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Two Nights, Three Venues in Paris – amen birdmen, Yann Destal and some other stuff at 24 cour des petites écuries

October 9, 2010

Just a bit of catching up to do here. I went two nights ago to the La Forge avg art space at 24 cour des petites écuries in Paris in order to see a few live performances of music and other things, and the end of some kind of video exhibit. But actually, I “some kind” because me real desire was to go and take part in what was advertised as an open mic at the end of the evening.

So, yes, that’s what I did – went and listened to the performers, several of whom play at the Swan Bar in Montparnasse regularly, and then I played three songs myself. Given that the evening was mostly about operatic singing by Vania, bluesy singing by Tiffany Assouline and camp performining of Liza Minelli songs and that kind of thing by someone else, my songs kind of stood out like a hair on the soup – as the French say. But I was happy to sing them, and later, a fabulous reggae musician who was there borrowed my guitar cable and sang some of his songs, both covers and an original. This was Simi Ol of the band Arrr Force. It was a very interesting venue, this La Forge avg, an art space with many rooms, a bar, televisions, videos, a courtyard or two, tables for drinking and chatting, all manner of exhibit.

The next day I did not do any open mic performances but set out to listen to friends and acquaintances play. Yann Destal played at Le China, and it seemed to be mostly his own stuff – as opposed to the cover songs he does at the restaurant on the Bus Palladium on Tuesdays, and the room was full. It’s an interesting place, a very large and classy Chinese food restaurant with a cellar with a stage area for the live music. Very hip, in fact. Destal’s music was very interesting, intense, and the sound was perfect.

But I did not stay to the end of that concert as I wanted to pick up a little of Amen Birdmen at the Bus Palladium, in the main concert area. That is the band of Cyril Bodin, who is also the artistic director of this venerable rock n roll establishment (yes, that is now no longer a contradiction in terms). Much to my delight, I heard Bodin announce that for the last song he was inviting up the members of the band Natas Loves You, to join in singing with him. Virgile, the bassist of Natas Loves You, played on the four songs I recorded at the Point Ephemere this summer. So it was a delight to hear them, and I went around afterwards to say hello to them and Bodin. I enjoyed the set immensely, and Amen Birdmen had the crowd rockning hard.

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