Simon Pocock

Simon Pocock

The Perros-Guirec band played at its first classical music concert solely dedicated to Verdi yesterday in the church at Rostrenen, which is a little town in the department of Côtes-d’Armor, in the centre of Brittany.

I always get a bit agoraphobic when I cross the N12 (the main dual carriageway between Brest and Rennes, which is very similar to a motorway). For me, the Nationale N12 is the line dividing the coastal regions (to the north) and the interior of the region, which to me is a bit like in the film ”Planet of the Apes”, where the weird stuff happens.

Carole, an ex-Lannion clarinet player who is also a good friend, was my driver, and although she knew the route fairly well, we almost got lost.

The gig was in a splendid church. There were over singers 120 in the chorale (a combined choir from Lannion and Guingamp).

They did a half-hour session of Haendel before us, and then we all combined, and performed all the Verdi, Rossini, Bezot and Hallelujah chorus stuff together.

We finished the concert with a number called “Highland Cathedral”, which stars a bombard playing the theme: it pulls on the emotions (not mine), and there were a few wet eyes in the church at the end.

It was an unusual experience for the ex-Lannion players like myself, as quite often we may start with a full house in the church, but when we play it soon empties. The biggest downside of playing with Perros is we never seem to eat or drink very much (I have lost 3kgs since September) and as we practiced before the concert, it was nearly 4 hours of playing, so a glass of wine and a few nibbles aren’t much of a reward afterwards.

My taxi Carole managed to get us a little lost again on the return, but fortunately we eventually saw a sign for Guingamp.

I must have know Carole half a dozen years, but never realized until that night that she talks more than Pauline (and that’s going some, believe me!).
She did mention that her partner Remmie had a saxophone he didn’t use, and perhaps he might consider loaning or selling it, so I suggested a viewing when we arrived in Lannion.

Recently, our oldest dog died. He was called Jimmy and was a lovely dog: all our guests wanted to take him home. I managed to resist a whole month of badgering (”we need another dog to keep Bealo company”), but eventually I gave in (women always win, it’s a well known fact).

On the return trip after collecting the new member of our family, our new black puppy, Thea, I mentioned that new dog should really mean new saxophone. It’s a fair deal, isn’t it?
So, back at “Chez Carole”, Remmie had a look around and found his dusty sax which I’m delighted to say plays like a dream (it’s a Selmer). I was even more delighted when he agreed to loan it out and advised me that I can have first refusal.

I hardly slept because the excitement is like having  a new lover!

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