|A modern artists depiction of the "Graoully", saying "RRRR".|
|Clement faces off against the Graoully, while the locals totally freak out. |
"For fucks sake, dont piss that thing off!" Screams the woman at foreground left.
But today the town of Metz in northern France faces different problems, like being slandered on the internet by a self-important bass player from Collingwood. Where's your fancy Bishop now, losers?
|Centre Pompidou Metz. Not your average sticky-carpet joint.|
We parked at a loading dock around the back of the building and were met with snacks and good manners by the wonderfully freindly production staff just as the headline act, "Plectrum"*, was starting their soundcheck.
Having been told all about their fine pedigree and famous singer/guitarist P**** K**** I was eager to watch them and form my own opinions about their sound.
|File photo of the unhappy Mr K**** , desperately trying to tweak some life into it.|
He was rubbing his temples and screwing up his face, like a man trying to conduct a symphony played by 8 year-olds. He would bark little demands into the microphone and then run around the stage like a six-foot chicken in a whirlwind of hilarious micro-managing.
He would bound over to the other guitarists amp, move it an inch to the left, feverishly tweak the knobs for a few seconds, then leap over to the bass amp to move it an inch backwards and fuss over its' settings, then back to his microphone to whine and cajole the house engineer some more. The guitarist and bass-player just watched him in dolefull silence as he moved their shit around and changed their settings. I was stunned.
When they actually started playing a song he would stop the band after every few bars and lecture the guitarist on the correct hand posture for an F chord, or how to hold his pick, or how to suck eggs ect.
Again, I was stunned.
|It´s available in pedal form? Man, I can´t wait to let him know!|
I was completely enthralled. What the fuck was he doing? What was this strange pantomime, and where would it end?
It ended when he gingerly leaned his guitar against the railing, as if it was made of spring ice, waited a few tense seconds with his hand hovering in space, and then turned to the other guitarist who was loitering a few paces behind him. "Put your guitar here" he ordered "The temperature's good".
Well, I have to say I was completely awed by this display of obsessive/compulsive, micro-managed lunacy.
I mean, I probably wouldn´t laugh at Django Reinhardt if he pulled that stunt with his 15,000 euro, 85 year-old classical...but...
|Bitter old creep wanders around on stage, waiting for some guy he calls "The Baaron" to finish his bucket-bong and get checking.|
The gig itself was okay. We played well and the mix was splendid, but the crowd had obviously come for the Plectrum sound and did not seem overtly inspired by our tunes. That´s fine.
Well, they got Plectrum alright. A full hour of crawling, overblown slop that made me feel like I had smoked bannana skins all day on an empty stomach. Fantastic stuff.
|Plectrum lay their turgid "jams" on the rapt audience. I'll be down the back gobbling fistfulls of Iboprufen and moaning along with the chord changes.|
Pretty much the usual.
Thankyou indeed to the festival folk and the Pompidou production staff who were about as proffessional and hospitable as could be....and to the cook. She knocked up some killer vittles, fo sho.
Next post we will cross over the border into Switzerland, in search of Nazi gold and fine chocolate. In the meantime, take it easy on NYE, right? Right.
* Names changed to protect the innocent.