After such an amazing new record, we surely couldn’t miss Archive’s come back in France. As part of their headlined European tour, the English band was playing two nights in the big Parisian venue called le Zenith. We still don’t understand why this band is not that popular in its own country and can only wish them things are gonna change in 2013.
Because again (ah ah), they delivered a really good show ! We didn’t really know what to expect giving the often changing line up but after seeing them multiple times and in very different set up, we went there pretty trustful. The venue isn’t sold out tonight and surprisingly it’s almost freezing down in the crowd. Yes, Archive is not attracting a crazy teenage audience and the seats are immediately attacked. More space for us to appreciate the amazing song “Wiped Out” by the amazing Pollard Berrier. A good time to notice that the masterminds Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths were not lying during their last interviews: this new record forced their singers to push themselves and give everything they have. Mission accomplished as the live version is as astonishing as the studio version. They kept on going with their hit “You Make Me Feel” introducing the brand new voice Holly Martin (Cheers mate !) who’s in charge of replacing usual samples on that song. Maria Q strangely seems not to be in the mood and we’ll have to wait until her next appearance to get things warmer.
This first part of the show is clearly dedicated to With Us Until You’re Dead, the new record. And if we noticed a few improvements prior to warm up shows, the audience seems not to have assimilated these songs yet. As we told before, general temperature wasn’t that warm and now it appears like the sound is really really low. Don’t get us wrong, the general mix was amazing during the whole two hours (what a pleasure to hear everything with such a rich music) but ridiculously low! We just couldn’t stand hearing neighbor’s comments, especially when you stand a few meters from the stage and PA! These two details combined made the ambiance a bit strange: a bit cold and polite, as if everybody stayed on his guard. “Violently” was expecting as most of us probably wanted to hear what Holly Martin can do. Well, looks like Archive just found a new talented singer. She’s obviously still a bit shy when it comes to quiet parts, but when things are going a bit stronger, she sure answers present. Can’t wait to hear her evolve!
The new arranged version of “Again” will be one of tonight’s highlight moment, thanks to Dave Pen performance (what? You heard that before?). What the audience probably waited was more punchy songs and “Fuck U” was the beginning of something, followed by the catchy “Pills” and an unreleased song. Faithful to their reputation, our two masterminds stand on both sides, guiding their friends during the whole night. Rumors even say that Danny Griffiths may have smile (meaning it was a good show). Smiley (drums) never deserved more his nickname and is really a pleasure to watch and hear while Steve Harris is still one of the classiest guitarist. Tonight’s encores were definitely the best times, proving that songs from Controlling Crowds records are now considered as “must be played” by fans. “Hatchet” confirmed Holly Martin’s promising voice and “King Of Speed” brilliantly concluded this show.
Like we said, Archive proved again tonight that they’re one of the best rock band currently playing. They offered us a show not as good as usual (yes, we missed “Lights” and “Finding It So Hard” and the performance deserved to be a bit louder) but still more powerful and sensitive than so many other acts. We can only wish that their new songs are gonna change and evolve so it will fit better in future sets.
Archive (Le Zénith – Paris – 11.16.2012)
Thanks to Alexandre !