22/10/17 – Cachan: Art’n’track
Cachan it turned out was a suburb of Paris that no one has ever been to, it’s the French equivalent of Croydon.
What was going to be the shortest drive of the tour, barely an hour, ended up taking well over that. Firstly and most obviously was the traffic leaving Paris; imagine having the M25 in central London, then throw in seemingly constant traffic accidents, nonsensical road systems and then grant everyone a death wish, sort of sums it up. Secondly, as we had already found out the night before, there is usually a street with the same name within a half hour radius of it’s sister street. We arrived on a residential street and were quite ready to play a house party on a Sunday night, but our better judgment told us to check the address rather than knock on an unsuspecting persons door loaded with guitars and drums.
The venue was fifteen minutes back in the direction we had just come, in fact we literally retraced our steps, only to find ourselves outside a university campus – the venue had changed last minute. We had been downgraded from the good student union bar to the not so good one. As we arrived they were building a venue from scratch, complete with a huge sound desk on some tables with a sofa as a seat for the lucky engineer. Everyone was young and fresh faced, eager for something.
The bar was a bombsite of furniture, strange cartoon graffiti and glass, but the people were friendly and the Chouffe was on the house. Considering I had spent the last hour and a half in the back of a car with a raging hangover trying not to chunder (turns out I am no longer good at being a passenger) drinking was the only thing that would make it all better, and by god it did. The only thing drink cannot cure is a fucked throat; the lack of voice was starting to irritate me.
Waiting for food by some bins.
Eventually food was ready, our bellies groaned in anticipation, spooning mustard from the jar was no longer cutting it. A huge steaming pot of goodness arrived, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be what was once rice, resembling more of a mash with a few tomatoes chucked in for colour. As per, the French understanding of Vegan is to add cheese, because what is a meal without cheese? Not a meal apparently. The unseasoned mush was good enough ballast to last us through the night but we were all left un-sated. That being said, it was a university campus kitchen, who knows how to cook properly at eighteen?
The first band played to a fairly full room, but their blend of Morrissey meets Coldplay via Talking Heads left a huge gap in the crowd by the end. There were occasional glimmers of interest but most people walked out after three songs…I think they were expecting a rock show.
We took to the stage as people sat around in the background watching us with lazy Sunday evening eyes. The vibe was not there, and neither was my voice, but after a few hip numbers, people edged closer and even gave a few woops. By the end, the crowd had grown slightly but everyone seemed to be having a good time, howling and screaming like their lives depended on it.
The show was run on donations so we made peanuts, but some of the kids gave more generously than I would have expected for students, but they loved it. The French are good like that.
And with that we left, heading back to Arsenes for a nice quiet night. On arrival we joked that we wanted some fine whiskey, to which we were handed four fingers of vodka. Bonne nuit health, good night Paris, once again.