Simon Pocock

Simon Pocock

The weather conditions have changed since the end of November to a more seasonal pattern: we are now back to miserable, cold, wet weather.

I must say I quite like it. Wet weather is nothing unusual in Brittany, and somewhat what everyone expects.

It’s ok having a mild, dry, sunny autumn, in fact, it’s quite pleasant, but we need rain, especially in Brittany, as water tables are pretty low. It’s not good either to go through a dry winter. In an ideal world, we should be having proper seasons, with mild springs, warm and sunny summers, mild wet autumns and cold winters. However, these days, the conditions are pretty constant without much seasonal change, and occasionally very extreme weather, such as devastating storms or even floods. It’s pretty tough getting it right and pleasing everyone, though. 

Two weeks ago, we (the Perros-Guirec harmonie) performed in a couple of Verdi concerts at Paimpol and also Perros-Guirec.

The Perros gig was a sell-out and people were turned away at the door. Both concerts were filmed by the famous TV channel Canal+ to be broadcast on television later in the year.
It must be a bit intimidating having a camera in your face if you are in the front row. Fortunately for me, I was hidden in the second row, so hardly noticed them (and I expect they hardly noticed me!).

They tend to place the better looking women in the front (except the accordeon player who is a bit scary).

The concert went really well, especially the Perros gig, with quite a few in the audience drying their eyes after the last number, which is always a great compliment for the performers. When you see that you have touched the public to that extent, it is the most amazing feeling.

We only have another 3 Verdi gigs left to do, plus a Christmas concert.

Last weekend was free, so I went to Guingamp for a concert by their harmonie, as I have a couple of mates playing with them.
It started really well: percussion doing a good rhythm, then straight into ”Colonel Bogey”, lots of applause, then calls for lights on.

Very unusually then, I noticed a bunch of paramedics around a man who had collapsed a few rows in front of me. At the time, I thought it was a heart attack, but it seems the idiot had climbed over the seats and injured his knee so badly he couldn’t walk. It took a good half-hour to unscrew a row of 10 seats so a wheelchair could be placed next to him to wheel him away.

I would have left him there until after the concert, so long as he didn’t make too much noise for being an idiot.

The Guingamp band have a good repertoire and I have to be honest: I was immensely jealous when they played an arrangement of Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight”, one of my all time favourites. It was just a shame the trumpet player messed up his solo. Fortunately, it wasn’t my mate Jean-Christophe, as he would have been teased excessively by his jazz mates.
Then it was back into the rain  for the drive home. I am not complaining, though: I did say earlier that I quite like it. Driving through rain, though, is not something I enjoy quite so much, especially on narrow Brittany roads which are usually unlit with no obvious road markings. Still, one can’t have it all! As the French singer Jean-Michel Caradec said in his very famous song: “Qu’elle est belle ma Bretagne quand elle pleut”.

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