Once in a while, us musicians get a nice gig come in that (almost!) makes up for some of the crappy ones. You know, the ones where no-one shows up, the PA breaks down, the van breaks down and the bass players girlfriend breaks down when she hears how much you did (or didn’t) make!
Recently however, I was lucky enough to be part of a DC recordings night in Paris and an excellent time was had by all. A great venue, ‘La Fleche d’or’ is a disused railway station complete with front of train and a slightly strange lifesize golden horse and rider attached to the ceiling. The lights/ PA were a treat with 2 extremely capable and thankfully fluent English speaking engineers. (the limits of my French extending to ‘ordering a kilo of potatoes’….proved not very useful during soundcheck.) And great hospitality.
It struck me as it had done on previous musical outings in Germany, Italy and Holland how much better you, as a musician and band member, are treated once outside of the UK ! There still seems to be general appreciation of live music and a respect for performers that seems to have all but disappeared from many UK venues and this in turn translates into a smooth running event with a relaxed atmosphere. I really can’t imagine having a decent meal provided and some top red wine before many UK club gigs on the ‘original’ circuit! Okay, so maybe it is too much to ask, but wouldn’t a few simple refreshments make things that bit better. And whilst we’re at it, how about a changing room with a toilet? Rather than a changing room that is the toilet…..Anyhoo.
Whilst in Paris the band took the chance to visit the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery that ‘homes’ Chopin, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison & Oscar Wilde amongst others. Whilst the guitarist got a bit teary at Fred Chopin’s grave I noticed that right beside him is the grave of jazz pianist Michel Petrucciani. If you don’t know him then I urge you to check this:
If you need anymore incentive, Steve Gadd is on drums. Need I say more?
Until next time.
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