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Sarah Blasko live @ Café de Danse, Paris, 04.12.10

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In true street press reviewer fashion we get there late: I partly blame the complexity of the Bastille Metro station and partly blame the Lonely Planet map we’re using which has the road we’re trying to find incorrectly named. By the time we arrive we’ve missed the first four songs.

  • The Café de Danse is a superb little venue; similar in size to somewhere like The Globe but with a layout like the Powerhouse’s main theatre, a knee high stage, a standing area and a bank of seats at the back of the venue. It’s one of those venues where you have a great view of the stage from wherever you’re standing/sitting.
  • Although the floor is uncarpeted, plenty of people are sat down on it; it doesn’t only happen at The Troubadour (RIP).
  • It’s a Saturday night and the headline set starts at 9pm, is all over by 10:10pm and the place is empty within 10 minutes after that. Brisbane place take note. I’ll probably be saying it with my dying breath but Brisbane needs to stop living under the ridiculous assumption that no one will take the place seriously as a music city unless the headline act starts playing around midnight.
  • Songs are played to a completely silent crowd. Songs end and are met with rapturous applause, there is no chatter level to fight against. Brisbane crowds take note. One of these days I’m going to go lose it with one of the rude and disrespectful groups that I seem to encounter at least at every other gig and point out that the reason they’re having to yell when talking to their friends is that they’re stood two metres from the front of the stage and a huge speaker and if they want to talk rather than listen to and watch the band they would find it much easier at the back of the venue or preferably outside it. /rant
  • Other than a couple of photographers squeezed in at the side of the stage, there is a notable absence of punters wielding cameras and mobile phones with a desire to watch a gig happening right in front of their eyes through an electrical device and a fanatical need to record every single second of the gig for a future low quality upload to YouTube.
  • There is also very little evidence of much in the way of drinking. Although there is a bar outside the main auditorium, no one seems to move once the set starts to replenish their glasses, and looking around the venue it’s hard to spot anyone even with a glass or a bottle in their hand.
  • If there is but one thing to take away from tonight it’s just how good the sound is: it’s the best sound I’ve heard in a long, long time, so good that it’s actually detrimental to the songs. Rather than appreciate what’s being played, you can’t help help but continually think “this sound is absolutely amazing”. Clear as a bell and a perfect mix between all the instruments.
  • When Blasko played in Brisbane late last year, the tickets were an eye-watering $72. Tonight they cost €19.80, less than $27: the benefits of seeing acts play in countries where they’re largely unknown and still building up a following, something that Australia rarely gets to experience.
  • Sarah Blasko’s French extends to “Merci beaucoup”, “J’ adore Paris” and “Bonsoir”.

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