I attended on 3rd January 2020 Stephan Eicher‘ s live concert at La Halle aux grains in Toulouse (France). Although, I have listened to this singer and musician for many years now, it was the first time I went to his concert in this great theatre concert hall.
Stephan Eicher’s choice for concert place is spot on, a 2200-seater theater with a great acoustic sound and allowing an intimate connection with his public.
He obviously plays his old hit «Déjeuner quoi?» Stephan Eicher shouts and laughs during the concert. It’s the public who demands it. Stephan Eicher answers «Déjeuner en paix» doesn’t belong to me anymore. The music industry has got lots of money to pay for their lawyers, while I haven’t. So, I’m no longer allowed to sing it. However, you can sing it !» Approval screams. The band delivers a powerful Rock and the crowd sing it in chorus.
1. EXPlanations for STEPHAN EICHER ‘S absence
We know the misfortunes of the Bernese (Swiss German) musician with his Universal Major label. Reason for which, he tells, his stage repertoire has been for 5 years stuck to the same hits with no new released records. How can it sounds positive to us instead of the bitter experience he had. Since digitalisation, he said he didn’t like the way his contract was changed…but he didn’t ask for more money or music rights. However, he was lucky enough that his existing repertoire allowed him to tour with new shows rearranging his songs and offering new tracks.
2. ABOUT STEPHAN EICHER
Since more than 30 years, Stephan Eicher experiments and challenges himself musically. First, synthetic music with Grauzone and its techno-pop, then at the beginning of the 80s he tries out the rock experience. Then he goes for ballad songs, uses more classic or traditional instruments he associates with modern sounds and rhythms to offer a varied and rich discography.
3. His new album
This time, Stephan Eicher also comes back with new «Homeless songs» album (Polydor) composed of original tracks and of course a new show. He surrounds himself with a quartet to tell his new story, centered on acoustic and classic instrumental music.
In his own terms, this tour brings «not just 5 years of imposed ice skating figures but also introduce us to free skating.» Homeless songs do not have any place in the current music industry. They live elsewhere and sleep outside. This is in no way offensive , even the opposite ! These songs are like small stones children pick up along the river. For an adult, impossible to understand what guided the child’s choice. Was it the pleasant refreshing feeling of the stone ? A small pattern on the surface ? A weird or funny shape ? The fate ? These songs hope to create a relaxing, comfortable space, a dreaming pause.
4. His musicians during this 2020 tour
For this concert, he is accompanied by 4 independent musicians :
- Reyn Ouwehand, pianist, film Composer and multi-instrumentalist from Netherlands, who is the opening act.
- Heidi Happy, Swiss singer and multi instrumentalist (vocals, guitars, cello, mandolin, xylophone).
- Baptiste Germser, French horn (cor en français) and bass player and music producer.
- Simon Bauman, German drummer.
- Ludovic Bruni, French guitarist, bassist and music producer.
3. Live recordings in audio tracks and videos
a) Reyn Ouwehand’s opening act
Reyn played several piano tracks for us and I recorded two of them. Although I do not know the song titles, feel free to add them in the comment section below this blog post!
Obviously, Reyn continued playing for Stephan Eicher throughout his concert!
b) Dominique Regeff
Then there was a special guest, Dominique Regeff, French improvisor, composer, and musician specialising in stringed instruments. He came to play the hurdy gurdy (vielle en français) on the ‘Rivière’ song from Stephan Eicher. In this audio recording, Stephan introduces him and how they collaborate together.
c) Stephan Eicher
Finally, amongst other songs, I recorded these songs in audio and video versions. Once again, if any of you know the track title for his Swiss German song, drop the info in the comment section! He sings in French, Swiss German as well as English.
Here, you will recognise his very first hit in France!
And other well known French tracks!
In this below track, he asked us to put a timer on this song to prove that it’s difficult to record a full song in less than 3 minutes, which are the requirements of the music industry.
And this last song is from his new ‘Homeless songs’ album, even if I missed out the song beginning. Nonetheless, I hope you will enjoy it!
That is all from me! Enjoy the listening and subscribe!