2004 – La Loco

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At La Loco, Paris, France

23rd May 2004 – La Loco, Paris, France

Set List

  1. The Gimp (Sometimes) (w/ an extended intro)
  2. Sex With Sun Ra (Part Two – Sigillaricia)
  3. Broccoli (Version 2)
  4. All the Pretty Little Horses
  5. Tattooed Man (The Dark Age of Love)
  6. Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)
  7. Wraiths and Strays
  8. Black Antlers (Where’s Your Child?) (Bam Bam Cover)

Soundcheck

  1. Black Antlers (Where’s Your Child?)
  2. Sex With Sun Ra (Part Two – Sigillaricia)
  3. Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)
  4. Tattooed Man (The Dark Age of Love)
  5. The Gimp (Sometimes)
  6. Wraiths and Strays
  7. All the Pretty Little Horses

RE~TG

Prior to this show, Throbbing Gristle held a reunion show called “RE~TG” at the Astoria Theatre in London on May 16, 2004. The original date, announced as early as July 18, 2003, was supposed to be May 14-16 as a part of a huge event at Pontin’s Camber Sands Holiday Resort in Camber, East Sussex, England, but was cancelled on April 26. While severely disappointed at the lack of professional handling of the situation, TG decided to play anyway at the Astoria Theatre, billing the show as a “live recording session.” As Genesis P-Orridge opened the show with, it was the first time in almost 23 years to the day the four members had played live together, though in the months prior they had started collaborating in the studio together. Numerous TG and Coil affiliates attended the show, including Claus Laufenburg, Thighpaulsandra, Pierce Wyss, and Massimo Villani.

The official video of the gig, released on TGV, prominently shows John Balance garbed in a black-and-white striped shirt and pants. According to Thighpaulsandra, he was drunk at the time. John frequently danced and shook himself to the music, but the most notable moment came during “Almost a Kiss,” when he ran up on the stage and kissed Peter on the cheek. A few shots later reveal Peter was quite bemused by the moment. It’s very sad, but telling. Certainly from “RE~TG” on, the Coil story grew a whole lot more melancholic.

Touring Background

On January 19th 2004, Brainwashed announced “Coil will be performing at the Wave Gotik Treffenfestival which takes place in Leipzig, Germany on May 28th to 31st, 2004. Other bands confirmed to appear include Clan of Xymox, Covenant and Suicide Commando, with many more to be announced.”

On March 3, it only mentioned rumors of the 2004-05-23 Paris show, without any concrete info.

Also announced by Coil on April 26th 2004: “We have been working hard on new musick, new material, new ideas, stage design, costumes, merchandise etc. for the last two months, and are continuing to rehearse and plan for the remaining European dates. It continues to be an exhilerating and exciting process to work on this new material, and we are looking forward to debuting our current line up and presenting fresh meat to the carniverous audience, and we remain undaunted by the fact that our first and major UK date of the tour has disintegrated before our disbelieving eyes. Never ones to let the grass grow under our feet we are taking the opportunity to enjoy the Space and Time that this circumstance has opened up for us we intend to rehearse and record an album length CDR – tentatitively titled Telesmatic Tree in the King Scale. This new work will be for sale at the European shows and from our regular store on this site. We are also well into beginning to record material for a new ‘proper’ studio album The Ape Of Naples.

The ‘remaining European dates’ mentioned above are as follows (with the possibility of more to be added):

May 23 – Paris, France at La Locomotive
May 29 – Athens, Greece at Gagarin 205
May 31 – Leipzig, Germany at Wave Gotik Treffen festival
June 3 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands at Melkweg”

On May 18th, the 2004-07-25 Ocean Club show was also added. On May 25th, two days after the Paris gig, the finalized tour schedule was released as follows, with the May 29th gig unfortunately appearing to have been cancelled:

“May 31 – Leipzig, Germany at Wave Gotik Treffen festival
June 3 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands at Melkweg
July 11 – Jesi, Italy at Il Violino e la Selce festival
July 25 – London, UK at Ocean”

Concert Background

Feeling: Shrouded

“Even an Evil Fatigue” tour, “Black Antlers” phase. The last “major” tour of Coil’s existence.

Most of the typical Coil conventions were turned on their heads for this phase. First of all, Peter would switch up the backing videos between the set of songs every time, instead of matching each video to its respective song like in most cases before. Second, Ian Johnstone played the role of costume designer for Coil, designing John’s dress and Peter and Thighpaulsandra’s black and white shower curtain outfits. He effectively replaced David Cabaret in this regard, as Cabaret had designed every costume previously. In certain recordings, you can even see Ian help Peter and Thighpaulsandra on and off the stage.

Debut performances of all songs except “Wraiths and Strays,” formerly known as “Radio Weston” and apparently renamed by John as a reference to the 1991 Soft Cell song “Waifs and Strays.” “The Gimp (Sometimes)” and “Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)” are retitled, remade versions of “The Gimp/Sometimes” from the People Hate Us compilation and “Teenage Lightning” from Love’s Secret Domain respectively. Coil revived “Broccoli” in a radical evolved form for this show, henceforth referred to as “Broccoli (Version 2).” Current 93’s version of the traditional song “All the Pretty Horses” inspired the band to create their own cover, though John would always poke fun at the song’s origins for these shows. The subtitle “The Dark Age of Love” to “Tattooed Man” was the original title for Love’s Secret Domain.

John’s vocal stems on “Sex With Sun Ra,” “Tattooed Man,” “Teenage Lightning,” and “Wraiths and Strays” from the multitrack soundboard recording would eventually be used on studio versions/remixes of the songs found on The Ape of Naples and the 2006 2nd edition remaster of Black Antlers. Because that studio remix of “Sex With Sun Ra” was subtitled “Part Two – Sigillaricia,” I am labeling the song as song as such for this particular gig listing all the others as “Part One – Saturnalia.” “Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)” became “Teenage Lightning 2005” and “Wraiths and Strays” became “The Wraiths and Strays of Paris.”

During the soundcheck to the show, John sings along with the pre-recorded Buddhist chants during “Wraiths and Strays.” This is the only time he ever does this.

A long, ominous ambient piece plays before the opening track. It’s unclear whether this is a long intro to the song, or a different track played over the P.A. John comes on stage a few minutes after Thighpaulsandra and Peter.

The Gimp (Sometimes)

John: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are Coil.”
(Audience applause)

Sometimes, sometimes [repeated]

Sometimes, I hate myself
Sometimes, I just hate myself
Sometimes, I hurt myself
Sometimes, I just help myself
Sometimes [repeated]

John (after the song): “Could I have a little bit less reverb in, uh, my monitors, please? Just a little, uh, make it a little dryer, so I can hear what I’m singing.”
Audience member: “Something.”
John: “I was singing something, yes, but I wasn’t singing anything.”

Sex With Sun Ra (Part Two – Sigillaricia)

John: “This next track was, uh, composed about a week ago, and I finished the lyrics today, which is why I have a lyric sheet, here, so please forgive that. One day, I’ll get professional enough to sing without one. And it’s called ‘Sex With Sun Ra.’ I’ve never had it, but I’ve thought about it quite a lot.”

The song is about an imaginary date between John and the jazz composer Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount and legally named Le Sony’r Ra), who claimed to have been born on Saturn and enlightened by higher beings there. He wrote countless jazz albums with his orchestra, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and was well known for the mythical African costumes he and his musicians would wear during live performances (which inspired Coil’s live garb). He wasn’t known to have any sexual preference; space was all he would talk about. He died in May of 1993 from pneumonia. I don’t know if John ever met him or saw him live.

Sun Ra was here in his element
He invited me back for a ride
I smiled, agreed, and we left for the place
That is full of the reasons for time and for space
He said he was leaving last tide
On a spaceship powered by natural sounds

He said, “I dream of colour music
And the intricacies of the machines that make it possible”
I said, “You are nothing if not inconsistent”
He said, “I rely upon being insistent
I’m almost never forever, I’m almost never for now”

I implore you, explore all the people you meet
I implore you, explore all the people you meet

He said, “I will be all right if you kiss me
And I will be all right if you hold me
It will be all right if you kiss me
It’ll be all right if you hold me”

He said, “Now is the time to relaunch the dream weapon”
He said, “Now is the time to relaunch the dream weapon
Relaunch the dream weapon
We worship at the shrine of the thylacine
We worship at the shrine of the thylacine
We worship at the shrine of the thylacine
And we worshipped at the shrine of that thylacine”

I see acid free
Not an ideal homeland for you and me
Desert venom
Military temples
Black wings flying out without management or plan
Where the resonated rubs
Against delinquent and compliant
I will be all right if you kiss me
I will be all right if you hold me
I said “Next time I see you, I’ll remind you
Most accidents occur at home
Most accidents occur at home”
All will be forgotten, and all will be well

During the song itself, on SBD #1, before the hurdy-gurdy and pipes come in, John’s mic glitches and one of his lines is barely audible, while the next line cuts out slightly.

John (after the song): “Thank you. I want to evolve and change every time we play it live and then we’ll eventually record it. And sorry for people – we didn’t manage to bring enough CDs because we couldn’t afford to have them manufactured, but they will be available from our website very soon, so if you missed out, don’t worry.”

Broccoli

John (after the song): “Thank you. We’re gonna have to pick another vegetable to do a track about soon.”
Audience member: “The nettle!”
John: “What? The nettle? Uh, we, we drink, we eat, we don’t, we eat, we drink nettles all the time.”
Peter: (indecipherable)
John: “Be quiet, Peter.”
Peter makes a “yadda yadda yadda” hand motion.

All the Pretty Little Horses

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry
Go to sleepy, little baby
Go to sleepy, little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses
All the pretty little horses

Blacks and bays, and dapples and greys
All the pretty little horses

Way down yonder in the meadow
Lies a poor little lamby
Bees and butterflies flit around his eyes
Poor little thing is crying “mammy”
Poor little thing is crying “mammy”
Poor little thing is crying “mammy”

Go to sleep, don’t you cry
Rest your head upon the clover
Rest your head upon the clover
In your dreams, you shall ride
While your mummy watches over

Blacks and bays, and dapples and greys
All the pretty little horses
All the pretty little horses

Go to sleep, don’t you cry
Rest your head upon the clover
Rest your head upon the clover
In your dreams, you shall ride
While your mummy watches over
In your dreams, you shall ride
While your mummy watches over

Blacks and bays, and dapples and greys
All the pretty little horses
All the pretty little horses
All the pretty little horses

Tattooed Man (The Dark Age of Love)

I am waiting for the crunch of another naked lunch [repeated]

There’s a man lying down in a grave somewhere
With the same tattoos as me
And I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him
There’s a man lying down in a bed somewhere
With a different set of sex aspects
And I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, my eye

This is me, here now
Pining like a dog
Whining like a dog in a thick harbour fog
Waiting for a ship that will make him sick
And when the ship comes – big trouble
His trouble will begin

And the church bells chime the colour of wine
And the angels-devil fight to snatch back the last time

And there’s a man lying down with a blade somewhere
With the same taboos as me
And I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him
There’s a man lying down in a bed somewhere
With a different set of sex aspects
And I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, my eyes

This is the dark age of love [repeated]
This is the dark – find your way out

And I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him
There’s a man laying down [repeated]
There’s a man laying down somewhere

The Naked Lunch was a seminal work by William S. Burroughs, whom the Coil boys were a huge fan of. A projected album under various names, including Wounded Galaxies Tap at the Window and The Star-Shaped Individual in Society, which would focus on spoken word poetry and would feature a contribution from Burroughs, was never officially released, although the spoken word recordings were eventually unofficially leaked in 2016 under the name “Black Sun Magazine.”

John (after the song): “Thank you very much. That’s another track we wrote yesterday. I think Paris inspires us, somehow. In some dark, twisted way, of course.”

Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)

Don’t be alarmed
It will not harm you
It’s only lightning
Teenage lightning

Don’t be afraid
Don’t be expectant
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be reluctant
Don’t be afraid

It’s only lightning
Teenage lightning
It will not harm you

Don’t be afraid
It will not harm you
It’s only lightning
Teenage lightning

It’s real, it’s unbelievably real
It will not harm you
It’s only lightning
It’s only lightning
Teenage lightning

John (after the song): “Thank you. That’s, uh, a song that you probably recognize, uh, updated version of, uh, one of our oldest never-hits.”
Audience member: “Come on!”
John: “We always say that teenage lightning is the energy generated by two teenag-teen-teenagers rubbed together.”

Wraiths and Strays

John: “And it doesn’t have to be teenagers. Could be old-aged pensioners. ‘Wraiths and Strays.’”

Ra, bai, be, om, uyi, ucha, beyom, om [repeated]

For I will follow you in…
For I will follow you in…
For I will follow you – and shoot!
Shoot! [repeated]

Black Antlers

John: “Cottage cheese from the lips of death, wherever you are. Leaf pores, with a lovely hump minute. Cyclical hump.” He then makes clicking noises.

This version opens with an extended intro.

Where’s your child?
Where’s your child?
Do you know?
Do you know?
Where’s your child?
Do you know?

It’s so wrong to be on your own
Especially when you don’t know right from wrong
So where’s your child?
Where’s your child?
Do you know? Do you know?

This world is icy cold
This world is icy cold
When you’re alone, when you’re alone
So where’s your child?
Where’s your child?

It’s so wrong, it’s so wrong to be on your own
Especially when you don’t know right from wrong
So where’s your child?
Do you know where’s your child?
Do you know?
So where’s your child?! [repeated]
Do you know, do you know, do you know right from wrong?

It’s an icy world when you’re on your own
And no one wants to be on their own
Especially when they don’t know right from wrong
You’re all my children, now
It’s a cold world, it’s a cold world, it’s a cold world
It’s a cold world when you’re on your own

Stupid when you’re on your own
When you’re on your own

So where’s your child?
Do you know?
Where’s your child?
Do you know, ah?!

It’s a cold world, it’s a cold world when you’re on your own
When you’re on your own
So where’s your child?
Where’s your child?
Do you know? Do you know?

[Peter on the Speak & Spell variously throughout]: Y, K, W, 7

John’s closing words are “Thank you very much, thank you. That’s it for tonight, and as you know, we never do encores, so thank you very much for coming, thank you very much indeed from all of us. We were Coil, ladies and gentlemen, we were Coil. Be kind to our mistakes, won’t you? Night-night.”
A few moments of encore-calling pass before Peter returns to the stage and closes: “Uh, as many of you know, Coil do all, we shoot all of our stuff in one go, so, that’s it for tonight. Thank you very much for coming. Alright. We were Coil.”

Soundcheck Notes & Partial Transcription

Lionel Foxx filmed about 86 minutes of random bits of the band soundchecking, posing outside the Moulin Rouge, going to a bar, and going to a restaurant. A 15-minute edit was included on Colour Sound Oblivion DVD #11. Bernard Filipetti transferred and shared his tapes of the full footage with LCA on October 18, 2020. It shows that Coil soundchecked all of the songs they played during the concert except “Broccoli (Version 2).” The band is still working out bits and pieces, here and there, and John sings some slightly alternate lyrics.

Tattooed Man (The Dark Age of Love)

Reportedly, this song was left off the Black Antlers CDr because John couldn’t finish his vocals in the studio. He tries alternate singing patterns and even changes lyrics on his paper draft during the lengthy intro to “The Gimp (Sometimes).”

This is me, here now
Pining like a dog in a thick…
Pining like a dog
I’m whining like a dog in a thick harbour fog
Waiting for a ship that will only make him sick
And when his ship comes in
His trouble will begin

Ah, the church bell chimes with a colour of wine
The angels and the devils fight to spite back time
And the angels and the Devil fight to take back stolen time

This is me, here now
Whining like a dog
I’m pining like a dog in a thick harbour fog
Waiting for a ship that’ll only make him sick
And when his ship comes in
Then the trouble will begin

And the church bell chimes with the colour of wine
And the angels and the devils fight t-
To take back stolen time

John (indicating to Peter): …sing it!
And the angels and the devils fight
Peter: Pretty good.
To take back stolen time

Oh, love, huh
This is the dark age of love
This is the dark age of love
This is the dark age of love

John’s Typed Lyrics

Some of John’s typed lyric sheets were published in 2020’s The Universe is a Haunted House book. They include:

sometimes
sometimes
sometimes
sometimes

sometimes I hurt myself
sometimes I hate myself

[HATE
HURT
HELP]

sometimes I hurt myself
sometimes I help myself

[and] sometimes I hurt myself
[and] sometimes I just help myself

sometimes I just hate myself
sometimes I help myself

[AND sometimes
JUST]

sometimes
sometimes
sometimes

[remember extra bars]
Hushaby
Don’t you cry
Go to sleepy little baby
Go to sleepy little baby

When you wake you shall have
all the pretty little horses
all the pretty little horses

blacks and bays and dapples and greys
all the pretty little horses

way down yonder in the meadoe
lies a poor little lamby

bees and butterflies flitter round his eyes
poor little thing is crying mammy

(hums) [-Sleep-]
go to sleep don’t you cry
rest your head upon the clover
rest your head upon the clover
[x2]

in your dreams you shall ride
while your mammy watches over [in dreams]

blacks and bays and dapples and greys
all the pretty little horses
all the pretty little horses
all the pretty little horses

Line-up

John Balance – vocals, egg cutter/mini-harp on “The Gimp (Sometimes)”
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson – Ableton sequence, video projections, Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer, backing vocals on “The Gimp (Sometimes),” Speak & Spell on “Wraiths and Strays (Soundcheck)” and “Black Antlers (Where’s Your Child?)”
Thighpaulsandra – Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer, Kurzweil K2000R using a DX7 as a MIDI controller
Tom Edwards – MalletKAT MIDI Marimba channeled through a EMU E6400
Cliff Stapleton – hurdy-gurdy
Mike York – Breton bagpipes, duduk on “Teenage Lightning (1oth Birthday Version)” and “Wraiths and Strays,” bombarde on “Black Antlers (Where’s Your Child?)”

Massimo Villani and Pierce Wyss were in attendance at this show. As a matter of fact, I believe Massimo and Pierce saw every single “Black Antlers”-era Coil gig. This was also Mike York’s last concert with Coil ever.

Advertisements, Backstage or Related Promo Material

Ticket Stubs

Please contact us if you have any ticket stubs from this event: info@live-coil-archive.com

Venue

La Loco
90 boulevard de Clichy
75018
Paris
France

Gallery

AMT #1

AMT #2 – “All the Pretty Little Horses” Only

PRO #1b – Soundcheck, Backstage, Outside, and Restaurant Footage

EDIT #1

Attendee Recollections

On the old Wassonii blog, Industrial (Eric) recalls: “”Remembering this wonderful night in Paris (I was backstage!)…I was lucky. What a day… My initial idea when coming in the Locomotive during the afternoon was only to give to John and Sleazy the typescript of my book about TG and related paths. But, they were so charming and kind that in the end I was present during the soundcheck, backstage, etc. I even eaten (no, not broccoli) with them and Black Sun Productions. A nice moment. The show was really great, powerful and beautiful. Unforgettable. I think this concert will be in the Colour Sound Oblivion set, because there were 2 cameramen (an old guy from Gong!, and Bernard Philipetti, ex leader of a french group called Art & Technique, kind of french Cabaret Voltaire at the beginning of the 80’s). They have filmed everything, even Coil walking in the streets or at the restaurant (maybe I’m in… would be funny).”

Steph Aceb attended this gig and remembers: “I met Peter during their visit to Paris for the concert of May 23, 2004. I hosted two of their friends for a few days. We spent the day and the evening together with the group. I have kept an excellent memory of it as you can imagine. Peter was often in the background and focused on the soundcheck, I admit to being a little intimidated during lunch. Jhon and I spent a lot of time talking after the show. Peter preferred to go back to the hotel. But I remember when he left us he hugged me as if we had known each other for a long time.”

Paul Cronly attended this gig and remembers: “Paris 2004. Myself and Lizzy traveled from Dublin, to visit our friend Justin, who had taken opportunity to study in Paris for a year. He was coming to the end of that year, and Lizzy and I finally managed to pay him, and Paris, a visit. Time was spent in leisurely fashion, doing usual tourist stuff. Usual tourist stuff for all 3 of us includes traipsing from record shop to record shop. As anyone who engages with this sort of thing will know, the urge to persevere and visit one more record shop will persist, long after all enjoyment has vanished from the endeavour. After a day of it, but with little to show, exhausted, we arrived at another small shop. With grim determination, Justin and I set upon looking through one row of vinyl after another. Lizzy’s enthusiasm waned and she found herself distractedly looking at the posters and ephemera attached to the walls. Approaching my side to ask if we were “done already”, Lizzy mentioned seeing a poster on the wall with the word Coil on it. She said the poster looked like it was an advertisement for a disco and not a live event, but that maybe I should take a look. Lizzy only knew I liked a band called Coil but wasn’t familiar with them, and Justin had never heard them, or of them. Amazingly, the poster was a small A4 advertisement for Coil’s Paris debut performance, that very evening. I was excited beyond belief, and Justin was dispatched forthwith to purchase our tickets (still available) and several hours later the three of us were in La Locomotive awaiting Coil’s appearance.

It took AGES for the band to come on stage. I was more than anxious, that the show might not go ahead, and thoughts of Jhonn going AWOL surfaced on more than one occasion. In addition, I worried that the wait had severely injured the goodwill and patience of my friends and that they would be in a grump throughout. Happily, neither scenario played out. When Coil did appear, Jhonn sported a beard like a 19th century French diplomat, and wore swaddling that looked like an unfastened straight-jacket, with part of his bum exposed. Sleazy and Thighpaulsandra were positioned to the left and right of the stage, obscured by cylindrical shower curtains. What I still marvel at, is how unaffected and natural all of this was. It wasn’t theatre, it was real, and utterly disarming. No overt attempt was made to make it “look” other than what it was, and in so doing, they managed to invest these stage props with real “magic”. From the get go, all three of us were dumbfounded and riveted by Jhonn, the music, and the experience. Upon its finish, we all agreed it was astonishing and one of the best gigs anyone of us had ever attended. Incidentally, Uncle Sleazy came out and politely thanked the crowd for their applause but kindly reported that Coil didn’t do encores. I thought it was an apt and perfect end to a perfect and life changing evening. A few months later, the 3 of us attended Coil’s final performance in Dublin Castle, and the news of Jhonn’s death soon after shook us, deeply. But that’s another story.”

Known Recordings

Tapes owners/taper:

SBD, PRO and EDIT #1 – Professional recordings organized and master tapes owned by Bernard Filipetti of Escape Video. Soundcheck/Backstage/Restaurant footage shot by Lionel Foxx. Individual cameras during the gig manned by Phil, Fox, Sophie, and Bernard.
AUD #2 – Massimo Villani and Pierce Wyss.

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