Here’s a date I’ve been looking forward to. This summer, Cellar Darling announced a new fourteen-concert European tour, “An autumn evening with”, culminating in Paris on 24 October. The line-up includes I Am The Morning and Maer. For this final Paris date, as in 2022, Garmonbozia is back in charge of the organisation, and the venue is once again O’Sullivans Backstage By The Mill.

So it’s with great enthusiasm that I hit the road for Paris on this autumn Tuesday. For the occasion, I’m co-driving with my friend Dédé whose hundred and seventh concert of the year, no less! Suffice to say, I’m feeling like a bit of a player myself. After a quick bite to eat in the neighborhood, we make our way to the O’Sullivans Backstage where a handful of fans are already waiting with bated breath for the doors to open. Over the next hour, the line grows longer and longer along the bar, and by 7.00 pm we’re able to enter the concert hall. Ivo Henzi, Cellar Darling‘s guitarist, is already at the merch stand. We discover a stage decorated in autumnal colors, with a curtain of small LEDs in the background, a few leaves on the microphone stands and a family of pumpkins scattered here and there.

I Am The Morning

At 7.30pm, I Am The Morning opens the ball. This chamber prog duo comprising Marjana Semkina on vocals and acoustic guitar and Gleb Kolyadin on piano was founded in Russia almost ten years ago. They then migrated to the UK. This is a complete discovery for me, and I’m pleasantly surprised. Far removed from the world of Kassogtha who opened for Cellar Darling on the two previous tours, I Am The Morning offers a subdued pop ambience with rock accents and jazzy piano solos. On stage, the duo is accompanied by a drummer/percussionist and a guitarist, both of whom add an extra touch to the band’s ambience. The radiant singer communicates easily with the audience, who happily allow themselves to be drawn into this parallel world. There are plenty of welcome interventions between songs, and Marjana ‘s good humor is infectious The contrast between this light-heartedness and the omnipresent subject of death in the songs is quite funny. She even goes so far as to joke “The next song is the happiest in our setlist, it’s about dead people of course”.


Maer is the side-project of Marjana Semkina and Anna Murphylaunched in summer 2022. Arguably the ideal link between I Am The Morning and Cellar Darling.. This tour is an opportunity to perform the project’s first live shows.

The four musicians of I Am The Morning remain on stage. They are joined by Anna Murphy and her hurdy-gurdy, Ivo Henzi on bass Michel Gsell on violin. That’s a lot of people on the small stage of the O’Sullivan Backstage! In the same vein as I Am The Morning just before, but even softer, very atmospheric, ambient, soaring. The two singers’ voices complement each other perfectly, set against delicate instrumental parts.


Cellar Darling

Cellar Darling took to the stage just ahead of the running order. Even though I Am The Morning and Maer had already delighted the crowd, the atmosphere was stepped up a notch. The trio are eagerly awaited and surprisingly kick off their set with “Dance”, the latest single released two years ago. It’s a good segue into Maer as it’s a pretty soaring track. “Pain”, “Insomnia” and “Death” then get to the heart of the matter, waking up the crowd and giving Ivo Henzi the chance to unleash the full power of his devastating riffs. Bodies stiffen and heads start to bob up and down. The hurdy-gurdy solo on “Insomnia”, even more epic live than on the studio version, warms up the room for what follows. I’m still blown away by the ease with which Anna Murphy juggles her instruments. On the same track, she switches from flute to keyboard to hurdy-gurdy, all the while handling the vocal parts. You may be used to it, but it’s still fascinating.

There’s a softer break with “Love”, followed by “The Spell” and its spellbinding flute solo. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the singer has become more confident in her delivery, always adding a touch of humour that brings her closer to the audience.

In the middle of the set we were treated to a brand new track entitled “Drone”. It hasn’t been recorded yet, and we’re jokingly invited to submit our suggestions to the band after the show. “Drone” sets the tone for the forthcoming album, so we shouldn’t be disappointed. What a pleasure to hear this new gem live for the first time. Once the song is over, Anna asks us if we agree with the title, and unanimously, it’s a yes!

It’s time to take a look at the first album, “This Is The Sound”, which revealed Cellar Darling in 2017. The inevitable “Avalanche” is, as usual, a huge hit from the outset. Merlin Sutter’s hard hitting on his Tama Superstar drum kit pierces the hurdy-gurdy melody. Then the chorus explodes, with everyone singing at the top of their lungs. “Black Moon”, “Hullabloo” and “Redemption” follow.

My only minor disappointment at this concert was not having Nicolas Winter back on bass, who had played on previous tours and live streams. In my opinion, his discretion was more in keeping with the band. Michel Gsell took over this year.

Unfortunately, the time has already come to say goodbye. Cellar Darling promise to return very soon after a break to record their new album. They are delighted to have shared this tour with I Am The Morning, and an obvious closeness seems to have developed between the musicians. It’s highly likely that we’ll be seeing them on the same ad again in the future. To round off the evening, it’s one of my favourite tracks that keeps me buzzing for a few more minutes. “Freeze” remains for me a pure marvel, all the more so live with all the energy and emotion that emanate from the musicians.

The years go by and the Swiss trio remain as accessible and generous as ever. We soon find them at the merch stand where the three of them give up their time for autographs, photos, exchanges and smiles. There’s no doubt about it, Cellar Darling have found their audience and are proudly sharing it with I Am The Morning and Maer.

Many thanks to Garmonbozia for the accreditation for this concert.