Pop 2000 - Monthly - May 1973 - # 17




This Olympian concert begins with a typical French first act (this makes sense!) of interest (for those who know how to find interest, and they are increasingly rare!) The first to play were a  new band: "4 Z".

The decadent vampire TITI PEMA (“wanted” since he left the TAC POUM SYSTEM) and his acolytes JEAN-JACQUES BERN (drums), BERNARD COUTELAN (lead guitar), JEAN-MARIE SALHANI (bass ) and former member of "S0LITUDE"made a din on stage during twenty minutes with their own compositions, plus a cover version of JOHNNY RIVERS: "Fais La Fête”, which sounded quite good, after all!

But having an orgasm without preliminaries is impossible (or at least unpleasant), even for a hot audience, hence the lack of enthusiasm of the crowd. The "Four Zebras' almost dead of stage fright, came out of this with "flying colours" especially when you think that was their first ever concert together.


When CLAUDE ENGEL climbs on stage, the place is still warm.

"The team of Engel" is made of four backing singers, a pianist MARC BERTHOT, MICHEL RIPOCHE (ex-ZOO) on electric violin, CHANTEREAU, and MARCEL ENGEL.

CLAUDE is placed on the front of the stage while the musicians play at the back: their music has the same characteristics. There is no real communion between ENGEL and "his" band, except maybe with Marcel, who strongly supports the solos and singing of his brother.

The whole band are attentive to the reactions of the "boss" and keep an eye on him everytime.

Some of Engel’s "solos" are a bit long, even when he’s impersonating his own "Woodstock", alone, up and down his guitar’s neck, with dexterity, flexibility, etc., constantly changing rhythm. By times, he approaches the sound and playing of HENDRIX, insofar as possible, that is to say very close (but still far away to be honest), through the sound illusion.

The audience seems to be quite interested by CLAUDE ENGEL’s band performance, though often they (the audience) seem to switch off, certainly because of the lack of relationship between their leader (well that’s how he appeared to me, at least) and his talented musicians, who were not able to express themselves as they should have.


There was an intermission after these 2 bands. The lights are switched off, ghosts haunt the stage: anxiety was at its peak ... In the shadows, a young girl yells! "Here they are: T. REX" and she points her finger to MARC BOLAN who rushes on stage.

BOLAN, the man, knee-high to a grasshopper (and a half, if you count the heels), squirming like a worm in his "suit of lights". Thickset, rather overweighted, he struggles, across the stage, posing on one knee in front of the "big" bass player (in size!), or the percussionist, such as the "matador" in front of the bull. He fights with his guitar. It really is the circus in all its dimensions.

The man on stilts, the bass player: a weird specimen struggling with his instrument with 4 strings vibrating you in the kidneys.

The guy behind the drums must be his mate, because as a "drummer", he is exceptionally heavy.

And the "highlight" of the show, the one who "makes drool" all "virgins in Bloom", the charming and terrible MARC BOLAN, is far from being the worst.

He even manages to surprise with a few well rendered solos. But the audience had not come for that… So let us throw a few tambourines to the public, let us be very sexy (see the beautiful low-necked top he wore, and the now traditional moment:  the " masturbatory-guitar" cliché, legs wide open, facing the crowd and with a tambourine that glides up and down the shaft of his instrument.

A prodigious artist! Professionalism to the fingertips!

Just like BLACK SABBATH, their past discography speaks for them, but there is less staged attitude in BLACK SABBATH, unlike T.Rex.

I shall not tell you any longer on  this average T. REX: my eyes were tired of MARC BOLAN’s ballet, my ears were saturated of the roaring amplifiers.

I was not disappointed nor surprised by T. REX. That was more or less the "soup" I expected (although Bolan is still a significant mythological character).


Christian ROBQUIN.




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