Last March the last concerts of the world from before took place. Things have changed since then. Today I take advantage of my double hat as editor/bassist to offer you a Covid-Safe-Live-Report seen from the inside.

Thursday 1 October, 8.30 pm. I’m finishing my revision session of the set of the Shadow Pussies, a girlsband rock from Lille that I joined this summer. A wipe on the Fender Precision before putting it in the bag, then I prepare my amp, pedalboard and various equipment to be embarked. Tomorrow is a big day, we play at the Gare Saint Sauveur in Lille. But then, how are the Covid-Safe concerts going ?

Until D-Day, it is the sensation of having a sword of Damocles over your head. The week before the show, the French government announced new restrictive measures to fight against the spread of Coronavirus, including the closure of bars at 10 pm in major cities, including Lille. In spite of this, our concert, organized by the Regional House of Environment and Solidarity and Koan asso as part of “The Last Party before the End of the World”, is maintained.

Shadow Pussies
Shadow Pussies : Charlotte, Vanessa, Selene, Fanny just before the show

Friday 2 October, that’s it, we’re here! Yesterday evening, the event was announced sold out, that is to say 80 people with the current restrictions. We will play in the projection room, equipped with bleachers, and the concert will be broadcasted on the screen of the bar. Since the evening before, I’ve been stomping on my feet with impatience. I haven’t put a foot on a “real” stage for more than 9 months and I can’t wait to get back to that special emotion tinged with euphoria, stress and a kind of pride. I finish my day’s work and I take the road to Lille to join Charlotte, Selene and Fanny, respectively guitarist/singer, solo guitarist and drummer of Shadow Pussies.

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Around 8.15 pm the public begins to settle in. About 30 minutes later we enter the stage with « Pussies in the Shadow », a rather short, energetic and rhythmic track, perfect to introduce the set. The audience is seated, masked, and an empty seat separates the groups of people who have come together.

From the stage, you can only see the front rows, dazzled by the spotlights. But at the end of the first title the 80 people are heard: applause and bursts of voices, we are tremendously well received and we can’t help but show all four of us a broad smile.

The stage is very big, we can walk from one end to the other, jump, shake our head, and there’s even a stage for the drums where I can go squatting from time to time to do my favourite activity on stage : making faces at our drummer. The sound is very clean, the sound engineer handled it for us with great attention.

Although the audience is nailed to the seats, they are not afraid to participate by clapping their hands or singing when we ask them to. We have the impression that we have succeeded in bringing all these little people into our universe and, despite the imposed distance, the current is really flowing.

As usual, the set goes at a crazy speed. About 50 minutes that seem like 15 when you are on stage and everything is going well. Our last track, a cover of the Runaways’ famous « Cherry Bomb », is coming to an end. The audience is asking for more. We are so happy, we get back together and start « What You Lost » to end our performance.

Back to reality, the bar closes at 9.30 pm, it is unfortunately too late to share a pint with the friends who came to support us. Sniff!

Hey, Charlotte (singer/guitarist), what did you think of this evening?

“A Covid friendly concert ? It is a bit weird on paper, but when you live it, things are pretty well done! Whether it’s the public reception which becomes rather ceremonial or the spectators who generally respect the barrier gestures. What’s more, people are so happy to be able to see a concert after months of abstinence that the atmosphere can only be good ! ».

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In conclusion, it was really nice to be back on stage with such favourable conditions, despite the restrictions in force. As opportunities are rare this year, we feel all the more fortunate to be able to live these moments filled with emotion, energy and complicity. I strongly invite you to go to the concerts organized near you (or far away if you are of the “nothing stops me!” type), even if you don’t know the bands. The organizers go to a lot of trouble to be able to get into the nails and make sure that everything goes well. Their best reward is to see that the audience is there and having a good time while respecting the measures that have been put in place. I know that the same evening, the Brat Cave, also in Lille, was sold out for a metal evening with the bands Death Structure, In Hell and Virgil. Congrats to them !

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