It's been six years since I've listened to "Nightfall" for the first time. Since diving into the wonderful sad lyrics of "Junebug" or "Mescaline" - "your a love disaster your heart beats faster when its with mine, your a likely story morning glory" - Robert Francis provided some songs that made this scary growing up thing a bit easier because at least there was someone singing the right soundtrack somewhere. So basically since I'm 17 I had always wanted to see him perform live. When the new album 'Heaven' was released in April and the europe tour was announced I knew that I had to go and see the concert.
I was a bit scared when I went to Frannzclub, because of those high expectations that had built up over the years. But I shouldn't have needed to worry about anything. The old songs are still great and Robert Francis has a stage attitude and guitar skills that will blow your mind. But the strength of his performance really showed when he played new songs like "Love is a Chemical" or "Ukiah" that have a new and more grown up honest attitude. In his best moments he reminded me of Townes van Zand. Especially "Wasted on You" was standing out as a song because it just sums up this great and weird life: “Outside the world was tender as a sponge, we watched the glaciers melt and the stock markets plunge, I don’t care if it’s true my mind is wasted on you.” But the thing that stunned me the most was the fun the band (the guys who make up the 'Night Tide' in the new band name 'Robert Francis and the Night Tide') had on stage together.
With 'Heaven' he is showing us a very thoughtful and grown up album that I will probably pull out of it's vinyl sleeve in 30 years to tell my kids: "This is how my 20's sounded like." Robert Francis still makes the music that can take you through the middle of nowhere on a long road trip. The only thing that changed is that this time you would rather have him and the band ride in the back of your car to have some serious conversations about life, love and music. Even if we're all a bit older now some things never change. We sometimes still need great and sad love songs like we did when we were 17: "The hearts gotta wander just to know where it’s from."