Last Friday, I played one of the best gigs I’ve ever played.
I was in Paris, I’d gone there with my soundman Rich to play a couple of gigs to launch a 7” single issued by Another Sunny Night and Hands And Arms. It’s the first vinyl I’ve had out in years so I’m unreasonably excited.
After arriving via Eurostar on Thursday, Rich and I settled into our swanky accommodation, Mama Shelter. I’ve never stayed in a designer hotel before, let alone one designed by Philippe Starck. Thursday night we chilled and availed ourselves of the free films on the built-in iMac. Did I mention it was swanky??
Friday night was the first gig at Le Motel, a wonderful little venue in the 11th arrondissement. From the very start of the gig, the audience was amazing. Obviously, most people only know one song I’ve done because I’ve only had one hit record. But the audience at Le Motel were sooo happy and clappy to every song, songs most of them were only hearing for the first time. I played for an hour, twice as long as my normal sets and then did two encores! The second time, I played a very old White Town song called ‘Rainy Day’ which features a pentatonic ostinato riff. I can’t play this and the rhythm guitar part at the same time and it’s a purely acoustic track, no backing. On a whim, and because they’d been so responsive throughout the gig, I asked the audience to sing it. And they did! Perfectly in time and in tune, which *never* happens with audiences normally. Well, ever, to be honest!
Saturday, I played a gig at a library! More precisely, the Médiathèque D’issy Les Moulineaux! It wasn’t as raucous a gig as the night before, probably because it was at 4 in the afternoon and we were all seated in a very posh room. The audience was very lovely, though. I did three songs in the actual library proper before going through to the hall, it was quite weird singing in a quiet space, felt very wrong! Then, for the main gig, everyone sat very politely, apart from a few little kids who rocked out in the aisles which made me grin all through the gig. We sold and signed loads of the new single and the albums we’d bought with us, it was a cool day.
In between the gigs and after, Rich and I spent a lot of time exploring and… eating. We eat and eat and eat. Creme brulees, hot chocolates, pastries, steaks, marrow bones, crepes. And I finally had snails! We did some of this on our greedy lonesomes and some with the lovely Terpsichori, pictured below:
Terps took us to this awesome bar:
The Last Bar Before The End Of The World is a total geek-out. Inside is crammed with Dr. Who, Star Wars, robots and a seated area that looks like the deck of a starship. It was amazing! Later, Terps took us for the most awesome hot chocolate and cakes, after brunching in a wonderful little covered market.
On Monday, I met up with another lovely, Laura:
She was kind enough to take me to the Louvre where I saw, amongst other art, the Mona Lisa. Which was… okay. I liked it but I think I preferred the Delacroix near it more. Then I dragged her to the Pompidou Centre where I totally geeked out on modern art:
It was an awesome day!
On the last night, Rich and I trekked to the Pied du Cochon where we stuffed ourselves for the very last time. I had this glorious meal:
Rich, the n00b, ordered steak tartare without really knowing what it was. He looked slightly surprised when a plate of raw, minced beef turned up. I laughed, I posted it immediately onto Facebook and EyeEm and then the whole world laughed. So my main was steak but my dessert was big dollops of schadenfreude.
We left the restaurant and exited to a snowy, arctic Paris. It was bloody freezing, as you can see at the end of this video:
Yesterday, we said goodbye to Paris and travelled back to Derby. Today, I’ve been on a massive downer as I miss Paris so much. I loved both the gigs but Friday’s was truly one of the best shows I’ve ever played in the thirty-one years I’ve been gigging. It’s such an amazing feeling to sing songs I wrote in my little house to an audience of total strangers and connect, to see their faces understand and feel what I feel.
The EP is called ‘Three Songs About One Girl’ because, simply, that’s what it is. It was magical to be able to be in Paris, the city of love, to bare my heart on stage and see the love I feel mirrored and shared. I have no idea what she was doing when I was singing those songs about her but I hope she felt our love reach out and give her a gentle kiss. <3
Thursday 24th November
White Town + A Fine Day For Sailing + Fever Dream + Frozy
Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, London SW9 6LH, map here, FREE admission
Welcome return to HDIF for Jyoti Mishra, AKA White Town, who’s best known for his 1997 Number One hit, “Your Woman”. Expect a mixture of acoustic and electronic songs and, in Jyoti’s own words, “my songs are all intensely personal, all autobiographical so every gig is something of a confessional.”
A Fine Day For Sailing
An indiepop group from Exeter recently relocated to London, A Fine Day For Sailing cite Belle and Sebastian, the Beach Boys, Television Personalities and Orange Juice.as influences. Their ranks contain a couple of the now disbanded Gresham Flyers.
A brand new trio fron London, Fever Dream play superb feedback-drenched dreampop in the vein of early Jesus And Mary Chain, Magazine and Sonic Youth.
A three piece from London, Frozy play adorable lo-fi pop. Or as they say: “we’re a DIY type pop band with occasional noise. Favourite bands are Jonathan Richman, Velvet Underground, Wave Pictures, Herman Dune, Jens Lekman and all that flim flam. We’ve supported the Bundles, Jeffrey Lewis, and played with Kimya Dawson a number of times, as well as organising a tour all over Europe.”
7.30pm Doors open
8pm-8.30pm – Frozy
8.45pm-9.15pm – Fever Dream
9.30pm-10pm – A Fine Day For Sailing
10.15pm – White Town
Spyros and Ioannis (More Than This)
Tim Scullion (Hong Kong In The 60s)
I’m very chuffed to say that in around a fortnight, I’ll be playing my first ever gig in Paris:
Another Sunny Night #5: Panama (FR) + The Starlets (UK) + White Town (UK)
5/7 rue Moret
(Click here for venue details)
Thanks very much to Joanny Davier and the other ASN peeps for inviting me!
Oh! And I’m DJing the night before, the 13th, at the Planete Mars Club (details here). Very excited about that, too!
Yes, I can confirm that I am playing Indietracks 2010!
Woowooo! Choo chooo! etc.
See you there, popkids!
Yaaay! I’m playing the 2010 London Popfest, full details here!
If you go, come and say hi, don’t be shy!
I’m very happy to say that I’m playing the Cosy Den festival in Stockholm:
I’ve played at Cosy Den four times since 2005 and every gig has been brilliant!
If you can make it to the Saturday, when I’m playing, please do come and say hello!
love and kisses,
Sunday 12th July,
Head Of Steam,
8pm – Entry £4
Although I’ve been gigging in Finland and Sweden the last few years, I haven’t played in Britain for aaages.
So, I’m hugely pleased to be playing this gig organised by This Almighty Pop!
It’s going to be one indietastic night!
Come along, dance, sing, get happy!
And, if you’re on Facebook, here’s the event: