paris, rue de bagnolet, january 2007
images & edit by vincent moon
sounds by benoit furic
produced by la blogotheque
There are moments when the accidental spectators of the Take Away Shows react in ways that amaze us. We thought that this guy wanted nothing to do with the band that, as usual, arrived to delight us with an unexpected show. The guy was at the huge, straight-laced bar La Réunion, drinking his beer, staring into space, and at times throwing a glance towards Eagle*Seagull, who were in the midst of the song “Death Could Be at the Door”. He didn’t utter a word until the song finished and we were packing up to leave. All of a sudden, he said, “You guys aren’t going to play another? I like what you’re doing!” Cool surprise.
He was nevertheless just like the rest of the bar’s clients and patrons : indifferent toward the guys, the girl, the guitar, and those drumsticks following Vincent Moon in the rue de Bagnolet in search of a piano. (All these things were, of course, necessary, since Eagle Seagull couldn’t really do anything without them.) In order to let Eli Mardock do what he does best, we needed to find a piano. Thus, in la Réunion with its bric-a-brac décor, we interrupted a couple playing pool. They stepped aside as we cleared away the chairs in front of the piano; Eli tested the honky-tonk sound, and the poignant ballad commenced.
While they were playing, the rhythm resonated through the iron armrests of a camping chair, and Vincent Moon succeeded in capturing a moving image. The violinist, fit with a heedless air not unlike a Nouvelle Vague heroine, sang with her head in the clouds, bewitchingly detached. Behind it all, the bartender served his clientele and our aforementioned guy seemed fixated on something that didn’t really interest him.
After we had finished and left the bar, we felt like doing a couple more piano pieces, so we headed to the Globe-Lune, another bar just a few steps away. We didn’t have the same success we had found moments earlier. Too much noise, too many people. You know the kind. We cleared the people away from the piano as we did before and launched into it. This crowd, however, with its rowdy discussions and dart-throwing frenzy, didn’t take to the tunes as much. Pity.
On our way back to Flèche d’Or, the indie club in Paris where the group was playing that evening, we ascended the long hill on the rue de Bagnolet. The group casually segued into the song “Holy”. There’s something powerful about this long sequence: Eagle*Seagull climbs the slight incline as if it were only natural to sing “Holy” in such a ritualistic way. They were all whistling as they passed by mothers, young girls, and friends. The drummer tapped and hit all the iron storefronts and caged shutters; Eli led the group as naturally as possible; and the violinist whispered the lyrics, always far-off and enchanting. Vincent Moon’s camera became a member of the band, throwing a look onto every passing element on the way. It gave particular attention the rose vendor, and nearly crashed onto the pavement before rejoining the rest of the group.
Before arriving back at the Flèche d’Or, the band jumped into a final song, kicking it off choir-style, building up and then falling into laughter, only to mend it back together in the end. They finished off in front of the venue, lined up like a parade with a look that summarized our hour spent together: completely natural.
text by furax