Lisa Stansfield European Tour 2014 – Day 11/12: Paris to Antwerp
May 18th, 2014
So, the plan was to meet in the lobby at 2.00pm and all head out for a spot of Paris sightseeing before an early dinner, a few drinks and a relatively early night.
I KNEW I shouldn’t have looked at my computer before I left!
Just a quick check to make sure there are no problems, I told myself. It will only take a minute, I thought.
Next thing I know I’m up to my ears in a problem and they all have to leave without me.
One of the definite downsides of running your own business is the fact that, if something goes wrong and no-one else is available, it’s all down to you. Wherever you are. Whether you can be arsed or not.
It’s actually an interesting point. I gave up being a full time professional musician over 12 years ago when my business began to take off and left me with a choice. I could either focus on building a strong business which would take care of me in my old age or carry on blowing down a tube and never really get rich.
Of course, I chose the former – a decision which I don’t at all regret because in actual fact, as I have carried on playing with Lisa all these years, I get the best of both worlds.
What I will say is this though. I had forgotten how easy it is being a musician. OK, you have the uncertainty of not having regular employment per se but, whilst you are actively engaged in the process, it’s an absolute doddle!
Normally, I wake up in the mornings thinking about the business day ahead, planning what I’m going to do in the office etc. All day I wrestle with the day to day dilemmas of running a business and the issues that come with employing people. I finish a full day and go home and I’m still thinking about the problems of the day as my head hits the pillow.
When you’re on tour you just look for someone you know and follow them!
Everything is totally taken care of. Someone organises everything and the sum total of your responsibilities is to make sure you are in a fit state to play your instrument for 90 minutes a day.
90 minutes of intense activity served on a bed of fannying about, being spoon-fed, led around like a child and drinking vodka as though your life depended on it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining at all. It’s just that it was put into stark contrast today when the guys where sitting in the sun at a pavement café in the 6th Arrondissement sipping Pastis and ordering encore une foi while I scoured contracts looking for the clause that made the problem go away!
Anyway, by the time I had found what I was looking for it was too late to join them all so Billy No-Mates went out get something to eat.
I think almost by protest I did the unthinkable in Paris and went to……..
McDonalds. Filet O’ Fish meal. Twice.
At least it sounds french.
Back to the room for more work and, just to make sure that none of the day’s objectives were met, I put out the light at 3.30am.
Next day. Show day.
Hurry up and wait……
The gig was at Trianon, a lovely little theatre at the foot of the hill leading up to Montmartre. We left for soundcheck around 12.00 and, although it was only about 14 inches away, Paris traffic made sure it took over 45 minutes to get there.
I’m guessing that the theatre used to be an old cinema as there were lots of old cinematic artefacts around the place and the décor was grand, bordering on nouveau.
Paris audiences can be very sniffy and so Lisa was a little anxious about the reception we would receive – particularly as it was a seated venue.
She fretted all day and swung between worry and resignation.
Oh my word. If ever there was a night with no need to worry, it was tonight.
This was easily the best show of the tour so far and possibly one of the best shows we’ve ever done.
Not necessarily from a performance perspective – although everything went very well – but the crowd were roaring from the very first note to the very last.
When the audience is like that, you are carried along on a wave of adrenaline and it seems like you are invincible, It’s just the best feeling!
Yo, Paris!! (Courtesy of Snowboy)
After the show we were all buzzing and the high spirits were maintained even in the face of the fact that, due to a cock up involving some stupidity and lots of gallic shrugging of the shoulders, some of Lisa’s guests were not allowed in. (Note to french promoter: being a few minutes late does NOT mean you aren’t coming)
So, after the usual post-show pizza (4 assorted pizzas in the dressing room by end of show) we all piled on to the bus for the relatively easy drive to Antwerp.
One enterprising fan attempts to steal a march on the European Tour Photo Competition (details here)
As we were all still buzzing from the show, it was a pretty late night on the coach and we were well into Belgium by the time we all called it a day and went to our bunks.
Next thing I know, it’s 10.30am and Sooze is walking through the bunk rooms announcing that breakfast is being served.
See what I mean………