Concert Report by Alain & Sylvie
Michael Schenker at La Pouderie, Leffrinckoucke, France
May 17, 2013
Added on 05/19/2013

Hi to all,

Leffrincoucke is a little town near Dunkerque (Dunkirk), one of the place where the American and English soldiers have lost their lives to free the Europe during second world war.

Just as we came towards the big venue (La Poudriere), we saw Pat Mc Manus putting his gear behind the stage. This very talented musician keeps his smile and talks friendly with everyone ! Great man !

We run as the van arrived and as there were only 5 or 6 people there, Michael signed us a CD and asked us some questions about how we travel to do all these shows ! He believed we had a camping-car !

We had a pleasant talking with the singer of Swamp, the band that will be first support act for the evening (they'll do excellent covers of Lynyrd Skynyrd).

The waiting was not so long but the cold was there, only 8 in May ! As we waited, one guy put a sign "sold out" on the posters, so 1300 people tonight ! the "biggest" audience of this tour, thanks to the price of the gig (only 22 ?) and the town council of Leffrincoucke !

We spend the time with a young boy and his parents, he had the chance to do the "meet and greet" thing and was very happy after !

Lots of people in the venue already, the organisation was at his best, almost 20 peoplefor the security, we had 3 people here for the cloakroom, 3 people there to keep an eye on the parking lot, we even had a special medical unit and local television this evening !

The venue itself is big, bigger than in Vaureal with a large stage and very good lightning and sound.

Swamp delivered one hour of Skynyrd's music, with all the well known song like "Sweet home Alamabama", they enchanted the evening with their set.

Pat Mc Manus came from Ireland and with his sound and playing, we could direct say where he came from. He played music from his new album and some old songs from his "Mama's Boys"period in the eighties. He's a very good guitar player, playing with his heart and soul, meaning every note like the late Rory Gallagher or Gary Moore were doing. At one moment, we saw the bass player Marty Mc Dermott was very ill on stage. He just quit the stage before collapsing and Pat, very professional, apologized, continued the song only with the drums, changing the set-list into acoustic stuff, and finally, Marty came back (not so well, poor guy) to do the last song ("La grange", a ZZ top cover).

So it was very late when MS hit the stage with "Lovedrive". A shame the stage was too far from the audience (almost 2 meters) but people were hot and knows the word, Doogie was in top form and Michael delivered a very good solo in "Rock bottom". Not too much cameras this time to disturb Doogie. We found this gig was the best place we've seen and one of the best sound we had for the eight times. It was our last show, after the gig, we found a free program (lot of errors in the biography but it's the first time we saw a program !) and a little poster of the evening. We stayed outside behind the venue for a while and say goodbye to Michael as he were heading to other places.

Thank you Michael, for being so cool with us and signing some stuff (we have not much thing left to sign !), thanks to Francis and Herman for their good humor (hope the shoes fits well Herman !), thanks to Wayne (peace !), thanks to Doogie (by the way, we're not German, Moooorgen !), thanks to Emi, the crew and the manager for always doing their job so well.

Hope to see you all on the "Bridge the gap Tour 2014" !

We are " Ready to rock"

Alain & Sylvie

Concert Report by Karin
Michael Schenker at La Pouderie, Leffrinckoucke, France
May 17, 2013
Added on 05/27/2013

A late report of the Leffrinckoucke concert...

Because from where we live in Belgium, Leffrinckoucke was about an hour drive, my daughter and I left home early to be in time for the concert. Unfortunately, on Fridays, a lot of people take the motorway to the seaside, so we got stuck in a few traffic jams. Upon arriving in Leffrinckoucke, we saw a crowd of people standing outside the venue and walking in the streets around it. We kind of panicked, because although we had already bought our tickets, we were afraid not to have a good spot in front of the stage. After a couple of minutes, we found a parking spot within 15 minutes walking distance and arrived when the first band, Swamp, was already halfway through their set. As there were a lot of older people in the audience, who kept a lot of distance between one another, we easily managed to get a place third row from the stage. By the way we thought 'La Poudrière' meant 'powder-box' in English, but it's the name for an ammunition depot! So a different kind of powder... and the venue was bigger than we expected. We thought it would be something of the size of the Spirit of 66 in Verviers, but we were wrong about that.

About the lighting, we disagree with Alain and Sylvie. The lights on stage were often directed to the audience instead of spotlighting the artists on stage. This means we often got bright lights shining in our eyes, and we could not make a lot of beautiful pictures. By the time Michael Schenker & co came on stage, the lighting was a bit better (or we got used to it in the meantime ☺).

But the important thing is the concert itself of course. Swamp and Pat McManus were great opening bands to get everybody into the mood. Especially Pat McManus, who I never saw playing live before. Actually, there was no news in Belgium about who was going to be the support band in Leffrinckoucke, so it was a nice surprise for us to see two bands instead of one!

But it was obvious the majority of the people came to see Michael and the former Scorpions members Herman 'ze German' and Francis Buchholz... I can't remember being at a rock concert surrounded by so many people older than me ☺. But not a lot of singing, though, at the beginning. During 'Lovedrive' , and even a few songs later, I felt I was the only one singing, and it surprised me the Scorps fans didn't go all the way, right away. Age, probably ☺ ☺?

But the band was in good shape, Doogie had a lot of interaction with Wayne and Francis, Francis did some singing, and even Michael was persuaded to sing together with Doogie in the microphone. But unlike last year, Michael did no saluting after almost every song. And because of the distance between the stage and the crowd, there was no opportunity to touch guitars or hands... Not that this would have been possible from where I was standing, but for me, it made a difference in atmosphere comparing to last year in Belgium. But Michael 'made it up to me' by giving me a big wink.

In the meantime, temperatures were rising in the venue, and my daughter, 17, had to grasp some air at the back of the venue where... a lot of the women of the older men in front were staying to watch the show from there.... The new song, Horizons, was brought with a lot of enthusiasm, but it still has to grow on me, I think. It is indeed a heavier song than we're used to, and it's something completely different... The set list was still the same as the other shows, so no surprise there. Blackout was the last but one song we heard, and it is one of my daughter's favorites, so even for this teenager, it was a good evening. When the notes for 'Doctor Doctor' started, we knew it was almost over, and we felt sad that the evening ended.

At the bar, we discovered a magazine that was a kind of a program, and took it along. On the inside, there was i.a. an article about Pat McManus, Michael Schenker and Swamp. A lot of people also tore the posters from the wall, but as there were no posters left after a while, we didn't get one.

Thanks Ritchie by keeping me up-to-date through your website!

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