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Saturday 18th July 2015 16:42:00

Le Grand Café - Camplong

The trip from Bédarieux to Camplong is a fairly short, but quite twist 15 minutes into the mountains. So I had plenty of time to shower and "power-nap" and left the hotel at 6:40pm to get there at 7:00pm to set up.

I was looking forward to this one, as the busiest gig of last years tour was here at Le Café Grand. I was a little concerned that the heat might keep some away, though was a bit cooler in the village than down in the town, it was still pretty hot in the café, even with the air con on full blast.

The cafe has been owned by the Joucla family for some generations, and is currently run by Katel with help from her father, and they gave a warm welcome on arrival.

As I was there in plenty of time, I decided to complicate my setup by setting up a recording using the MAudio Pro Ultra on which I recorded the new CD and my Laptop, not a combination I had tried live before. Adding Röde condenser mic just in front of the stage and a direct feed from the PA. I got a recording which I will review after posting this, but I could see at the time the condenser mic output wasn't working, probably faulty lead :-/ I hope I can work around that before Sunday's gig at the Château Colombiéres.

Lindsay who is running Sunday's concert and who help me negotiated with the Le Café Grand this year, came along to help out with taking money on the door etc. for which I am very grateful!

Although advertised as 8:30pm start, as was expected people didn't start arriving till just before 9:00pm and I went on stage at just after , to a reasonable crowd, though less than last year in numbers, they proved to be just as attentive and appreciative. A number of faces were recognisable from last year, and in particular a Belgian couple who had seem me last year, and had come back again, making a point to say hello! Having not had much time to think through what I was going to say, my confidence french language wise, was bit lacking to start with and I reverted to English a bit quicker than on other occasions (will practice some tonight!) but I felt I was on form guitar and vocal wise, the audience particularly appreciating the slide guitar work.

The first set on acoustic guitar ended up about 50 minutes long, mixing in quite a few numbers from the CD with old standards from my set. I took a break of about ten minutes and after chatting with a few of the audience in mixed English / French quickly returned on electric. Of course included "Every Penny of the Deal" the title track of the new CD, which has been in my set for a few years anyway, and much dancing and clapping along ensued, largely lead by Katel and Lindsay!

All in all a great start to the tour! Sold a fair few of the new CDs and at least one walker Broad Cd too. After playing Katel served food, a mix of cheeses, and salad etc. which was very welcome!

As the phrase L'année Prochaine was mentioned several times I hope to be back next year!

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