Stories We Could Tell
Secret Gig 2006
It is July 2006. Lunch Box PA have a hire booking in a marquee at a pub north of Henley. The landlord says it's the R*ll*ng St*n*s annual Beggars Banquet, where they feast, play live and listen to the blues all night. "But don't tell the papers!"
We install the 400W system and CD player and go home.
We realise the landlord would love it if the word were to get out, as it would be great publicity. We also realise it would be fascinating to sneak back and listen / hang around / try to get in. But we take him at his word.
At least our speakers are having a good time.
It is March 2005. Parisian Living are playing the Festival Rock Villers Outreaux near Cambrai.
Personnel; Mike, Alan, JP, Phil, Timski, Gillian, Francois, Karl, Martyn. We have driven through the snow in a rented Transit and crossed the Channel on DFDS to get there. It is freakin' cold.
We open the show, followed by Staphylorock (Francois is their drummer) and Phenix (who have since become hugely successful as Phoenix).
On the Sunday, we have lunch (raclette is served) with Staphylorock at Edwige's house.
You have no idea how great this weekend was.
It is June 1998. We are playing under a tarpaulin on a farm trailer at a village day in Grazeley near Reading. Personnel; Mike, JP, Alan, Timski, Manic Mike, Jane, Gillian. There is bunting. There is a beer tent. We play "Take Me To Your Leader" for the first time. The weather is horrendous.
When we return home, we hear there has been a tornado in South Reading. At the next rehearsal, we also discover that one of our PA speakers has been wired up backwards.
It is July 1997. Parisian Living have been booked, through the good offices of Manic Mike and the high quality of the "Viva" album, to play at the Alpaje concert of the Festival des Carrieres near Lyon in deepest France. Personnel Mike, Alan, JP, Timski, Phil, Gillian, Jane, Manic Mike, Steff. Carrieres means quarries, and the stage is indeed in a quarry at the base of a huge escarpment. Multitudinous lighting effects illuminate this cliff face behind the acts as they perform.
Manic Mike is booked twice, to play with Parisian Living and also Life Of Riley, turbo-folk band from Newbury. The Riley have brought world-famous engineer and producer Martin Rushent to mix their sound.
On Saturday nght, we ask Martin to mix Parisian Living too, which he does. The rain pours out of the skies, the power keeps cutting out until one brave member of the sound crew sits on the circuit breaker. We are brilliant.
Next night, the crew argue with Mr Rushent and throw him off the system before Life Of Riley's set.
We join the Human League and the Stranglers in having Martin Rushent on the mixing desk.
We dine out on this story until 2005.