Monday 14 September 2009

andreas blogg

I was slightly concerned by a comment on the last entry - someone said that they clicked on the next blog thing and it took them to a blog about tying fishing flies. So now I'm wondering if there's a Central Blog Control that look at me, decides I'm hopelessly middle-aged, and chooses some appropriate follow-on blogs that it thinks might appeal to my similarly fuddy duddy blogster following.
I was cheered up when someone else posted a comment about the blog that they got when they clicked on next blog: Andreas lives in Sweden, he's thirty one years old, he lists his occupation as IT Technical Support and hobbies are BMW, billiards, music, Xbox. (I don't know what Xbox is but looking at Andreas I'm guessing that you can use it to access some good porn sites).
Andreas' blog cheered me up because it confirmed what I've thought for a long time - that some people reach middle age in the full flush of youth. And this makes me think I'm not doing so badly - I'm probably more crotchety than ever, my hair's turned grey, I've got the beginnings of a bald spot, there seems to be half as much of me again as there used to be, and the twenty seven inch waist of my younger days has gone forever. But at least I haven't got a blog that makes a big deal of the garage, the carwash and a hoover.
If you want to feel better about yourself here's the address to go to:
I'm a heartless cynical bastard but life's made me that way.

Anyone who follows Amy's diary will probably already know that she had a stall at a local vide grenier yesterday. (A vide grenier is much like a car boot sale by the way). She didn't do too badly though it wasn't the greatest success. She had to be there at seven in the morning. By the time I arrived in the mid-afternoon she'd packed up and left. It took me some time to find the stalls because some idiot had put the little A boards advertising the thing on the wrong side of the road so that the this way to the vide grenier arrows were all pointing away from the event.
Typically French you might say, but what was more typically French, contemporary French, is that they'd booked this horrible local duo to play - not us - this lot are called Vis-a-Vis and they single-handedly prove that the eighties marked the beginnings of the cultural trough that we now find ourselves wallowing in.
Vis-a-Vis were playing when I got there. Apparently they'd been playing all day with no let up. The site was a dusty car park. There was a bar and sandwich concession serving a few rapidly reddening English people who sat carousing on municipal plastic chairs under the hot sun. Scattered round about were a few stalls selling this and that junk - I was too depressed to look, and left as Vis-a-Vis launched into Me And Julio Down By The School Yard complete with chorus effect on the acoustic bass guitar.
It occured to me as I scurried away that if someone had handed me a gun at that moment I would have turned, shot them both in the head and laughed as blood and brains spattered the equipment and the jollity blundered to a halt. Later on Amy told me that they'd done a Who medley and I changed my mind about the shooting - I would have had them taken away and tortured. Which reminds me, we're doing a local Amnesty International benefit on November 7th.
The reason I feel so badly about Vis-a-Vis is they doubtless hold the status in France of Artist/Musician, Intermittant de Spectacle as it's called. We can't have that status here with all the benefits that go with it - health care and dole for the days we don't work, because in order to qualify you have to do forty three concert in a ten month period. Unfortunately the forty three concert have to be in France or they don't count. So none of our American, German or British tour dates count, none of our recordings, the international reputation that we've both spent years building, none of that counts for anything here. The fact that we earn money from touring and selling records in other countries, bring it back to France and pump it into the French economy, that counts for nothing. Amy's going for the official status of market trader and I'm looking at either music consultant or odd job man.
We're not artists or musicians, but Vis-a-Vis with there tawdry slaughterings of Knocking On Heaven's Door and No Woman No Cry, they are. And that's why I feel so badly about them.

I'm going to have another look at what Andreas has been up to:


  1. Yes, yes that's all well and good, but where's me Radio Show this week?

    I'm surely not the only one who sends CD copies out to friends who are internet-less, by the way, so whatever figures you have access to "Vis-a-Vis" listener numbers I'm sure you can quadruple.

    The shows are great and are as much a staple of my Sundays as The Archers Omnibus...

  2. hard to believe anyone all major french 'artistes' play every week in the mother country? - or is the assumption that if your big shot enough to play abroad, your big enough to not need the designation (which is what - a tax thing?)?

  3. The radio show's a bit late this week because we're rushing to try and get a 7" single together. I'll be on to it tomorrow. Thanks for the compliment and thanks for copying it for the un-interneted.
    As to the other thing - yes, it's a tax thing. It entitles you to health insurance and you get financial assistance. The major French "artistes" do a tour every year. They're all on the scheme from Johnny Hallyday down to bands that play Status Quo covers in bars at the weekend. Forty three officially declared concerts and you qualify.
    I know, we should be in bars doing the Quo catalogue but that's not why I got into all this.

  4. cheers Eric (and Amy) and hang in there. no good news on the ladys visa either. shes now had to give up the job she had over here which im sure theyll use against her if theyve run out other stupid excuses.
    looking forward to the radio show as always.

  5. The French always try and protect their culture with qoutas on foreign films and the like (I remember their initial opposition to Disneyworld) which is a Good Thing, but forty-three shows a year seems a bit punitive. That explains, partially, why French culture rarely makes it beyond the border.
    Still, if Johnny Halliday is their biggest star I don't feel we're missing a lot.
    (I do like their films, though...)

  6. Forty three dates a year ain't punitive - forty three in two months maybe. But the French rock scene is such a moribund affair it'd take more than forty three days work to set up forty three dates. And old Johnny Halliday is actually Belgian but the French were confused enough to take him to their hearts early on and now I suppose they can't shake him off. The expression "sticks like shit to a blanket" comes to mind.
    France has got other stars - the sadly departed Alain Bashung for example. I'll play something by him on the radio show in the near future. And speaking of which I'd better get back to work.

  7. I wonder if there is some kind of country or language filter because next blog always takes me to something in English (I'm in the US.) I tried translating one of Andreas' blog posts and got very strange results:

    "It became one Kärcher 3.91MD plus and one Kärcher A2004.

    Cleaned of HHR: one and Bmwn with really good results. Fantastic enough was to o with Emil in the rate o cleaned:).

    Machine-gun rushing be smiled did not like however vacuuming clean *Mwoff! *"

  8. Eric (when your in France and not 'debating' with french bureaucrats) why dont you come down on a wednesday night regularly to Riberac and do the show with me? From next week the station puts me out at 7 pm on wednesdays as the drive time (home) dj - if your interested give me a call when you get back