Arrived at Dieppe at 4:00 perhaps slightly ahead of schedule, and did my traditional amble into town to find a service till and get an emergency supply of euros (which ironically I haven't touched!). It was cool, maybe even a bit cold, which made for a refreshing start to the impending 8 hour drive.
On the way by 5:00 am, and though using the SatNav I'm getting to know the journey, it's quite reassuring to recognise the landmarks, and know the SatNav hasn't thrown a wobbly again!
Easy travelling travelling, with a couple of coffee breaks, till about 10pm when the sun switched on full blast. The temperature went up to about 34 C in the car and was making feel quite sleepy, so I was a taking breaks every 50km or so. Still arrived at Gabarriers quite early about 2.00pm
After making myself known to the staff (with a little translation help from John the bar) I chilled out on the terrace, whilst waiting for the evening staff to arrive.
I spent the time warming up on the acoustic, and left the guitar on the terrace while I went to fetch a new set of strings. Returning I found it had become the perch for a damsel fly. Ofcourse it had gone by the time I returned with the camera.
Whilst tuning the new strings, a group of people came over from one of the boats that had just moored at the side of river in front of the bar. To find out when I was playing, they were disappointed to hear I wouldn't be starting till 9.00pm, as they would be travelling on before that.
At 5pm Cecelia (who was managing the bar while the Simon the owner was away) arrived and sorted out access to the caravan where I would be sleeping, and I was able to catch up on some sleep.
As it was a Thursday we decided I would play slightly earlier than planned and as it was so hot and humid I would set up on the terrace stage. Even on the terrace it was uncomfortably warm setting up my fingers felt glued to the frets when setting the guitar sounds.
Last time I played the Gabarriers the restaurant was full and most people stayed on the terrace, whilst I played indoors, so I was thinking being on the terrace was a better idea, but by 8:00 only three people had arrived to eat and few more round the corner drinking, I was getting concerned!
After the traditional French panic about me being vegetarian, my own meal arrived, a goats cheese salad, which was quite filling in the heat. The audience started to turn up, easing my worry that I would playing to the fish jumping in the river! Particularly pleasing was that the group from the boat, who had stayed at the mooring after all, turned up! They went on to buy a CD too.
By 9.00pm things had cooled down a little the audience had built up and I played an 70 minute first set on the acoustic. The audience was very attentive and a pleasure to play to! A couple of CDs were bought in the break, with the group from the boat choosing the Walker Broad CD as they had enjoyed the folkier tunes I had been warming up on.
The electric set went well. The walk about was well received, finished up about 12.00pm. All in all a good with no need for my earlier worries.
It was nice to meet a few faces from last time, including "Patrick Photo" who brought me some copies of phots he took at last years gig. Thanks Patrick!
Then off to bed after a quick glass of wine, up at 5:00am to get on the road by 6:00 and beat the heat!