Posted by Rowan Coupland on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
this is what happened on sunday night.
But first:

I arrived in Lyon on Friday to stay with Olivier and Maxime and was warmly accomodated by them and also by the town. Was taken to Lyonnaise gay pride where I tried to engage locals and voyagers in poorly worded conversation, and then recreate Jonathan Richman's 'I was dancing in the lesbian bar' in the queue for a lesbian bar. 

On Sunday I was beginning to struggle with some run-downedness that had accompanied the weather changing and becoming very anglican (rain), and so aimed to consume as much ginger and fruit as possible before heading to the apartment where the show would be. This was, according to Seb who was promoting the show, an 'illegal asian textile factory years ago'. The large barn-like room that was serving as concert hall was initially inhabited by Rusty, a lovely soundman from New Orleans, Mathieu (Commune, the other performer that night) and a hyperactive kitten. I had to tone down my soundcheck at times for fear of alarming the kitten, but it was removed by the time of the concert so I was able to hopskotch my way to semi normal service. albeit there was a small child, high on sugar, jumping round the wooden floor for the first song. who didn't seem too alarmed by my bass invocations, though i had to be careful not to step on him (much like most kittens who like to position themselves immediately behind your left leg).

The gig itself went pretty well and the crowd, I think, approved. Though as per usual I was not there directly to hear as I had exhibited the apartment during my last song. Normally these disappearances involve exiting to a crowded and dark english street but this time i emerged into a fairly light and pleasant riverside backdrop, and so walked to a nearby hillside winding park path and sat on a rock wih my guitar.  Whereupon I was accosted by Rémi and Nathaniel who requested Simon and Garfunkel, then Rémi sung a pitch perfect reading of 'lord won't you buy me a mercedes benz'. I was rather hoarse by then but managed to croak along ok for a while before they went on their way.

The night concluded with a showing of the insane Japanese kitsch 'horror' film, house. Memorably it featured one of the 7 protagonists being eaten by a piano, then her dismembered fingers continuing to magically play the film's motif. The film was akin to trying to consume a box of Quality Street through your eyes, with the wrapping still on. Amusing and curious and exhausting.

The next day I tried to retire to the side of the Rhone to consume patisserie and write music. A man approached me to tell me of his appreciation for blues music; and also that 'la pluie va tomber'. I should have heeded his advice and not tried to hide myself and the guitar under a vastly insufficient tree in the midst of a french thunderstorm. So with no hope of the rain stopping I ran and ran through the trees and the rain to find a bridge under which to shelter. There I met David, a shirtless staring frenchman who could no longer play guitar because of tendonitis; but had apparently been 'up there with Slash and Hendrix'. I failed to impress him with my guitaring and he parted in order to try and persuade a jehova's witness that he had got the bible all wrong.

The evening passed with aperitifs on the balcony of Olivier and Maxine's apartment, and discussions of (I think) ecological local food management. I am getting good at nodding but only fractionally better at French. In any case tomorrow it's au revoir a la france, y ¡ hola espana!

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