Roubaix - Old Freinds, New Freinds and Shook Asses.

Roubaix, in the scummy, windy, rainy north of France is most renowned as the terminal of the annual Paris-Roubaix bicycle race. In bike-nerd circles this race is idolised and reffered to affectionately as "The Hell Of The North". It is also probably one of the most brutal and de-humanizing spectacles in the field of human endeavor (that was not created specifically for Japanese television). 

Paris-Roubaix - Turning grown men into twisted, ugly wreckage since 1896

But Roubaix is also the birthplace of such shining luminaries as Viviane Romance (1912-1991) a saucy screen starlet of the late nineteen thirties who turned down a lucrative Hollywood contract because of ingrained gallic zenophobia

and Henri Despannes (1806-1852), amateur naturalist and inventor of the modern strap-on).

Civil Civic's relationship with Roubaix goes back a whole year, to the happy-go-lucky days of Spring '11 when we totally fucked shit up at a greasy basement venue known as Les Caves Des Poetes.

At the time I was deeply impressed by the boisterous, fuck-off attitude of the locals and, predictably, I used the loose atmosphere they created as an excuse to become slobbering drunk and hit on a bunch of girls who really would have been much happier without my attentions. 

But these things happen, and only a fool would stand in the way of such normal, healthy after-hours behavior on the part of a balding, confused bass-player from Canberra. 

But why dwell on the joyous past, when the hideous present has us in it's black, disease coated fangs. That gig is for cowards.

There were many note-worthy things to be noted as worthy about our latest trip to Roubaix. We were joined there by our representative from the Juli Tippex mega-corp, Almond The God, who was accompanied by a strange young Frenchman named Romaine Leblanc, who for some reason wanted to take some photos of us.

Romain and Almond stare each-other down during soundcheck.

Romain had signed up to travel with us and document a few of our French shows, and over the next few days he proved to be a hail and hearty companion. But when he first arrived in Roubaix he was moody and tense. Almond explained that he had just been acquitted of a flimsy sexual assault charge brought against him by an obesessive ex-girlfriend from Poland with many chronic personality disorders and a violent, vengeful family. 
There was never any doubt of his innocence, but the process had left him drained and paranoid.

But after a few beers and quick, brutal fist-fight with the Baaron he loosened up alot, and in no time at-all he became one of the family.

The Baaron starts to circle Romain backstage, prior to throwing the first punch. Romain is, however, a powerful grappler, and the Baaron had to back down after only a minute or so. Well played, Romain.

...and here we see the Baaron, post rumble, trying to re-capture his legendary cool.

Moving on, our performance that night was solid, and the crowd seemed to be dangerously enthusiastic. More than one spectator had to be physically restrained from pouring full glasses of beer into our pedal boards and even the Baaron seemed nervous about where it would all end.

But for me the true hi-light of that turbulent evening were running into Dangerous Dorothy and her whacky side-kick Christophe, our old pals from Lille. Both were boozed-up and in top form and it warmed my heart to see these fine people again. 

To top it all off, we had the pleasure of catching the act of notorious bodybuilder and band-hopping drum-mangler Sebastian Thomson (of Trans-Am/Weird War/Dead Kids fame) who was headlining the night with his solo-zapp-cum-proto-tech-house schtick, Publicist.

It was loud and goofy and almost toxically spazz in that room and I for one couldn't get enough of it. 

Dangerous Dorothy gets casual.

Sebastian gets wet.

But in the end, this girl took the biscuit. I don't know who she was, but there was alot of tres spazzzzz moves getting thrown down in there and this chick out-spazzed and out-keened them all. Bravo.

Anyway, it was a fine and honorable way to kick off a run of French dates and I'd like to thank the people from Autour des Rythmes Actuels for hosting us in such grand style.

Peace out to Snr. Seb and kisses to the Lille crew for making the big, long drive. XXX


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