a strong cold wave feel to it with a surprising electro break in the middle where ZeN introduces the band. Back to the last album then with a very powerful version of ‘Signs’. At this stage, the band is warm enough to introduce the “ice breaking” moment of the show, their splendid cover version of SIMPLE MINDS song ‘Someone, Somewhere in Summertime’, performed for the first time that night. Peter Rainman, from the band PEOPLE THEATRE that performs keyboards brings also some very nice and powerful backing vocals.

The rest of the show is a nonstop succession of hits: ‘The Curve’, ‘Miles Away’ (the beautiful Airport Mix version), ‘Out Of Control’, ‘Again’ ( a song of PEOPLE THEATRE featuring Soe on vocal that was released earlier this year) and the end hymn of the band: ‘Cause I Do Believe’. As bonus tracks the DVD features a great cover of YAZOO's ‘Didn't Bring Your Love Down’ that sees PSYCHE and WAITING FOR WORDS reunited together on stage, a video promo of ‘Follow My Voice (Arrow Version)’ and a 8mn teaser of ‘Escape – the videos’, the DVD released less a year ago and compiling all promo videos of the band

Volume 2 - 23rd March 2013

This one sees the band back on the same stage four months later, this time with DE/VISION, for a unique show to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the band. And everything there is different from volume 1: the show in itself with no visual screenings, a more important light show, the setlist of course focusing on rarities and never plaid before covers. The audience also as the venue is almost packed this time and it seems wherever more fans were there or the awareness of the band climbed in between the two gigs... or both. The filming and editing is also radically different. Rougher, more dynamic, more close shots. As well as the band's performance to be honest. In terms of songs we have ‘Here Comes The Shame’, ‘Travelling Man’ and ‘Above The Sky’, all taken from ‘A Mix Though The Night’, or ‘Mon Ami’, the French song from the last album, as well as covers from DEPECHE MODE, (‘See You’ sung by Soe), HEAVEN 17 (‘Let Me Go’), the French band INDOCHINE (‘Alice Dans La Lune’) and a punchier version of SIMPLE MINDS’ ‘Someone Somewhere in Summertime’. Of course, main hits are there again: ‘Cause I Do Believe’, ‘The Curve’ and another version of ‘Miles Away’ combining both Airport Mix and Album Version. But the performances are transcended by the atmosphere of that night and more months of touring. The concert ends up with the apocalyptic Arrow version of ‘Follow My Voice’.

As per bonus, we have the pure pop hit ‘By Your Side’ shot at their OMD support gig. Awesome sound and stage for what must have been the peak of WAITING FOR WORDS tour. We also have two tracks from the last gig of the tour in Lyon: ‘For All My Sins’ and a surprising (and excellent) cover of AND ONE, ‘Military Fashion Show’. To illustrate the audio song, the band compiled their different visual screenings used during the tour.

Conclusion

Those two CDs/DVDs are very complementary. It gives a good hint on both sides of the band for anyone who heard about the band and would like to discover WAITING FOR WORDS live: a clean, very professional and technical show with Volume 1 which sees the band really focused on their performance and where every song is a different trip into their ‘Follow The Signs’ adventure. Volume 2 shows the “Rock’n’Roll” side of the band, liberated from the tour constraints for a celebration night, almost with friends, with a unique setlist. Overall, it confirms the supremacy of this band over the French Synth Pop scene, standing “miles away” from other French acts (and even a lot of international overrated acts) both in terms of show, sense of experimentation, variety of style and charisma. And over here in Germany... promoters and festival programmers remain totally blind and deaf toward this band? What the F**K is going on to explain we are passing aside such a band? Put this band on the WGT or Amphi Fest stages and I'm pretty sure they will set the audience on fire. Maybe someday? The DVDs are available only at: www.weezevent.fr/waiting-for-words-fr


Tracklist

Volume 1 - 30th November 2012
01. New Town (Edit)
02. Please
03. Message
04. Pain
05. Waiting For You
06. Signs
07. Someone Somewhere in Summertime
08. The Curve
09. Miles Away (Airport Version)
10. Out Of Control
11. Again (People Theatre)
12. Cause I Do Believe
13. Bring Your Love Down (feat Psyche)
Bonus: Follow My Voice (Arrow Promo Video) + “Escape – The Videos”, 8mn DVD Teaser

Volume 2 - 23rd March 2013
01. Here Comes The Shame (Commuter Version 2013)
02. Above The Sky
03. The Curve
04. Let Me Go
05. Travelling Man (Rings The Phone Version)
06. Mon Ami
07. Alice Dans La Lune
08. Miles Away (Hybrid Version)
09. Cause I Do Believe
10. Someone, Somewhere in Summertime
11. See You
12. Follow My Voice (Arrow Version)
Bonus: By Your Side (Live at Le Trianon, Paris), Best Of Tour Visual Screenings: For All My Sins & Military Fashion Show (Audio recoded Live in Lyon)


Line-up

ZeN – Vocals
Soe – Vocals and Keyboards
Peter Rainmain (from People Theatre) – Keyboards and backing vocals


Website

www.waitingforwords.com / www.facebook.com/Waiting.for.Words


Cover Picture

waitingforwords liveinparis vol1waitingforwords liveinparis vol2


Rating

Music: 9
Sound: 9
Image: 8
Bonus: 9
Total: 8.75 / 10


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