As you may happen to know, I am a Caleist.
I started being a Caleist aged 14, that was 1988, when I first discovered the Velvet Underground via a rural punk community, kind of, in the Bologna area, Italy. I didn’t know I was to be called a Caleist then. With the delirious confidence of a 14-year-old using too much hairspray, I simply considered myself to have a tremendously good taste. How couldn’t you possibly love Cale? He was the one with the electric viola! A bloody electric viola! So I happily carried on with this belief of mine, through Songs for Drella, Words for the Dying, Locusts etc. But I was also quite busy, musically speaking, lots of dead musicians to be listened to, countless dead musicians, and the living ones, Cave, die Einstuerzende, Neil Young, so I got distracted, derailed, minimalism, folk-psychedelia, London, Berlin. Until one night, many years later, I noticed a faded poster in the street and it occurred to me that I had never seen Cale live once. Why on Earth? I had seen Lou Reed twice after all. So off I went to see Cale live, in a very small, uncrowded venue, open air. And that was when I learnt I was what being a Caleist is about exactly. Well, it’s about finding yourself to be Cale’s very own public, a singing, electric body, one who is magnetically drawn to the front row (see image below), dead chicken or not dead chicken. One who will hardly breath through the classics and who will know and scream the refrains of obscure old songs. Ultimately, one who vibrates very well along with the sound of the Kurzweil and the Welsh voice. And you know what, one with a tremendously good taste.
So if you’re a Caleist, the current tour is for you, it’s still long and it’s currently being rescheduled. A few classics, no auto-celebrations, all new songs you already know because you’ve paid attention, together with old forgotten songs you still know by heart. It’s exactly what Cale feels like singing for you these days, nothing more, nothing less. In the end, it’s electrifying. Gun+Pablo, no Chickenshit.