(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I drove to Angoulême last night for the Fête de Metisses ... I guess the best way to describe it is a 'world' music festival ... It was staged along the banks of a river at the Parc Bourgines. In addition to music, there were a large variety of food stands with delicious ethnic cuisine, and loads of performers ... drummers, gymnasts, dancers, etc.
I had debated on whether to go ... it is on all week-end but last night Sanseverino was the headliner. I tried to buy tickets online, unsuccessfully, and so then couldn't decide if I should drive there (I'm about an hour from Angoulême) and I am completely unfamiliar with the city, having only been to the train station and even then, Jean-Yves took me.
So anyway, back and forth back and forth, and then I decided what the hell, the worst that would happen is it would be sold out and I'd still knock around the festival. I was kind of tired, having worked most of the day ... but I bucked up, showered-up and went for it.
Well, first of all let me say that Angoulême was way bigger than I knew, probably 3 times the size I imagined! It is nothing short of a miracle that I found the place. But, contrary to other bloggers I've read, making one's way around in France is fairly simple if one just 'breathes' and applies a little common sense. I didn't have a detailed map but I had gone on Google and looked at the position of the park relative to where I'd be entering the city ... and jotted down some of the main roads' names. And public places and directions towards them are always very well indicated in cities. So I just followed the signs where I saw Bourgines and eventually, concert promoters had also installed signs for the event and I made it there easily.
And once there, I not only was able to get a ticket ... but instead of 34 euros it was 23 euros. Online it had been noted that 23 euros would be available for students, unemployed and a variety of other categories which did not apply to me. But that is still what I was charged ! yay!
I had time to eat before the concert started and there was a great meal on offer adjacent to where the concert was. the 10 euro repas was a delicious fried fish filet with ragouille sauce (kind of like the african version of salsa), curried beans, white rice and pineapple for dessert. Washed down with a 2euro beer, it was terrific! oh and there was also french bread and a bottled water included. !
While I ate, I watched a group of african tumblers perform along with drummers. these guys were gymnasts who did the whole pyramid forming thingy ... as well as african dance ... quite entertaining!!
there were three acts on Friday's main show ... the first was a rock guitarist with an african musician who played a variety of instruments which I have no idea about ... but produced extremely danceable music! 2nd up was Rosenberg Trio (they are manouche style guitarists, in the genre of Django Reinhardt, well 2 guitarists and a bass player) ... also amazing and with a large following. Final act was my crush, Sanseverino . (that link coincidentally presents Sanseverino along with one of the Rosenberg brothers ... !)
I've seen (and written about) him once before. Jean-Yves took me and Johnelle and we had the most amazing 3rd row seats in a smaller, more intimate venue. Last night there were about three times as many people. And the set up was a huge open area adjacent to the stage, with stadium style seating in the back, raised ... not benches though (thank god) but chairs)... I got a seat in the first row of the stadium seating, which was far more comfortable but less 'view-worthy'.
Each act was on for at least an hour, including encores!!! I had forgotten how long concerts in France can go on. If you are going to see the main act, never assume the openers will only be on a short while. My experience is each act has a following and gets a considerable amount of performance time in AND encores.
The concert began at 8:30. It was after 11:00 before Sanseverino was introduced. He was just as amazing as the first time. and yes, I descended from my perch, got close to the stage and danced and drooled.
Must be something about Italian frenchmen these days. They really get me going. meeeeeerrrrraaawwwwwwwRRRRRRR!!!