Wednesday, 25 August 2010

That’s entertainment – Dr. Feelgood

Being adventurous I managed to buy a ticket to the “Festival of guitars” being held at a rugby club ground about 40 minutes away. It had started off as an outing or “sortie” with the internet outings group that I belong to. There were about 17 people signed up as being interested in attending. The main attraction was to be Dr Feelgood, a group that I have seen about 4 times during the last 5 years. The other 2 groups were French and would therefore probably be complete S”””e.
With 2 weeks to go, the organiser dropped out. The weather forecast was not good and more people dropped out. Unfortunately I had my ticket and could therefore not drop out.
I was expecting crowds to be attending, so I set off in good time.
Oh goody there were some spaces left in the car park. Clutching my ticket, I made my way to the entrance pillars where I could see someone standing.
I got passed her with a suavely delivered "bonjour", and 5 meters further on, a lurking man mumbled something, so I showed him my ticket and walked on, spoiling the effect of my macho saunter, by not looking where I was walking and tripping up over a piece of metal sticking out of the ground. I kept my suave, cool air, and sauntered onwards as though nothing had happened.
I had hoped to be following the crowds, but so far, I was the crowd. Bugger, the path split into a Y formation. I spotted a security guard, resplendent with his black tee-shirt with “securite” on the back and big boots. He was obviously there to control the crowd.
I pointed to the left hand path and he nodded in a secure manner.
I travelled on. I had not brought my camera with me as I was expecting security to be tight. As far as I could see, he hadn’t touched a drop.
The stadium took up a good half of the local club rugby pitch. There was a small stage at one end, the other three sides of the spectator area (arena) had white marquees strung out. There were about 30 people milling about or sitting under the tents. Most of these were the staff of the on site catering company whose marquees took up one whole side.
An hour to go and the tension mounts. Note Security man on
the left keeping order

the crowd and the Croix Rouge van

I walked up to a sign which said things like “sandwich saussisson” 3 euros “boisson 3 euros” “frites 2 euros”.

Left to Right: Food, ticket and drinks.
Only me and wheelchair man were alone in the crowds

I was hungry so I headed for the food bit. “Two sausage sandwiches, chips and a beer” I said optimistically. She shook her head. “You ave to buy a ticket from zat table”.
I walked the 2 yards to the table and repeated the order to the lady seated at the desk. She handed me 2 sandwich tickets, a drink ticket, and a chips ticket. “Zat weel be onze euros”. I gave her a 20 euro note and a one euro coin. That stumped her. Another lady sauntered over. I told my woman that she needed to give me dix euros back. The other woman nodded.
I made the 2 meter trek back to the food counter, where I repeated the food part of my order. Did I want spicy sausage? No I wanted sausage. What do you want on your sausage? I looked for clues. Do you want some *****? She said, pointing at a large wok like dish with sqwishy stuff in it. Yes please I said. The chips were not ready yet, so I would have to wait she said, as she handed me my 2 bits of baguette, complete with bit of sausage and small scraping of squishy stuff inside. I had just finished eating my sandwiches when my plastic container of undercooked chips dripping with oil arrived. Would you lyke katsup? No thanks I said. After all I didn’t want her thinking that I was American. Clutching my chips and drink ticket I walked a further 2 metres past the ticket table and got my beer.
Good, now only an hour to wait before the first band.........
The rain, like the crowds, never materialised. The first group were nothing special, but they had their two molls selling merchandise at a small stall under one of the marquees.
Only about 20 of the assembled throng seemed enthusiastic about the “Blues Power Band”. The next group “Classics and Troubles” had been around for many years and had loads of albums. Every song started off sounding like some other song that I had heard before. There were even songs with English words in them. They even treated us to a section of their concept album which they had released last year. I managed not to wet myself. As a special treat they were joined by Nono, a “famous” dead brilliant guitarist linked with superstars like J, Hallyday, for a guitar dual during one of their super tunes. Nono had been delivering a pay for guitar master class that afternoon. I cannot play guitar so I will not pass comment.

Some concept album magic

Talking about the English language, a number of middle aged + couples were lolling around on little circles of chairs that they had dragged into position, a bit like cowboys with their waggons in the old films. Aaaargh! Smug, faux posh accents, loudly talking complete, but superior, bollocks. Yes, you guessed it. English one and all.
Finally it was time for Dr Feelgood, who seemed to set up most of their equipment themselves before going off-stage to change into their rock-god gear.
By now the crowd had swelled to at least 150, which must be a bit of a blow to the organisers of the event.
Dr Feelgood delivered their usual performance and I took some photos with my phone's camera, (No signal in the field so it was f*** all use for anything else. Leclerc mobile coverage sucks!)


I left just before the end of their set to avoid the rush for the exit, and the beer sloshing about it the plastic beakers of a bunch of knob’eds who were pogoing and slapping each other on the back right next to me.

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