Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Offenbach - 1974 - Tabarnac


01. Quoi quoi (3:44)
02. Ether (5:57)
03. Dimanche blues (8:54)
04. Habitant chien blanc (2:26)
05. Teddy (8:02)
06. Promenade sur Mars (4:47)
07. Granby (8:33)
08. Marylin (7:00)
09. Wezo (5:30)
10. Ma patrie est à terre (4:00)
11. Pourquoi j't'icitte (5:12)
12. Québec Rock(3:37)
13. Jam (11:33)
14. L'hymne à l'amour (6:32)
15. Moody Calvaire Moody
16. Pourquoi J?Ticitte
17. Marylin/Wezo/Rirolarma
18. Ma Partie Est a Terre
19. Be-Bop-A-Lula

Gerry Boulet: keyboard, vocals, guitar, sax, flute
Jean Gravel: guitars
Michel Lamothe: bass
Roger "wezo" Belval: drums

This is more or less the soundtrack of the film made of the group's French and European tour in early 74.

After doing the St Chrone mass, the group was approached by a French movie director that would convince the group to try its chance in France, tour the country, make an album and at the same time, he would film the band in order to make a full-blown movie. After the St Chrone shooting, the Bulldozer movie (still in the making), this was yet another video project. So the band headed across the pond and toured and partied and played and?. Lived the RnR life on film and this double album is a bit the result of that. With this minimalist but poignant claws artwork, this double album is probably one of the first French-speaking rockumentary, and it's filled with spoken or other interludes that are of little interest, unless you're one of Offenbach's unconditional fans. Since the movie's never received a commercial release, it's obviously the double disc release that will be reviewed.
Before the release of Tabarnac, the Bulldozer movie was finally finished and ready to release (along with the disc), prompting Pierre Harel (this was mostly his project) to come back to Quebec, while the rest of the band toured France and Europe, thus widening further still the gap (rift) between the multi-functional singer and the band. So the band is reduced to a quartet by the time they recorded and released this album, but the split was most likely not effective yet.

The album' opening side starts on the Quoi rocker, then on a Hammond orgy of Ether than a lengthy and fiery blues, to finish on another organ-driven rocker. Teddy opens up the side B and offers a sizzling fast-tempoed 8-mins improvised spacey beast, before paying homage to the Quebec town of Granby on Deep Purplish mode. Avery fine mainly-instrumental version of Marylin opens side C with a lengthy solo section (including the drum solo from Wezo) and two shorter tracks, both quite pleasant to undemanding prog ears. The Quebec rocker opens side D, with a spacey-psychy Jam following it, showing that Offenbach could also improvise nicely. They finish up this double set on slow organ-drenched bluesy hymn to love and rock.

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