Simon Pocock

Simon Pocock

I guess by playing the saxophone in so many bands, it’s inevitable there will eventually be conflicting concert dates, so next Sunday I have a choice between playing with Lannion in the church at Bulhien (just outside Lannion) or in another church at Perros with a different band.

We had a practice session in the church on Monday with the Lannion guys.
It was absolutely dire and couldn’t possibly have gone worse if we’d tried: the chef d’orchestre was suffering from bronchitis, the trumpets were a confused bunch as they sat at the front (noisy instruments are always behind normally) and one of the players criticised another for playing too loud, so he threw his toys out of the pram, as they say, and left before the aperitif was served (which is extremely bizarre behaviour for a Frenchman: nobody leaves before the sacro-saint apéro! Apéro is a way of life in France, definitely part of the culture).

I invited a drummer friend from the jazz circle to come and play with us, as we were suddenly finding ourselves short of a drummer.
Wisely, he just listened and left. Hmmm… no comment.

I talked to him later and explained that the band was going through a transition period, and that there would be a new chef d’orchestre in January, so he said that he would come back then.

There is an interesting difference between the two bands in the amount of financial support they receive from their respective towns: Lannion gets about 5k whereas Perros-Guirec receives only 2k.

We had our annual meal with Perros last Sunday in a flashy restaurant called La Suite, opposite the beach at Trestou, but I had to pay for Pauline’s meal.
At Lannion, all is paid for, including our plus ones, and we even get attendance money. It just shows you can’t buy a band.

So my choice is either to play with Lannion with the Tonquedec chorale singing afterwards or at Perros doing classical music with a 140 chorale and being filmed by Canal+ for television… difficult… or not… it’s a no-brainer.

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