Our reporter discovered the backstage of the Take Away Show: a secret meeting, a mysterious band, and, afterwards, a wonderful apartment with a piano, maracas, and a guitar. Tahiti Boy and The Palmtree Family sang him three beautiful, vivacious songs.
I was told to simply meet at 126 rue Vieille du Temple at nine sharp. What would unfold from that moment on was a mystery, as it frequently is with La Blogothèque crew. You know there’ll be a band, you know there’ll be a camera, and you know there’ll be some form of alluring chaos. So I strolled by 126 rue Vieille du Temple in the heart of the Marais—one of the most chic, fashion-frenzied neighborhoods in Paris—and saw nothing but a dimly-lit and empty doorway. Shortly after I got there, Vincent Moon and Guillaume, a friend and writer for La Blogothèque, emerged, and we started walking. To where? I didn’t know. But suddenly we came upon Jean and Dorothée carrying a snare and an assortment of other drum devices. After brief introductions, we slipped back over to 126. We were welcomed into a wonderful apartment where the magic would unfold.
Before the entire entourage of Tahiti Boy and The Palmtree Family arrived, we were privileged to hear a solo gem from The Rodeo entitled “Little Soldier”: Dorothée bewitched us with it, drawing us in with her commanding twang. Her voice filled the space with an alluring echo, marking a quiet vitality in the room that wasn’t there before. A special prelude to a special evening.
Soon, people started to arrive. It was a whole mixed bag of characters, including the rest of the band. How Mr. Boy met the Palmtree Family or for how long they’ve been playing together is a little mysterious; you can check it out for yourself on their Myspace page. What is not a mystery, however, is the band’s talent. Their tight compositions flow flawlessly from empty-bar-melancholy into ravished rhythms that could make any dispirited emo kid gravitate to the music. As soon as the instruments were taken out, the band set up gracefully around the piano, which was suitably adorned with a bottle of Jack. The first song, “Time”, starts off as if it were going into a soft aria, but then it suddenly kicks up and struts, moving between slight discord and strong harmony. At this point, the neighbors below started to pound on the ceiling. We knew they were telling us to shut up, but we took the banging as a congenial sign of participation. It’s always good to have an additional drummer (not that Jean needs any assistance, because it’s obvious he kicks ass behind the kit).
After this, we all gathered around the piano (including demonized maracas and teddy bears) to sing the inspiringly beautiful “You Make Me Blush”. David (aka Mr. Boy) has such a striking and enchanting voice in this song that I was blushing from adoration, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same. Apparently, the neighbors below were put into a tranquil calm during this one—especially after the raucous “Time”—because they didn’t chime in at all on percussion.
Toward the end, as the band packed up, we all left the apartment at which we had just arrived an hour earlier. Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family spilled out into the street, continuing to play. We closed the door to 126 rue Vieille du Temple behind us, which would never appear dimly-lit or empty again. It’s amazing how all it takes is a couple of musicians, a camera, and a little chaos to change the personality of a place, of an experience.