Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Videos from Rennes

A couple of videos up from Rennes - La Paillotte

It Don't Feel Free

Saint Jack


We got to Toulouse OK, then found that it is a very complicated place to drive! Tiny streets, radiating out from our destination, plus massive roadworks - but Paul stayed calm and finally we approached from the other side and arrived at the venue.

Tree-lined boulevards

The Black Hat Gang hit Toulouse

Support tonight were The Jerry Spider Gang, hard rocking dudes who have been criss-crossing around our tour - a few days before us in Lille, last night in Tarbes with The True Faith. We used most of their amps and their drumkit. Good big stage, good crowd, including a fan who saw The Primevals in Toulouse in 86 with The Cramps. Laurent, the JSG singer told me that when he was 14 he bought the "Stompin At The Klub Foot" Lp, which was mainly psychobilly bands but the 2 Primevals tracks on it were very different and blew his mind. He was delighted when I told him that they were both in tonight's set - St Jack and Lowdown.

My godson, Harrison, came to the gig too - he's working in Annecy. The True Faith were all there too, and Christian, and Kat - all impressed that he had made the journey!
The crowd before the show
Tom and Harrison - Toulouse

That night we stayed in a flat round the corner (which was arranged through the JSG) and Paul was wakened by water dripping through the roof at 6am - the last 4 days had been pretty rainy, and this was torrential rain on a roof that was being worked on. I went out for a walk even though it was damp - I hadn't had the chance to walk around much with gig timings. Toulouse looks fabulous - great alleyways and tiny streets and funky history. 

Damp Sunday Morning
Au Revoir, Toulouse
So that made 7 gigs in 7 days, all rocking and well received. Just under 3,000 km in the van, much hilarity throughout, and great times with very appreciative fans - old and new. 

And on to the airport, Bernard at the wheel 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Pau -> Dolmayrac -> Toulouse

We had a good drive out of Pau - good maps to get us to the tiny village of Dolmayrac. Le Rad is run by a collective, and 2 of the guys came to see us in Nimes 18 months ago. They were excited to have us, and we were delighted to go. It's not a big venue, but when you walk in and see a poster for the All Tomorrow's Parties gig of The Stooges playing Funhouse, then you know you are in a rocking joint. 

As usual in France, we had a lovely meal before the gig, and our non-meat-eaters were especially well-catered for. The meal finished with one of the food highlights - un flan made by Katia 

Katia's delicious flan

The support band was Not Right, Jacques & Pif's band. We really enjoyed them - they sounded like themselves, not like other musicians, and they were relaxed and not forced. Very good indeed. Pif is a very cool drummer, too. Our set went very well - the place was packed, and because of the small stage I was up on a small podium at the side. Our gig went very well - great reception. Then afterwards we drank and chatted and danced until late. A lovely crowd, a great place to play - highly recommended for any bands considering it!

Les Primevaux - Le Rad ! View from the bar

Jumped down from the podium for Blues At My Door

Up On The Podium

Then a foggy drive in the dark to the gite where we were staying, and we were back on the road at noon to load the van and drive to Toulouse. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Some Live Photos

I'll add more as they come in

Lorient : (photos by Jean-Michel Baudry)

3 from Dolmayrac - photos by Pif, who helps run Le Rad and is an all-round dude

Lille -> Paris -> Pau

Damp drizzly weather, but a good drive in to Paris. As we got nearer Paris, the rain got worse. And worse. We're from Glasgow - this was proper rain. Of course this was also the point in the tour when we had a couple of hours for tourism - we ended up ducking around Montmarte as the rain battered down, then going to buy a snare drum skin. Paul asked us beforehand "what's 14 inches in centimetres?" and then in the shop baffled the assistant by asking for a 36cm snare drum skin. "What's that in inches ?" was the reply.

We met up with Jes again, and went back to his lovely flat for a bite to eat and an hour of chilling out playing "guess the singer" with his fabulous  record collection. Della Reese stumped us all, much to his delight.

We had two supports for the gig in Paris - lovely guys who are friends of the band - The True Faith and The Dick Tracy Lords. A good club, good stage sound, and another full set. Onstage I wore the jacket that I wore to Paris with The Primevals in 1985 - live photos to follow once we have them !

Ricky, our singer's brother and dear old friend of all of us, came over for this gig. Much hilarity.

We had planned to get out early as the drive the next day to Pau is massive - best part of 800km. But we got chatting and .... so at 2am we were back in Jes' and at 7am we were in the van at the National, waiting for the rest of the touring party. I stood outside a cafe to get some air and was surprised to think "that smells delicious" when a man walked past smoking. I haven't smoked since 1986, have no desire to start again - France is still a very smoky place! On the road for the drive - I slept for the first wave while Bernard took an hour to grind through really grim traffic - nose-to-tail at 7:15am- then Paul drove. I drove a little bit in the middle, great fun. Interesting to see more of the country.

Pau - The Showcase - another great venue. Lovely paella, lovely cheese from the Pyrenees, lovely friendly people in the bar. I enjoyed a 51 on the recommendation of a friend from the sud  - it was fab. The True Faith supported again - they were more liberated, freer down here - rocking ! throwing shapes !

When we were waiting outside the venue, a local journalist had come up and chatted, then interviewed us. He'd said he couldn't stay for the whole set as he had to be at another show too. So I was pleasantly surprised when he appeared at the end - then asked about my guitar! I directed him to Serge, who owns it. We have a running gag in my own band, the Beat Poets, that after gigs the general public approach Keith, our sax player, and I get people who want to discuss reverb units and guitar technology in general - this holds true in the South of France too !

 Photo of the band after The Showcase gig

Another lovely late night, chatting, mostly in French with fans - then back to the lovely house of Christian & Fabienne. Christian is Bernard's twin brother - he has refurbished a lovely old house that had previously been squatted. Cool guitars around, lovely photos on the wall of Aretha, the Stones - and a signed Fleshtones poster ! Very much our kind of people.

The next day, a lovely lunch in The Garage with everyone before we headed on to Dolmayrac - they were gigging in Taubes with The Jerry Spider Gang. I had a lovely long chat in French with Adrienne - Bernard was greatly encouraging me to speak more French, and I had been re-learning some words and also learning new ones to be able to explain that my godson was coming from Annecy to Toulouse for the gig.

Lorient -> Rennes -> Lille

Paul had brought effervescent Vitamin C tablets - it's a man's life in the Primevals - and they were a good start to the day!  A pretty good drive to Rennes, which we didn't get to see much of last time. We were all pleased that the set had worked, and relieved (but not surprised) that the borrowed equipment was up to scratch.

We met up with Seb, who runs Beast Records - they put the new LP out - in his shop. We had an hour or so to go and do some quick shopping - a guitar strap and some presents to take home - then the gig. A much trickier get-in than last night - 100 yards on a  cobbled street then down a tiny dimly-lit staircase.

A smaller PA too - so we did out best to get levels set but had to turn the amps up onstage as the crowd at the front soaked up all the guitars. A very sweaty gig, low ceilinged cellar, but great fun. Some old friends were there, including Mif who knew the band from touring with The Cramps in 86, Patrick who had told me last time we played Rennes "I have waited my whole life to see this band" and Jes's daughter who is studying in Rennes. She was tickled that when Michael, John & Paul stayed with Jes on Saturday, Michael had approved of her record collection before sleeping in her bedroom.

Back to Seb's for a quiet glass of wine and preparations for a long drive to Lille the next day.

L'imposture is a little bar, very rock & roll - we were all agreeing that this couldn't work at all in Glasgow. As soon as we got there, John & I headed off to the pharmacy - and we agreed that this must have been exactly what The Heartbreakers did every time they hit a new city. One small difference - we were going to buy deodorant.

Malik, the owner, greeted us with beers then we got set up. A small crowd but very enthusiastic. Another hot and sweaty night, and back to Malik's for more beer and chat - his wife's mum is Scottish, so she was delighted to have Scottish accents in her house.

Glasgow -> Paris -> Lorient

We got the train from Glasgow to London, then sprinted hotfoot to Eurostar - delays on our train made it rather a short timeframe! Sucessfully on the train, we shared a bottle of wine - tres continental, those Primevals. Our friends Jes & Thierry met us at Le Gare du Nord, and took us out for a lovely meal nearby.

Salade de gesiers in Paris

Michael and I told Jes in separate conversations how excited we were to be back in France. We also chatted about songs for the set, and Jes asked why we weren't doing "Total Destruction to Your Mind". We hadn't rehearsed it at all  - in fact this lineup has never played it - but we decided to try it out at the soundcheck in Lorient.

Martin & I went on with Thierry to Manu's flat - he was away at a funeral but had kindly agreed to put us up. After admiring Manu's excellent record collection we called it an early night as we had to be on the road for 10:30. In my experience, tours where everyone tries to be 5 minutes early run much more smoothly than ones where everyone is casually late.

Manu & Tiffany's flat - view from window

In the morning, it turned out that the Metro to the meeting point was very quick so we had an hour's wait. But that was fine - far better than us being late for the van. Our friend Bernard helped with a lot of the organisation of the tour, and did a lot of driving too - this was our first sight of the van, a very comfortable Renault. We left rainy Paris, heading for sunnier Brittany.

Le Galion is a rocking wee venue, good get-in, good stage, really good sound engineer. This was also our first sight of all the equipment that Bernard's band (The True Faith) and his friends had lent us. Guitars - a standard Strat - perfect for Michael, a Tele that required a little work straightaway, an Epiphone Wilshire that was Martin's main guitar, and a Fender Toronado that I used throughout. John had a good Fender Precision and an Ampeg head and amp. We worked through the Laneys and Marshalls - and we were all set.

A pretty wild crowd for a Sunday night, very warm reception, great fun - and to our delight the merch started selling, We had some of our old New Rose records with us - they all went on the first night - and the t-shirts started going. Afterwards back to JB's (the lovely bar owner) for beer and blethers, lights out by 3:30 so we could be on the road for 1ish to Rennes

Le Galion

The getout from JB's flat - FRENCH STAIRS!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Nearly There!

Good rehearsal - as usual. This time we set up the room like it was a stage, so we couldn't hear each other so well and had less space. Sounds daft, but it means we will have less of a shock when we do this For Real, in front of Real People in 10 days time. 25 tunes tonight - pretty good.

Delighted to get the vinyl in from Beast Records - if my ears weren't singing a little from standing in front of the drums, I'd be trying it out just now. And we've got t-shirts too. Front Print only. 

If you are in Glasgow, then you can get the vinyl from Monorail or LoveMusic. We should have CDs next week. 

Can't wait to get on the train to get on the road.

Possible London dates being discussed, a Glasgow one,  and then something another weekend if we can make it happen in either Manchester or Liverpool

Now - a cold can of Stella, and some spacy electronica from Warp. Yeah, just cos I wear a leather jacket .... 

Monday, 1 October 2012

French Tour Posters

Getting very excited now. Some posters in for the gigs - can't wait to get on the train and go! 

2 more rehearsals, still some tweaks to be made but we are pretty much ready to roll. 

I bought a couple of new hats - always room for more in The Primevals - and I think that everything else is pretty much organised now.