Travel related blogs from my various European and UK tours.
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A so to the last gig of the tour. After catching up on a few an hours sleep, I loaded up and headed out from the Hotel to Le Kennedy. It was a pretty short journey with only a slightly challenging right turn to deal with, challenging as it's so sharp I couldn't get the car round the corner in one lane. I arrived in good time just after 6.
The landlady (or whatever the equivalent would be in a French Irish pub) saw me arrive came out to great me and asked if I spoke french, "Un Peu" , whatever she said next was a lot more than my "peu" encompassed and seeing me look blank she gestured for me to follow. As I got inside it seemed that a band was setting up, oh no surely not a double booking? My posters were in the window, so obviously I was expected, what was going on? I feared the worst!
Thankfully the guy setting up the P.A. spoke a little english and was able to explain that some children would be playing before me, and that I would be starting at ten as expected. They had quite a lot of kit, so there wasn't much room for my stuff, so after a brief discussion the guy offered to do the sound for me. So a weight of my my mind as setting up at high speed after the band had played would have been a bit too much!
It took a while for me to work out what was really going on but it seemed that a residential music course had hired the venue for there end of course concert. Vacance Musicales Sans Frontieres, if I understand rightly they were from Paris. After a short while the venue filled up with youngsters and there followed 2 hours plus of enthusiastic music from them, they had a great time, and it was quite entertaining. They finished up with a couple of songs from the tutors band, not bad. I thought about asking them to join me for my second electric set, but one minute they were announcing that I would be following them on stage, and the next the kids had swept on and cleared the entire kit away, the most efficient stage clearage I've ever seen! In fact the sound gut had to grab back the bits he need for me!
During the youngsters set the venue had been slowly filling up, and when the departed the room was still full. I did a rolling sound check and first number and proceeded to play tho an enthusiastic audience. Considering how hot it was I pleased to have so many in the audience, definitely more than last year. There was a lot of cheering and clapping along with songs, great feedback to keep me going, especially as the heat was taking it's toll and requiring my full stamina to keep the show going. Quite a few of the children had drifted back in and seemed to be enjoying the show too.
I took a break after an hour and a bit, and got some great feedback from the audience, I made the mistake of asking a guy in a Gretch t-shirt who had come up to say hello, whether he played a gretch, the landlady had to drag him away before he had finished the extensive list of guitars he started to describe, I think she wanted me back on stage the same night!
I played the electric for a good hour then swapped back to acoustic for another half and hour before finishing with "Let The Good Times Roll".
Not having to pack my own PA up was a blessing at the end and I was able to talk to a couple who wanted to buy a CD (albeit in sign language!).
A great gig to finish with, the Landlady seemed very pleased, and again promises of a gig next year!
Was there a down side? Well the 'vegetarian', food was a tuna salad! Thankfully it was a posh one, so the little bits of tuna could be removed quite easily, first time I'vie really had a problem with food, whilst on tour in Europe.
So shortly I leave the hotel to head back to Dieppe and the ferry. What to do until 4am in the morning?