May 20, 2019 at 2:03 pm #2293
I put my guitarist, Julien, on to getting a few bar/pub gigs to give us our ‘Cavern Club’ time. So we spent the weekend playing bars.
1) I spent the weekend exhausted.
Friday night in Guignicourt at Le Relais went from basically 7pm to 1am, not including travel time of 30mins each way. We played two sets, but loading, setting up, taking down, and loading added 3 hours to the gig. We also hung out in the bar leading sing alongs until late. I left at 1. I think Julien left at sometime just before 4am. (!!)
Saturday night in Compiègne at Eap’s Café went from 6:30 to 12:00am, and another 2 set gig. Same two sets, about the same amount of time on site. Same set up and take down. Loading took longer because Eap’s Café is on a pedestrian mall. And the drive is an hour each way.
End of set 2 on Saturday and Red Haired Boy/Salt Creek collapsed into Key of A incoherence at one point. It would have been unforgivable at a Bluegrass gig in the states. Fatigue affects concentration and small muscle performance. Live & learn. 🙂 I doubt anyone in Compiègne noticed.
Home after 1am and bed at 2am both nights. Kids up and needing stuff by 8am. Zombie dad. I slept loads on Sunday and feel recovered today.
2) Bar gigs are bar gigs.
The French audiences I have encountered in these situations are no different than American ones. A significant number of people did not come to see us, but came for a drink and to talk to each other. So they chatted during the music and failed to notice of a song ended gently rather than abruptly.
English audiences at folk clubs are entirely different. They listen, critically sometimes!
3) Getting paid is nice.
Made e200.00 and sold 3 CDs. Woohoo!
I’m taking the Arrow G5 and the Paul Hathway OM-1 with a gear bag, a merch bag, a pedal board, and an amp. It’s a lot to lug, especially if the car cannot get to the venue door. But I love this set-up. It’s electric but fat and warm for a mandolin. It complements the guitar well and is easier to sing to than a standard 8 string mandolin. Best thing is *I* control the sound.
PA is two powered speakers on stands going to an 8 channel mixer. A Bose L2 would have been perfect, but they’re expensive and the bass box is just as heavy as a powered speaker.
May 20, 2019 at 3:28 pm #2294
Sounds like big fun Daniel, your guitar player lead group singing until 4am? There’s a story there!
May 21, 2019 at 8:18 am #2298
It’s actually not all that uncommon. People let their hair down here once in a while. I’ve been to jams at pubs/cafés wherein the proprietor locks the door after the official closing time and we all just keep playing as long as the party is going.
Much like California, this is a very special place. Though, like California, it’s often easier for someone new to see how special it is. You are welcome to come to France and experience the life any time.
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