Posts Tagged ‘Party in lyceum’s toilets’

Gilles Snowcat 2001

Gilles Snowcat’s criminal record?

Party In Lyceum’s Toilets, the massive double CD from Awaken released in 2001, is a criminal record in its own special way: it follows you all through your life and career, everywhere you go. Whatever you do, you’ll be constantly reminded of that very past deed, compared to it and most surprisingly: blamed of the fact that you don’t do it anymore. Gloomy crimes bring unexpected prestige.


Shit into gold

Art is very forgiving field: your technical flaws turn into strengths with the magic wand of time. Shit becomes gold. What was hated is worshiped like a god coming on Earth. Hence the cult status earned with little efforts by uncountable records and artists that were generating nothing but contempt at the time of activity.

Awaken live 2001

The sessions were intense but quite far from the excitement of later Awaken / Snowcat albums. PiLT (as it is often nicknamed) comes from a delicate mix of gloom, coldness, industrial suburbs landscaped, quiet desperation and the paradox of building a wall around oneself yet wanting nothing else than shattering it to dust.
This throbbing mal-de-vivre pours from every note of the 140 minutes that overfill the quadruple album (2CD worthing 4 vinyl albums), and that’s precisely why it still appeals to lost teenagers, carrying that indescribable spleen from classroom to the usual stinky toilets of their high-school.



The sessions that resulted in PiLT have kept three pieces that couldn’t make it on the album, for a very practical and boring matter of timing.
The first one, “Dream Shapes On A Night Movie“, fell out of place once last-minute songs were suddenly completed.
Then “Still Today / I’m Nine“, that was planned to be the interlude of side 4, the 1988 songs freshly re-recorded for the occasion. This being said, that side 4 shows to what extent the 1988 songs, full of lust, power and romanticism, weren’t matching the PiLT jaded mood.
Talking about “Electric Time“, two versions were recorded and without surprise, it’s the most Awaken-ish one that was kept for the CD. This very one isn’t better or worse, it’s simply… different. A taste of the 80’s in a world where shine was absent from the process.

Gilles Snowcat 2001

Not that PiLT was a lifeless album, far from it. It’s just that many things happened for the wrong reasons, like walking on thin ice just to realise when it breaks you only find a devouring quicksand sucking you as strongly as you try to escape.


Teenagers getting old

PiLT was the result of teenagers getting old, which is the worse that can happen to them. Once you open your eyes, either you die, or you get back to lust, astonishment and hunger to live. Luckily, the releases that came the next 15 years from then were back to be made of that sexy, lubricious and neon-lit never-get-old adventurous stuff.

Listen and get your own copy of the PiLT Sessions outtakes here.

In a past life, Awaken released an album called “Party in Lyceum’s Toilets“, which featured, amongst other cult songs, a version of “Jazzy”, a cute tune written by ex-Metropolis pianist Renaud Lhoest. One of the last days of December 2014, Renaud Lhoest passed away.

GS: “He wasn’t exactly a friend, and this is an understatement to say that I didn’t have any kind of contact with the guy on more than 20 years, but I’ll always be grateful for his help and kindness (and patience) with the young and hesitating Snowcat that I was back in 1988 (a very good year, it was). He then just had released a demo tape, “Les Vacances de Julie”, that ran over and over on my magic Radio-Shack cassette player, in order to steal an idea or two, which I somehow managed. Somehow.

Renaud Lhoest, demo circa. 1987

The tape was brought to me by his then bass player, Ced Mattys, who later ended to play on an album of mine. It was worth 150 Bef (a rough 4 euros and 50 cents now), that I actually never paid.”

He later became an overbooked arranger, composer and violinist playing with a variety of artists from obscure Belgian acts to the likes of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Call it a huge wingspan.

May Renaud Lhoest have a drink with John Bonham up-there and ask him what he thought of that fake-Zeppelin incarnation. But that’s another story.

Listen to Renaud Lhoest’s own music

Listen to Awaken’s take on “Jazzy”

Lhoest demo

Something like 100 years ago, composer Hervé Gilles and Gilles Snowcat not only created the longest lasting confusion of the Awaken world (“how come Gilles can be a first and a last name? Who is who? Are they the same person?”), but also recorded a tune that would be on the then-new now-collector “Party In Lyceum’s Toilets”.

The news of today is that Hervé Gilles just released a LP, “First Day”, on the might CD Baby shop.

First Day (Hervé Gilles)
If you want to hear what good a real composer is able to do to your ears, “First Day” is obviously for you.

Hakim Rahmouni and Irène Csordas, the lads you hear every morning when you play your copy of “Mokomoko Collection”, also have a serious job: they co-lead the Narcotic Daffodils with a bunch of more or less grumpy instrumentists.

And that band just left the cosy studio with a brand new thing called “Cellex”, which is not related to the famous anti-aging skin care company, as far as we know.

Franck Carducci hasn’t played with Gilles Snowcat yet, and may never do so, but both have a common ground under the name of Nicolas ‘Nicozark’ Leroy, who plays on both “Mokomoko Collection” from GS and “Oddity” from FC.

Franck Carducci

The news here is that Carducci will stop in Belgium with his band to perform “Oddity” and other oddities on Saturday the 22nd of February. Here are the tour dates:

21/02/2014 (20:00): L’Antipode, Paris [France]. Info.

22/02/2014 (20:30): La Chapelle, Mons [Belgium]. Info.

23/02/2014 (15:00): ‘t Blok, Rotterdam [Netherlands]. Info.

13/03/2014 (21:00): Le Brin de Zinc, Chambery [France]. Info.

12/06/2014 (21:00): Satellit cafe, Roanne [France]

And last but surely not least, the volume 21 of the Video News from it’s Oh! MUSIC has just been released, featuring Ayaka, Armelle LC, Narcotic Daffodils and yours truly.

it's Oh! Video News 2/2014

One of the baddests. Most known for being the young rebel into the EW&F clan, he gave that special touch to records like “Last Days & Time”, “Raise”, “Powerlight” and “Electric Universe”. You’d better take a deep listen. And shit, he passed away this very year (already some months ago…………).

Coincidentally, the two EWF songs covered by Awaken -remember??- were, on their original version, featuting him on guitar.

Here he is: