10 days away and it went very quickly. 2 days to get there with and overnight stop in Le Mans to make it not too much of of an effort , though driving in france is very easy compared to the UK most of the time. A bit of a scare when the Engine fault light came on but it seems to have sorted itself out and was likely to have been the DPF. All my cars are a bit on the ancient side and do tend to get worked fairly hard thjough. Fingers crossed it was fine for the rest of the trip though.. The weather was bright and slightly chilly and the 4 gigs went pretty well. A couple were very good indeed. Really we only have a couple of days sightseeing though. I will post a few pictures on the social bit here though. I needed to see a bit of blue sky. its quite bright here in London today as I write this which is a nice bonus. my French is still totally inadequate and I must get a plan to get together for the next trip and really try much harder. More to follow.
The last mini 4 gig break was intentionally to get some sunshine and chill for a bit and it mostly fulfilled that purpose. Gigs are much like the UK in terms of the kind of places that we play, mostly Bars and Restaurants. We don’t have any of the higher profile stuff in France but its fun and it pays OK and audiences are often more sophisticated musically than some areas in the UK. One of the gigs at the Kennedy is quite hard work as its a 3 hour show in a fake Irish Bar where no one is irish or speaks anything but French. So you have an audience that drifts in and out and a lot of students who are quite in to it and some of the further out stuff that we do now seems to grab their attention quite a bit. Also its in a very old very crowded town center so parking can be a problem at times. The next one was at a place called Bar Gabariers which is at a riverside location and very picturesque. We had a good gig there. Then Saturday we did a place called Bistro St Pierre in a small village called Nere, which we played earlier in the year to a 50% ex-pat crowd. It was a very lively night and a lot of fun. I swopped scarves with a French woman who had seen us before and this time had brought mum dad and sisters along too. Weird thing is she looked quite like one of my ex girlfriends as she would look now if she was still alive. Thats another story though.
Though I can read French fairly well, of course there are different accents too. I found the woman easier to understand than the men who tended towards the guttural. So my new years resolution is have proper french lessons LOL.
I am not sure if that’s going to happen as every year I say the same thing and don’t get it all together. The gigs are the fun part but setting up the gear and shifting it is a real pain at times. You can’t do a gig without being able to get a really decent sound though as you can’t play with sufficient finesse. We do do the odd folk club with no amplification whatsoever and that’s nice because its easy to do if the room has a decent acoustic. Under those circumstances a room might be very dry occasionally which make playing the violin very hard. However for these gigs we had the gift of electricity and digital reverb, plus two keyboards and a loop station to fill the sound out a bit when there are only the two of us.
A typical Stage set up for us. This ones at the Bar Kennedy in Angouleme on our last trip.
Sometimes you need to put a few thoughts down in writing to get a different perspective on what’s going on in your head. This is one of those times. I am still not in the best of health and it’s starting to be a nuisance. Doing some packing today then tomorrow off to do some French gigs. I was looking forward to it but I felt a bit rough recently so I am not wildly enthusiastic about it now, but hopefully I will buck up a bit when we get there. I had a fairly busy weekend with 4 gigs all very different.
The one on Friday was very poorly attended, the fact that there was a massive downpour and also that the pub has been refurbished and lost a lot of atmosphere possibly didn’t help. So that was a dead loss.
Saturday was a day of mixed blessings. We did very well at the Tenterden Folk Festival but had major problems with traffic getting there so we started half an hour late. Fortunately they were able too accommodate us as so we did our normal set and it was very well received with a good number of people. In the evening we did a completely acoustic performance at the Saddlery.
Sunday was at a small pub in Chelmsford as part of a festival weekend. Not bad but not sure if it was what they were expecting though we had a fair number of people including a few that knew us.
The change of seasons is well and truly here now, not long before the clocks go back and we are punged in to darkness again as well. Argh
So sort of the last post for a while, unless some miraculous internet access spontaneously occurs in France which is unlikely.
Keep taking the tablets everybody. 😉
I confess i am a socialist. If you had lived my life you might well be too. If I am spared at some point I will explain why in detail. But I am not going discuss that here today,as it would in probability start a full on neo-liberal troll fest in the comments on this blog entry. That is a pity because it would be nice to have sensible discourse but its not going to happen is it. I bet Abraham Lincoln never had this problem but then he was not a Roses member and he had a big hat. Anyway JC continues so we shall see what we shall see.
There is a point to this, which I am working towards. It seems to me that often many of us work towards common goals but then throw up our hands in despair and say this is impossible because we cannot deal with the concept that there might be more than one workable method to achieve the same result. We are often much more motivated to pursue the business of trying to prove why our opposites method is impossible. Of course we are seeing a lot of this at the present time.
But on to other matters now. I am feeling very introspective at present. Some of you may have have heard of this.
Script Analysis is the method of uncovering the early decisions, made unconsciously, as to how life shall be lived’. It is one of the five clusters in Transactional Analysis, involving ‘a progression from structural analysis, through transactional and game analysis, to script analysis’.
Well my “life” script only went so far and I have been winging it for a while. I feel like in some respects I might be into extra time, so I try not to take anything for granted. I even had a gypsy (proper Romany, not a scrap metal dealer ;))read my palm whilst I was on a holiday in the south of France.when I was about 23 years old, and basically said something dreadful would happen around the age of 50. Well as far as I can tell it didn’t. Then again maybe they got the time and date wrong. You never know. It was weird because I did not ask for a palm reading and the gypsy wanted no money for it. Weird or what. The things that are important to me when I am feeling sane enough to know, do seem very different than the concerns of other folk. In some ways its as though in the past year or so my brain has been re-booted. I still have the knowledge I had previously but a very different and often somewhat curiously detached viewpoint as though when I remember events they happened to someone else. I don’t like to get too excited about stuff, I hate surprises and i like to keep calm. That’s when i am happiest. I have tried striving and to be honest i am no great shakes at it. I sort of just plod along. I do seek a purpose though. Music keeps me going but beyond that I am searching for a sort of sense or order in the chaos that goes on around me. I suppose that’s why people get religion, because it would all be too much if everything just was. That might be too stark a vision for many.