An artists impression of satisfied patrons leaving the venue.
Getting into the centre of Lyon at peak-hour is a wretched, bamboozling experience. Like trying to unravel an enourmous lump of twine covered in motor-oil.
The maze of overpasses, underpasses and tight, curling offramps completely un-manned our TomTom GPS unit and drove the Baaron into a spitting apoplexy of road-rage. By the time we pulled up at the address we had been given for the venue he had beaten his palms bloody on the dashboard and his eyes were filled with blood and darting around like gnats.
The last straw came when we realised the street address provided to us didn´t exist. We were on the bank of the river undernieth a bridge, with nothing but the water on one side of the street and a string of "bussiness traveller" hotels on the other. The Baaron looked stunned for a moment and then started walking off into the night in disgust.
It was then that I noticed the big, rusty cargo boat moored next to us. I suddenly realised that it had the word "sonic" stencilled in huge black letters on the hull.
Ye gods. The venue was a motherfucking boat.
I´m on a boat, motherfucker, don´t you ever forget.
Proceeding below decks we encountered....well...a small venue. Apart from dead giveaways like... y´know...the port-holes and shit, it was more or less indistinguishable from any other 100 capacity noise-hole I had ever been in. The staff (or "crew") greeted us with fine French lazy courtesy, complete with booze and snacks and calm humor, and the business of soundcheck proceeded.
Obligatory "Portrait of a Baaron and his Box".
In a humiliating side-episode, my self-esteem suffered badly when the only toilet on the boat proved to be completely blocked, forcing me to shit in a plastic bag and then wander three blocks down the street in search of a bin to put it in. There´s nothing like walking down a busy metropolitan street with a bag of your own shit to put your life in perspective.
After soundcheck we dined splendidly with the crew and support band in the tiny galley and traded salty, sea-faring jokes until the first patrons started to filter in and the night began to find it´s "sea-legs".
Our name, up in lights, above a port-hole, next to a mounted fish-head. Just like in those dreams I used to have in high-school, except without the women in clown masks laughing at my penis.
While the support duo were noodling through their prog-swill (which sounded like a mating of Tortoise and Rick Wakeman. Yes, that bad) I was on deck with the Baaron, smoking cigarettes and heckling him about his inability to grow a beard. This is a sensative subject for the Baaron, and he was becoming more and more agitated when suddenly a gorgeous young woman appeared next to us and held out an envelope with "Civil Civic" scrawled on it in blue crayon.
"Hi guys," she chirped while handing me the envelope. "It´s a message from Amande*."
Thinking nothing of it, I opened the envelope and found two updated day sheets, detailing itinerary changes for upcoming shows. But the Baarons´mind predictably ran off in a paranoid direction.
"Sooooo," he drawled menacingly, "you´re here to fucking spy on us, right?".
The girl chuckled politely at the "joke", wished us a good gig and turned to walk away, but the Baarons´hand flashed out like a striking cobra and took a savage pinch-hold on the flesh over her ribs.
She shreiked and twisted herself free, backing away a few paces and clenching her fists in fury and disbelief.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?!" She screamed.
"People get wierd under the microscope, bitch." the Baaron hissed, and took a step towards her.
But this exchange had not gone unoticed on the crowded deck, and suddenly we were surrounded by angry French hipsters, spitting curses and throwing lighted cigarettes at our faces.
Things looked grim, but I reached into my mental bomb-diffusing kit and pulled out the hammer.
"Tourettes!" I yelled. "Tourettes!"
The Baaron cottoned on fast.
"Pussy, pussy, cock, pussy, fuck, shit, cunt FUUUUCK!" He bellowed, twitching and slapping himself in the face. He was raising hideous red welts on his own cheeks and the fury of the on-lookers quickly turned to morbid fascination. They backed away and stared while the Baaron convulsed and screamed obscenities and harmed himself with complete abandon.
"Good," I thought "this´ll get it out of his system."
And it did. The Baaron was pliant and reasonable, right through our triumphant, mind-blowing set until the end of the night when we "put to shore" and drove to our miserable suicide hotel for a few hours of black slumber.
On the whole, it was a successfull evening. We sold a bunch of singles and t-shirts to curious land-lubbers who seemed to appreciate our racket and we escaped unharmed from the real possibilty of a savage Franco-Hipster stomping. Dang, we are GOOD at our job! Say what you like about the CCs´, but never say we are not proffesionals.
So tune in next time for more salty yarns, as Civil Civic point their prows at the horizon and set a course for Funtastic Good Times.
*Amande Dagod is our charming but sly European booking agent. She´s an employee of the Julie Tippex corporation, a giant entertainment conglomerate with dark global designs and rumored ties to human trafficking and the small-arms trade in central Africa.
***BUSHWEEK - Australian colloquialism. An unreasonable demand or behavior.
"Stop givin´ bits of me birthday cake to yer fuckin´dog, Nathan. Whadaya think this is, bushweek?"