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So Wednesday has arrived and a new venue for me. Le Cheval Blanc in Plancoët, not that far from San Malo in Brittany. So also a first one for me in the north of France. The journey up from Nantes was a breeze, both because it was relatively short and simple and because it was much cooler up here!
When I arrived in the early afternoon Mick the Irish owner was out shopping so I parked up and went for a wander round town, working my way down to the river and then back up again. A picturesque setting but quite different in style from the towns ans village in the South.
Got back to the venue and noticed a number in the doorway to call if absent, and Mick returned very shortly afterwards lot to do if you run a place like that by yourself!with potatoes and sausages for the meal, he would serve for those attending the concert. Inside the bar was a good size long with a stage at one end and various decorations with a mixture of Irish and musical themes, and a decent house P.A. Luxury!
As we had Plenty of time before the evening, I got my gear in leaving my PA in the car and we did a kind of slow motion setup and sound check with Mick interweaving other jobs, such as pealing the potatoes and finishing cleaning the bar. A lot to do if you run a place like that by yourself. By the end we had a pretty good sound particularly for the acoustic. I then went up to my room to catch a hours sleep, thankfully remembering to mention I was vegetarian before Mick prepared me a meal!
The bar opened at 7:00pm with one customer rushing straight in desperate not to miss the food (a slight misunderstanding about the times for a mid week concert) and with stories that the farmers were setting fire to the roundabouts as protest against milk prices!!
The audience slowly grew and I went on stage at 9pm to about twenty or so, maybe ten more came in after I had started, they made a great audience, listening intently and clapping loudly! After making extra effort to speak French on the Château Colombiéres gig I consciously decided to mix up a bit more this time, as I new many in the audience good English and it would easier to communicate that way.
As usual I divided the gig into two sets one acoustic one electric and spent quite a lot of time talking to the various members of the audience in the break, and sold a few more CDs! In the second half I got them all barking and howling along with little red rooster and singing to Let the Good Times Roll, all great fun!
More chatting with a group of English music fans after, and another CD sale to a French family in from Paris, overall a good first gig there from my point of view. As I was staying over at the venue I was able to enjoy a few glasses of wine with Mick the landlord be fore retiring!
Next gig up, will be a my third gig at Gabariers in the Charente, so back on the road again early(ish) in the morning, rough plan being to stop off at Poitiers on the way.