When I first started this musical adventure in 2009, I had written off Monaco as an impossible place to play, and settled for Nice. Too chic, too much money, too many pre-planned events during a Grand Prix weekend for there to be anywhere for a gypsy singer player like me to show up and inherit the mic. In the last couple of years I managed to play at McCarthy’s Pub in Monaco, and last night I managed to add a new location, thanks to Pete Cogavin, the lead singer and guitar player for the band Pete and Folks. This was, guess what, a pre-planned gig for Pete and his band in a chic place called Capocaccia, but Pete being the same cool cat he was at Shapko last year invited me to play a couple of songs.
So there I was in this chic joint where you buy a drink and get a free, all-you-can-eat buffet to go with the drink, a garden terrace, a front bar and back room, and the fast moving, bopping music of Pete and Folks, which was a mixture of their own songs and well-known cover songs. I met Pete on his Pete and Friends night at the Shapko bar last year, and he let me go up and play a few songs there. I enjoyed his music there, but he was mostly solo at the time. Hearing him with his band is another experience. Pete has a fabulous voice, and the keyboard player – Marcus Sylvan – sometimes looks like he studied at the Harpo Marx school of mad piano playing. Loved it!
I can see why the band – keyboards, bass, drums and Pete – have been stirring up interest in France, and not only in the South. They also played on the great French television show for live music called Taratata, although I did not speak to Pete about that – I just learned about it on the Pete and Folks band web site today. They just released a CD, as well, and you can hear some of the cool songs from that on the band site. Oh, by the way, Pete is Irish, not French.
So they played their great music and during the break I got to go up and play Pete’s quite amazing Epiphone guitar, which looked pretty vintage. It is a copy of my Gibson J-200, but some of the J-200s are really great guitars, and this was one of them. I decided to play a couple of cover songs, “What’s Up!” and “Father and Son.” And the Capocaccia manager or owner or whoever it was, gave me a free glass of wine after that, so I’m assuming it went well!
But it is a great thrill to play in Monaco – and I’m hoping to do it again before the weekend is finished….