Surreal day... I had to get up at 3.30am to get the first train to Paris. Slept a few minutes on the train and felt pretty good. When I arrived at Gare de Lyon, I was looking for a taxi. A guy offered me a "motorbike taxi". Tempting!! But I was worried about my guitar, thus, I chose a car. The driver didn't speak much; further, he didn't know where Virgin Megastore was (neither did I). We found the street and he stopped 100m away from the store. Then, he saw my guitar and asked "what are you doing in the store with a guitar?" I said that I am a musician and I will play a concert there. "Oh you're a musician? Hang on, I'll drop you right in front of the store!" Suddenly, he was very kind and funny. Seems like sometimes it helps being a musician...
Sophie, who organised and managed the showcase, waited for me outside Virgin. She introduced me to Françoise who is in charge of the showcases. A very kind woman! She treated us with delicious food and a nice backstage area. A Parisian band (Betty Argo) provided the PA and a friend of them, also a musician, Pupple, was the sound engineer. Thankfully, no-one has seen us backstage; we had a huge party back there after the concert... Great people! When I played "A Better Day", I saw two very young girls kneeling down in front of the stage. They looked at me with huge eyes. I dedicated the next song to them (thanks for helping me with these complicated French words, Sophie!!). It's always a pleasure to see how music can build bridges, between people, languages, countries and cultures. I had played in France before, but just spontaneously. This was the first official concert in France. There is a difference between a Swiss and a French audience. I don't know yet what it is. There are differences between all countries, even between different regions of countries.
It was weird to leave Virgin Megastore knowing that it will close very soon. Traditional stores, such as HMV or Virgin, cannot exist anymore due to the increase of - legal and illegal - downloads. I know, I've written it in another blog already, I'm a big fan of CD stores. I visit CD stores in nearly every town that I am. Moreover, the feeling when you open a CD for the first time, when you listen to it and when you read through the booklet. I might be old-fashioned, but for me, downloads (files that you cannot "hold") will never replace records.
After leaving the store, we had some time to walk through Paris. It's always a pleasure to be there.
As always, you'll find the setlist below.
Next stop is Lausanne.... Again, en Français!
1. Full Moon 2. Book of Love 3. Little Baby Girl 4. A Better Day 5. Only One Place 6. Sin City 7. Across the Sea 8. Shackled & Drawn 9. Man in the Middle
ENCORES: 10. Lucy 11. No Control 12. Follow the Rails