Friday 22 April 2011

Saturday 16 April 2011


We got back at 3 and we were up having breakfast at 7. Michel, who had helped organise the gig, gave us a lift to the airport, which was very kind. One of our oldest friends, Ricky, flew over from London for the gig - it was a hoot to drink a pastis with him last night and remember drinking Red Stripe with him in Glasgow in 83.

Now, the plane

Quelle journée

We spent 10 hours in the van travelling to Nimes, played a storming 5 song set in fnac ( record store day! ) then played at Cafe Olive - similar set to last gigs, around 80 minutes. There's a lot of love for the Primevals in France, and we signed quite a few old records for fans. Cafe Olive is another really good place to play - nice people, good food. We had some onstage sound problems - mikes feeding back a lot - but we had a great time nonetheless. Afterwards we went back to the gorgeous apartment where Matthieu & Geraldine live - they both work at fnac and are fans. Drinks, chat, music. When we strolled back to the hotel in the warm air we saw this palm tree. It's been a great tour.

Leaving the very pleasant Royal Hotel to gig at Cafe Olive

Update from Chez Paulette

It was 23 years ago today that the Primevals last played Chez Paulette, and a little over 26 years since I played there in the band as part of our first European foray. it's a great venue, good stage, good lights, great PA, good staff & lovely food. When we had set up the gear and said hi to the owner, he said "welcome home".

The Primevsls are one of the tour posters on the wall along with Alex Chilton, Tav Falco, Wilko Johnson and The Fleshtones. The owners were very pleased to have us back and we had a great time, chatting and reminiscing. They have been running the venue since 1969. Everyone comes back eventually - Wilko Johnson is due over soon, and there's a pub rock package in September with Eddie & The Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood. We played quite a long set, and had an absolute blast. It wasn't the biggest crowd but as is always the case in France, there were some people there who totally connected with the music. We signed some CDs and albums that fans had brought along.

There was some delicious cheese and bread after the show - we got back to the hotel at 2am and assembled at the van at 7am for the drive to Nimes.

Listening to Television - Live at The Old Waldorf as we roll through France.

Chez Paulette - stage preparations. Fuzzboxes, beer, wine.

Stage all ready at Chez Paulette

Stage view Chez Paulette

France always treats us well - lovely food

Setting up at Chez Paulette

Dijon - 30 minutes tourism on Friday morning before long van runs

The centre of our lives - the van

Thursday 14 April 2011

Elvis jukebox in Deep Inside, Rennes

Rennes - ooh la la!

Another rocking little bar- we were, as ever, down in the cellar. Great food beforehand - salad, couscous and excellent boeuf bourgignon with loads of vegetables. To draw the crowd down to the cellar, we started with Sweet Nothing. Rest of set similar to Paris. We were well received without having the level of wildness in Paris. One Fan had seen the band in 86 supporting The Cramps & had brought sone records fir us to sign. Another good solid gig on a wee stage. Tomorrow 230km to Chez Paulette - 26 years since I played there, 23 years to the day since the Primevals played there.

The venue in Rennes

Encore a Paris! Les Primevaux!

Ready to go!

Onstage in Paris

Bonjour toutlemonde de Paris!

Waiting for the ferry, i managed to eat more fruit than I did on the entire first tour to France, by eating one apple. Ferry crossing was glorious - huge boat, good fun strolling around outside. Short drive down to Boulogne. We went out and found that Monday is early closing there, so the town was mostly shut. After a wander, we found an Australian bar that sold pizza - perfecto!

In the morning Paul & I drove back to Calais TGV to collect Francois who organized the tour. He's a dude. We found a Ford dealer - the van needed new wiper blades, which much to Paul's amusement I fitted. Long drive to Rennes. Beautiful city. The venue was an interesting old bar, Le Sambre. Lovely food laid on, with some nice bread & local cheese and some Corbieres. We played to a packed room who were loving it. Over an hour - great fun, sweaty and enthusiastic dancing. We sold quite a few albums & CDs , and chatted to several fans including Patrick who had been wanting to see the band since he heard Eternal Hotfire in 1984. My first gig in France for 26 years, also the band's first in 23 years, was a roaring success. The promoter , Seb, runs Beast Records & he kindly put us up after the show. We had a great time listening to T. Tex Edwards and Chain & The Gang, chatting and enjoying being in France. Seb & Francois are keen to organize the next tour.
Rennes set -
Eternal Hotfire
Prairie Chain
American Road Trip
Stream of Life
I Don't Feel Free
Someone to Love
D T Blues
Venus Discovered
Bones Are Buried
Primeval Call
Elixir Of Life
St Jack
Hit The Peaks
I Happen to Love You
I sang some backing vocals on Heya.

Van to Paris was fine - first heavy traffic in France was on this leg near Paris. Nightmare traffic & circling round before we got parked up. In the van on the way to the gig, Martyn & I learned a Cramps song that the Primevals had recorded a few years ago, The Band That Time Forgot. A run through at the soundcheck and it was in the set as a tribute to the Cramps.

The gig was hot and sweaty, with a good turnout who were very vocal. We played for over an hour, including an impromptu version of Spiritual. A longer Hit The Peaks was funky and free in the middle where it merged into Alcohol before rocking back out. We had some tuning issues onstage - on a stage where we could touch the ceiling, it was scorchio. After the gig we headed off in 3 groups to the various accommodations that our friends in Paris had arranged for us. Paul & I stayed with our friend Jes - in 2000 he had set up a website about the band. I had met up with him when I was in Paris about 10 years ago, but Paul had never met him before. We had a very pleasant relaxing chat over a couple of beers listening to Syl Johnson and Doris Duke. We've had a great reception in Paris

Paris set
Eternal Hotfire
Prairie Chain
American Road Trip
Stream of Life
I Don't Feel Free
Someone to Love
D T Blues
Venus Discovered
Bones Are Buried
Primeval Call
Elixir Of Life
St Jack
Hit The Peaks
The Band That Time Forgot
I Happen to Love You

Monday 11 April 2011

Waiting to get on the ferry at Dover

Changed days - lunch from Morrisons -VIVE LE ROCK!

UK leg of the tour finished

The London gig was very well organized - excellent stage, great PA, really good lights, good onstage sound. We played well and went down well. A bunch of friends came along - Word blog entry from Drakeygirl here
It was great to play in London again, and great that so many old friends and some old fans came to see us. We were chatting to the other bands on the bill - a range of styles, all good people.

After the gig, we went back to our friend Ricky's in Hammersmith. We had a lovely blether along with The Trashman, another old friend & early supporter. We stayed with The Trashman in London in 85 in his flat in Baker St. Ricky had laid on Pakora & Red Stripe. He knows what we like.

In the morning he cooked a great breakfast - fritata, vegetarian sausages, mushrooms, beans, and a great tomato/spinach/cheese dish with chilli. We finished the stay with 8 of us sharing a bottle of pink Freixete before heading off to Brighton.

Brighton was scorching hot. The gig wasn't as busy as we had hoped, but 2 more friends from the Word Massive came along. David took some photos, and it turns out that Gary knows lots of our friends from Glasgow, including David Belcher (who came on tour with the band the first time we went to France in 1985) & Gavin Mitchell (who as well as being a friend of the band had introduced us onstage at a gig in Glasgow). It's a small world.

We changed the set around quite a bit to run through a fee more that weren't in the London set - Heya, Defying Science, Fertile Mind and a storming run through Hit The Peaks. By 1am we were in the hotel in Ashford - the shower was a joy.

No gig today. That's an odd feeling. We'll travel to Dover, then stay in Calais overnight. Gig on Tuesday in Rennes.


Saturday 9 April 2011

Good times

London rocked - good set, went down well. Delighted that people made the effort to come out.

Photo from katyg

Chilling with a Red Stripe at Ricky's in Hammersmith and some John Coltrane

Photo from 1983 - 2nd Primevals gig, The Venue, Glasgow

Rock & roll !!

And so it begins


It's a decent splitter van - we packed it as well as we can but we will need to re-pack for the drums. Michael has brought a box of cassettes - that's what the van can play - so we are grooving along to Jimmy Reed. We've got croissants too, for that touch of acclimatization.

Tout va bien. A Londres, allons-y!

Friday 8 April 2011

Nearly time to go

I've spent the last hour blasting through bits of the tunes, working on how the fuzzboxes behave differently with the different guitars. 

The Tele had been sounding like the better choice overall then in the last 20 minutes the Strat seemed to leap out more. That's good - I can try both on the night and see which suits the room better. Both work well and are pretty close in range of sounds.

Busy day today with odds and ends to pick up - Euros, spare fuses for the amp, spare lead, switch cleaner, and I've made up an emergency guitar repair kit with soldering iron, meter, Allen keys, screwdrivers, snips. I've got 5 spare sets of strings with me, a ton of plectrums. Clothes packed - it's going to be HOT in London and HOTTER in France. 

If I can, I'll add some updates from the road. This has been great fun so far, and I've been uplifted by the support from friends far and near, including many online friends. There should be a contingent from The Word Massive at both the London and Brighton gigs. 

For now - I'm going to re-check my packing and then an early night as the van will be here at 7:30 tomorrow morning.