On the 21st of June, there is a Festival in France called La Fête de la Musique. It was originally launched for amateur musicians, to enable them to play music without the organisers having to pay performing rights to composers. All over the country municipalities hire professional musicians (without having to pay performing rights) to boost the feel good factor of their electorate without it costing as much as it usually would.
On Saturday night we went to watch Drummer boy perform with his two groups, in rapid succession, and on different stages. He plays a style which is energetic, to say the least, and by the end of the second performance, he was sick dizzy and cramping from lack of electrolytes. Just in case you fancy a look, here is drummer boy on Saturday in the process of dehydrating. Fasten your seat belt and away we go.
After this we wandered about St Brieuc, investigating the different stages which had sprung up overnight, like mushrooms. The very fact that there were so many created some entertaining soundscapes. When passing from one musical zone to another, there were often interesting overlaps if you stood in exactly the right place with your head in the right position. Techno alley was the best. There was a line of café restaurants, the street was closed, and every third establishment had its own rival DJ and turntables.
But the thrills were not yet over. On Sunday afternoon, we went off to another amateur event for Darling daughter to show off her piano playing and singing skills at the Beatles jam. When we arrived at the little bar by the river, it was nearly empty and the atmosphere was strangely cold and strained. A large beefy man sat glowering at a table outside, with a bloody lower lip and his dreadlocks in disarray. This was the star performer (a drummer and singer) with whom the patron of the bar had been rehearsing for some time. The patron muttered “catastrophe” at us, as Darling and I took a seat at a table as far away as possible from Bloody lip. We were joined by a guitarist with long grey hair and lively blue eyes who turned out to have driven a long way to the event. He informed us that there had been a bar room brawl and Bloody lip had been hurling chairs at a human target. The guitarist felt that the honour of a lady was at stake, but wasn’t too sure of the details.
At this point a police car screeched to a halt next to our table and two gendarmes made their way smartly into the bar. Our ears started to flap and my concern for darling d’s safety was completely over ridden by nosiness. Bloody lip was taken aside to a little bower next to the bar with another rather smartly dressed rock and roller who would have done well in an Elvis impersonation contest. People blew into machines and their personal medical supplies were examined. Finally, the gendarmes left as the rest of our family arrived. Bloody lip was free to hurl chairs again.
The bar started to fill up. Darling d recognised a young man from her class who arrived bearing a bass guitar, and her tune was changed from “I don’t want to perform, shall we go home now?” to “I think I might be able to play In my Life on that keyboard even if it isn’t a piano!”.
Bloody lip took his place at his drum kit for a few songs. My Sweet H and Drummer boy announced that they would have to leave again soon and if we were going to perform as a family, it would have to be NOW. Bloody lip grudgingly ceded his place and we performed a couple of songs. Our reinforcements left and Darling and I were alone without protection. We huddled up with our new friend, the guitarist with the blue eyes, and one of my singing students, a lady who didn’t really have the qualities needed for a minder. Bloody lip snarled back to his drum kit and we bravely sang along from our table in full and rather good voice though we say it ourselves. BUT we didn’t sing along well enough. At the end of Hey Jude, there was a parting of the ways, structurally speaking, which left Bloody lip alone singing to his solitary drums. He threw aside his drumsticks and charged our table. We braced ourselves for the impact, but he shot past us out of the door and disappeared.
Darling performed In My Life as a duet with her bass player and our table spent the rest of the evening singing up a storm with the patron and our guitarist, and we all lived happily ever after…
Here she is giving you a taste of what you missed (you may be relieved to know that it is a little more relaxed than Drummer boy’s efforts)
5 days ago