Last weekend, from Friday to Monday, I was in Paris! I went over to play a gig for the thoroughly lovely Another Sunny Night peeps. While I was there, I also DJed at Planète Mars, an awesome bar that you should check out if you’re ever in Paris.
I went over with Robbie, who was doing the sound and iPod wrangling. We managed to fit the music around eating an enormous amount of the tastiest food ever and a spot of sightseeing. But let’s do this properly, I’m getting a bit previous!
Well, Friday night was the DJing. The bar was absolutely rammed and I played a suitably poptastic set. I did play loads of new tunes but there were more classics than before, albeit my slightly idiosyncratic definition of classic (The Sylvers, The Theme From Robinson Crusoe). The vibe in the bar was awesome and Hakim, the super-genial owner, plied me with some crazy cordials. Never had cucumber cordial before, puzzlingly good.
Then on Saturday, it was the gig. I was first on and a little nervous as the last gig I played, The Hangover Lounge one, had been emotionally difficult. But I think I held things together better on Saturday and the crowd seemed to love it. I got loads of positive comments afterwards and people even bought records!
Then I watched the other two bands, The Starlets and Panama, both rocking in different ways. The Starlets were, ironically, quite Brel: each song a vignette and musically quite theatrical and flourishy. All in a good way – I loved them!
Then the last band, Panama, who were more indierocking rockness. They’ve got really catchy songs and very much reminded me of early Ric Menck bands, whether that’s Choo Choo Train or Bag-O-Shells. A bit of Lemonheads in there too, I reckon. Made me want to form a rocking band again and stamp on some pedals. Dude.
Then on Sunday, I made a pilgrimage to François Truffaut’s grave. He’s been my favourite director for decades and I couldn’t miss the chance to pay my respects to his memory. I left the message you see in the pic above. White Town really couldn’t exist without Truffaut, I’ve stolen so much from him in terms of emotional explicitness and lack of wankiness.
Monday, we came home. Yeah.
Reflecting on the weekend, it reminded me that after I first played Mattias Jansson’s Cosy Den, in 2005, I posted about wanting to meet people I had something in common with, people I actually wanted to work with who were decent and genuine and into music. You know ~ not Tories.
Well, little by little, that’s happening. The first person who emailed me way back then was Ian Watson from HDIF and the man is a stick of rock with ‘GOOD EGG’ written all the way through. London Popfest, Indietracks, Hangover Lounge… I’ve been very picky about who I’ve worked with and I think it’s paid-off in that I haven’t had a horrendous gig experience due to trusting NME-ish indie chancers.
Add to that list: Another Sunny Night. Emilie, Clémence & Joanny took care of us, organised the gig and DJing faultlessly (despite most of them being severely inebriated) and we got paid. Of course, I still lost money overall but that’s international gigging. (Well, unless you’re Gaga, I guess?) The ASN massive fed, watered and generally held our hands through the weekend, checking we were okay and running about making everything perfect. So, we had a great time, the other bands had a great time and the audience… well, they definitely had a great time.
So, thank you ASN, thank you Paris and, of course, thank you François Truffaut.