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Arrived at Le Kennedy in plenty of time,maybe even a bit early, dispite a couple of minor navigational mishaps, (accidental turned onto the left side of the road, and nearly went down a one way street, a helpful frenchman pointed it out before I met an motorists coming the otherway!).
The Patron of the bar, Diddier D'Amour spoke possibly less English than I do French, but we still communicated successfully, with a bit of hand waving and one words sentences. Later on an English barman arrived, which eased communication somewhat. Le Kennedy's is a big pub in an obviously Irish style, the stage was described as small in the 'contract', but it plenty big enough for a solo act. I got everything set up by 7:00pm and had a 3 hour wait till the gig started.
I was promised a meal, but it didn't look like the venue did food so I was n't sure what to expect. Come 8.00pm though I was taken round the corner to a fantastic restaurant. Le Bruleau Charentais. The was some consternation when I said I was vegetarian as being a grill it mainly served boeuf! The solution though was excellent, a round of Camembert baked by literally throughing it on the fire! Served with a green salad and chips, I was pretty full by the time I'd finished! The grill itself was an open fire in a massive hearth with a grill in front of it, the food cooked in in the glowing embers of on the metal grill. Facinating to watch even for a vegetarian. Very friendly service!Running out of time will have to continue later .... okay back now, I had just 15 minutes left to get out of my hotel room! Computers created a timewarp! Continuing from the carpark!
Back to Le Kennedy with another 45 minutes before I started playing, it was starting to fill, although possible not as fast as one might like. The weather is not doing me any favours on this tour, in fact it's pouring down outside the car now!
Onstage at 10 and instantly got a complaint from the management, really great but can you turn up? That kind of complaint I can cope with very well! Turned up, and played an 1hour and quaters first set on acoustic guitar. Great reception from the audience. which was mostly French. At the previous gig (Dixieland) I had rather wimped out of trying to talk to the audience in French, there being some many English there it made me lazy, this time I'd practiced a few bits during the day, and gave it my best shot, whether anyone understood me is another thing!
I took a short break, and many people came up to say they were enjoying it. Including a somewhat drunken Irish man, more about him in a bit...
At the request of the barman I kept the break short (although he may have been rescuing me from said Irishman I'm not sure! And went on to do a second set at 11:30 or so playing through till 1:10am! This was the electric set, and it went down very well. It was a full on boogie set, and it a bit of walking round the bar with the radio mic went down well as always!
Finished up at 1.10am with plenty of positive friendly comments, and a few CD sales. No interest in the paintings yet, I'm not sure I've got enough French to 'market' them!
I had too challenges during the evening, the first how to explain that I wanted to write about the restaurant on my blog, and did they have a website?
The second? How to talk with a drunken Irishman who was telling me how Gary Moore was the greatest blues guitarist of all time! It took all my skills in diplomacy! And no I don't play Parisien Walkways!
All in all a great gig, Diddier and his staff all said how much they enjoyed it, and would like me back again. Have to email Mick at Home Cooked Records when I get home.
Heading south now, and have a few days break before the next gig at O'Sullivan's in Beziers, time for my throat to get some rest!