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Mon May 02, 2011 10:05 pm
A blistering Paris, a dozen oysters and a chilled Chablis in the soft mist of the humidifiers while watching the human traffic on the boulevard des Poissonierres set me up for a return to an old haunt of the New Morning Club, a 15 min walk from our hotel and just past the Moulin Rouge.We'd arrived the night before from Mannheim by first class ICE train only slightly delayed by an unscheduled stop to hand over a heavily pregnant woman to a team of paramedics as it appeared she was going into labour.We arrived at the Garde du Nord early evening with the sun sparkling over the limestone towers, flags excited by an occasional breeze.
It's a city I have come to appreciate a lot more as I have got older as my early visits were limited forays and snapshot tourist trails as I was mostly confined to hotel rooms suffering endless interviews while the rest of the bands took in the sights and delights.
I only ever saw the Eiffel tower from the back lounge of a tour bus while heading off into the night and I didn't manage to climb it until 96 when I visited with my first wife and Tara who then was only 5 years old.Photos of that visit were used on the "Sunsets" inner sleeve.
It's a lot more relaxed these days and the 2 F's and the Yattmeister and myself zipped through the backstreets in a pair of taxis to our designated boxes in a central hotel.No bar and no restaurant but the neighbourhood had enough to compensate and a couple of bottles of wine bought at a local store would save us burning plastic in a watering hole.We settled for an Asian restaurant as the others nearby were crammed or had queues.It would later become obvious why tables were available in our chosen munch pit. The saki made the food slightly more palatable.We should have had more patience and banked on a local brasserie.
Cognac and coffee at the sidewalk cafe on the corner and early retirement to my single bedded box. A dashed message to the FB pages and I hit wonderland until after midday.My voice needed to rest and recover.I had a big night coming at me.
It was our first Fishheads gig in France and Dominique our promoter had invited other regional promoters and 2 major magazines down to review the show and to judge whether more could be done in the Autumn.
We hit the venue at 5 for soundcheck with hired keyboard and another new out front engineer who we would have to brief.We missed Shaun our Fairy Tale Creature who knew our whims, foibles, desires and whinging inside out.The previous 2 shows had been a bit of a struggle as although the techs were pro and more than competent they didn't understand that this was an acoustic show with an edge and needed an impolite, faders up rocky approach.Hard to direct from stage.
It turned out to be the best sound we had without the FTC who sadly had to return to Jamaica for a funeral.
Soundcheck was more involved than usual but we were chilled and Frankie and I even jammed a new idea very akin to a Springsteen vibe.
A dangerous gap before the gig and I retired to a Japanese restaurant for throat salving saki and mixed fishy proteins.
It was a long way from the Bercy with a circus and elephants backstage where I played to 18000 people back in the "Clutching" days.Where did everyone go?
This was a different vibe, up close and personal and in all honesty far more enjoyable than having Super Troopers scarring my retinas, being held captive backstage for hours as the crowd and traffic dissolved and dealing with shallow insincere assholes in the main in the aftershow party.
I distinctly remember having a long deep conversation after that gig with Tony Smith, the Genesis manager and our publisher about my future in the band.
This was a different era.An ocean had flowed beneath a burnt bridge.
The banter was going to be tough as my French is non existent.Still I managed a few laughs and the crowd were supportive and respectful to a tight set scattered with favourites.Jigsaw, Genteman's, Incubus, Fugazi, Just Good Friends, Bro 52 all special.End game a result and everyone happy.
Wine flowed and flesh was pressed.I await the return from the French jury.
A few beers with friends in a nearby street cafe and then the trudge back through still buzzing streets to the hotel boxes. I said my farewells to the F's and Yats.
They were flying home for 2 days while I was destined for the Somme to meet with Simon Moston and family at Arras for a WW1 battlefield tour which would take in my birthday which I did not want to spend in Haddington on my own.I had an early leave so sleep and more rest for a voice that had been put through extra paces to deliver an impressive Paris set.
I awoke hungry for new experiences.
(more to follow)
Mon May 02, 2011 10:45 pm
Great wee summary of the Paris gig Fish! Love following the FishHead's tour so far on Facebook, your posting are brilliant
Cant wait until the 4th August!!
Mon May 02, 2011 11:06 pm
Wow! Was that a blog?!
Tue May 03, 2011 6:54 am
Wow! Was that a blog?!
Sure looks like one!
(Would have posted a laughing smiley but not figured how to do that on my phone yet, lol
Tue May 03, 2011 1:36 pm
Tue May 03, 2011 5:00 pm
Facebook is brilliant, but these properly written epistles knock the socks off anything you post on facebook... Thanks..
Tue May 03, 2011 6:24 pm
Quality. Can almost picture it. Love Paris, must return soon.
Tue May 03, 2011 9:14 pm
Brilliant to read your posts as always.
Hey Fish, if you ever need a French Interpreter in the future...