The French kiss of Tears for Fears

“Thank you very much, we are very happy to be with you tonight.” And in French, please! Since the Hundred Years’ War, we hadn’t seen that: an Englishman declaring his love for France. The scene took place Thursday evening, at Bercy. Roland Orzabal, the singer of the British group Tears for Fears, expressed his gratitude to the country which had almost seen him born (with Spanish Basque origins nevertheless): “My father was a Frenchman from Paris.” Obviously, for the exegetes of the group which dominated world pop in the 1980s, this confidence could not have gone unnoticed.

A tumultuous relationship

The newspaper The Sun had its soap opera: the relations of the singer and main composer of the group with his father were execrable. However, it is from this tumultuous relationship (a father who fell into depression at the birth of his son) that the manifesto was born The Hurtingwhose song madworld was notably taken over by Nicolas Sirkis (still a Frenchman) before experiencing a new life again with Gary Jules. Tears for Fears was going to perform half of the album: besides madworld, Pale Shelter, Suffer the Children, Exchange and Memories Fade.

Supported by the exceptional strike of the drummer, the sound is clean, sharp, with formidable precision (two guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and a singer). Here we are back in 1983, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith sport a hair as dark as their outfits today on the Palace stage. It’s a sharp group, pre square still trendy. Two years later, the 800 places for Mutuality having sold out in half an hour, the group is propelled to the Zenith: it has just published its second album, Songs from the Big Chairten million sales and number one worldwide with hits Everybody Wants to Rule the World and Shout.

The Manu Katche surprise

The first will open the show on Thursday evening, the second will close it in style. To complete its set-list of fifteen tracks performed in an hour and a half, the group, in addition to the title Breaking Down Again (1993) and an unexpected cover of Creep by Radiohead, will largely quote the group’s last successful album, The Seeds of Love (1989). During the recording, the two friends of adolescence, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, will tear: three years of recording, it is indeed to go crazy. The first, owner of the name of the group, will even erase the bass parts of his acolyte to have them re-recorded by a studio shark with a name so Italian (those French always in a good mood) although British, Pino Palladino.

Manu Katché and the Tears for Fears Thursday at Bercy.

Thirty years later, water has flowed under the bridge, and Curt Smith even agrees to play on these songs. We also wonder why so much discord then: Curt Smith plays very well himself. And when they’re not arguing, these two work wonders. After the concert, another surprise awaited the two enemy brothers. Backstage, drummer Manu Katché came to greet the Tears for Fears. It was he who played on the title Badman’s Song. They had never seen each other since the album The Seeds of Love. The Frenchman was then one of the most courted drummers in the world of pop (Sting, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell…). Tears for Fears was at its peak. It is with this golden age that this reunion resonated.

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The French kiss of Tears for Fears

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