28/03/15 Arrive in France at approx 8am CET. Remember to drive on the right! It’s so easy to forget sometimes, I was fortunately reminded by the other cars in front of me, veering to the right as we taxied off the ferry. There’s so many things to remember these days when you drive abroad: full set of spare bulbs; hi vis jacket; breathalizers; warning triangle; headlight thingys (so you don’t blind the French drivers at night); remember to turn the speed camera alert off on the sat nav. All bookable offences, so I’m told. Keep the gendarmerie happy. Tonights gig: La Grande Ourse, Saint Agathon. I’m opening for the Norwegian artist Bjorn Berge. It’s a nice purpose built, seated venue and the staff, as is usual in France, are courteous and helpful. Being raised in Kent there was always a whiff of stereotyped xenophobia concerning the French: B.O. smelling, garlic breathing, beret wearing (not forgetting stripy top) snail munching frogs - and not even TRYING to speak English! Since I’ve been coming to France as solo artist (I’ve been many times with bands but that’s another story), I’ve found the French to be genuinely warm and welcoming, going out of their way to accommodate what ever needs/wants I have. Back to the gig, I play my set and think I’ve done enough, sound was pretty ropey on stage and I was very tired from the travelling. I was assured by Ludo, the promoter, that all was well out front for audience. The first one’s always the hardest. I watched a bit of Bjorn, who was very good. A tall viking type Norwegian who was exceptionally flash on the guitar who went down a storm. Bastard! I was pleased to get back to my hotel and get a proper nights sleep, will hopefully be bright eyed and bushy tailed for tomorrows gig in Tregastel. Which has reminded me that I ran over a rabbit driving back from the gig; I hope it was a rabbit, I didn’t even see it, though there were a few hopping about, I just heard a ‘ker clunk’ beneath the car. R.I.P.

March 29, 2015

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