Oct 20, 2000

THE CHAMELEONS Spanish Gig















The Chameleons
will be touring Spain on the following dates
:

Nov. 02. Girona, Teatre de Salt
Nov. 03. Valencia, Ku Manises
Nov. 04. Palma De Mallorca, Sonotone

Nov. 08. Madrid, Moby Dick
Nov. 09. Bilbao, Kafe Antzokia
Nov. 10. Zaragoza, La Casa del Loco
Nov. 11. Barcelona, Sala Bikini



Update1: According to what Mark told us in the Spanish Tour, a brand new album will be edited by The Chameleons next year, and it will be produced by Dave Allen, the same produced as Strange Times album.

Update2: This is a review of the show in Bilbao:


Last November the 9th The Chameleons came for the first time to Bilbao, a County Town in the North of Spain. The concert, included in their European Resurrection Tour, was performed before a nostalgic and devoted audience; people in their thirties,most of them expecting to see for the first time one of the most important bands of the Alternative British Pop of the eighties. Nevertheless, the local mass media didn´t focus on the event, not even the music radio channels, in which this kind of music is almost completely absent. This and the fact that their brand new acoustic cd in 14 years, Strip, has been marketed with almost no promotion, ended in a very reduced audience; no more than 250 people attended the concert. There will be, surely, more than one fan who, unfortunately, didn´t realize that their favourite band had silently reached our town to perform one of the best concerts of the year in our country.


The building of the old Theatre Cafe Antzokia, remodelled as a pub, with capacity for 350 people where concerts are performed regularly, was the perfect place for a Chameleons concert and its acoustic and atmosphere resulted as perfect as ever. At 11:45 pm appeared The Chameleons on stage before an impatient audience which was slowly coming closer to the stage. The warm and enthusiastic welcome with which Dave Fielding,Reg smithies,Mark Burgess and John Lever were received is only comparable with the years The Chamaleons have been absent from the stages.


Without any intro and between the cheers of the audience, Reg started playing the first chords of Swamp Thing. One by one, the rest of The Chameleons joined Reg and the song grew stronger and powerful. The sound was so fluid it seemed like The Chameleons had never stopped playing together during the last 14 years. And so, one by one, with Mark Burgess in the middle,Reg and Dave by his side and John at the back, songs like "A Person Isn´t Safe ...", "Here Today", "Perfurme Garden", etc were emerging from the hearts and instruments of The Chameleons. The 105 minutes the concert took were enough to revisit the scarce repertoire The Chameleons produced in the 80´s. Their first album, Script Of The Bridge, was the work whose songs were played most. Songs like Don´t Fall, Second Skin - one of the most demanded songs -, A Person Isn´t Safe Anywhere These Days, Here Today, View From A Hill, MonkeyLand, Pleasure and Pain and Less Than Human - one of the highlights of the concert:the song fading out and the chorus of the audience emerging slowly from behind -. From their second album we could enjoy melodies like Perfume Garden, On The Beach - Strip version whose beauty is even greater than the original one - and One Flesh - the song derived towards caribean rythms -. From Strange Time, they played Soul In Isolation - John is the Boss -, Caution and Swamp Thing - the one which opened the concert. Remembering their beginnings, The Chameleons played In Shreds and Splitting In Two, song with a Punk Style closing their concerts where Mark is helped by the audience to sing and Reg takes the drums and John does the same with Reg´s guitar -.


At 1:30 am the concert ended, a magic night in which we could see how The Chameleons are still able to reproduce live all the magic their studio songs have. Those fans who didn´t want the night to end like this, could enjoy the best moments of the concert: to meet all of the members of the chameleons. Just a few minutes after the end of the show, Mark, John, Reg and Dave appeared from the backstage and talked, and signed autographs to all the fans who thanked them for their music. In short, no less than excellent for a band that has constructed like no one else landscapes of sound with the help of the guitars and lyrics and, keeping during all their works a personal style.

Jun 20, 2000

New Acoustic Album from THE CHAMELEONS


The Chameleons have released on June 2000 a brand new album. These are the very first studio recordings of the band after their split up in 1987.

The album is called Strip and it contains acoustic versions of early songs plus two new songs: an instrumental called Road To San Remo and an electric one called Indian.

This is the complete Track Listing of the album:

Less Than Human
Nathan's Phase
Here Today
Soul In Isolation
Pleasure and Pain
Paradiso
Caution
On The Beach
Road To San Remo (instrumental)
Indian


This CD is a torch after fourteen years of darkness to welcome the return of The Chameleons. An atypical Second Coming, because this is not the case of a mainstream group which returns only for economic interests. It is more the consecution of events which were unchained by the death of Adrian Borland, the 26th of April of 1999, personal friend of Mark and leader of The Sound, another cult group of the 80´s.

In this CD, The Chameleons re-encounter themselves as a band and set the basis for the second birth of the band. The acoustic versions have nothing to do with this unplugged fashion which wrapped the whole planet by the 90´s. The essence of their sound is still there in these strip melodies. We have to pay attention to the delicate beauty of On The Beach, the only acoustic version which was performed live in the Resurrection Tour on 2000 all over Europe.

As a prelude of what the future of The Chameleons can be, Strip includes an instrumental short song called Road To San Remo and Indian, a more conventional and electric song.

In short, not a must have CD from The Chameleons if you are not a devoted fan, but at last a fire has been lit to see the end of the tunnel for those people who have been treasuring The Chameleons trilogy as a present from God.




The following are the notes Mark Burgess has included in the sleeve of the album:

Hello
What Is It?
Well it's an album of acoustic arrangements of some earlier songs along with one or two new tunes...
But, What is it?
Well it began as a way for Dave, Reg and myself to keep busy until John could join us for rehearsals for some gigs we'd arranged to play in May, but we soon realised that what we were doing here was something rather special...
But, what is it?
Well it' a group of songwriters getting back together after a ten-year lay-off, rediscovering their own music and redefining themselves as a band...
Yes, but what is it?
Er... It's a new album by The Chameleons.... Basically! We are The Chameleons. Is this album number four? I'm not sure. Mark Burgess, 3.25 p.m., Reg's flat

Ps Additional didjeridu by traditional Didjeri Dave...


Hello again
Well here I am writing sleeve notes for another fresh Chameleons record. It started with the decision in February to play a few gigs together in May 2000. For valid reasons I won't go into here it was impossible for John to come aboard until mid April, so rather than hang around waiting until then to start something the possibility of a few acoustic shows evolved into recording an acoustic album, which is the essence of what we have here. Our friend and advisor Simon Lawlor put up the money to make and press the record and it was originally envisioned that 'Strip' as it came to be called, would be a DIY project recorded on some equipment I have a 50% share in. As it turned out though, Shan Hira at Suite Sixteen, Rochdale, offered us the use of the studio over ten days at cost and we were able to return to the studio in which we'd made our name. Shan and another regular engineer at the studio, Jonathan Barrett, then worked with us for no fee over the period in order to finish the record in time. we can't thank them enough for making it possible for us to work at S16 and for working hard to ensure that the CD sounds so great.... Nice one! We'd also like t say a big thanks to Paul Fallon of Johnny Roadhouse Music, Manchester, for the practical help and encouragement he gave us during the pre-production stages of making this record.

mark burgess