Contrary to what the name suggests, Café de la Danse is neither a cafe nor a dance club. What it is is a performance space tailored to hold small concerts, theatre shows etc. Self-described as “a place for cultural and musical gatherings”. A few weeks ago N and I got last-minute tickets to the Joseph Arthur & Joshua Radin gig, and we were so impressed!
The venue is great; intimate and atmospheric. It holds about 500 people, 250 of which are seated. The other 250 disperse around the bar on the above balcony or find a spot on the comfy persian rugs thrown in front of the stage.
I hadn’t heard of Joseph Arthur before but he’s actually been on the music scene for about 15 years. He was great; interesting/experimental/fresh… and by the end of his set he’d won over the entire audience. First off, his music could not be more complicated to perform – he was an electronic-one-man-band. He’d play his guitar and record it while adding in beats and riffs, and sing and push buttons, and whip out a harmonica…all at the same time. And if that were not enough to keep the intrigue, he’s also an artist and will paint a whole canvas on stage while simultaneously performing. It’s all quite self-indulgent but it’s impressive!
Then came the man with the most soothing voice on earth, Joshua Radin, who not only loves LOVE but also loves Paris A LOT, and so instantly felt a bond to his Parisian audience to which he kept telling all these little anecdotes about his experiences on the streets of this city – every song was preceded by this or by a story from when he was younger. And in the end it felt like we were over at an incredibly talented friend’s house, having some drinks, listening to music and having a good old chat. And his band was fantastic, everyone was having such a good time. It just felt genuine. Joseph Arthur was great but Joshua Radin stole the show.