Richard Bennett
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Contrary Cocktail

Moderne Shellac, 2015

Contrary Cocktail

A hypnotic blend of rhythms, landscapes, tones, colors, styles and moods, with melodies leading the way to certain places that only songs without words can go.

-- Pieta Brown, 2015

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A slightly sluggish beginning to the day, no doubt due to that swell little gathering last night in Guy’s room.  Ah well, nothing a pot of strong coffee didn’t clear up.  A gorgeous morning sipping my coffee on the balcony of the Dolder Grand Hotel overlooking Zurich Lake.  At 1 o’clock the bags were picked up and by mid-afternoon it was wheels up to Paris.  The lobster salad for lunch on the plane tasted like a million.

 

It’s the first of two shows here Paris and a return to a venue we’ve played a couple of times before, Zenith.  The gig holds the distinction of being one of the hottest venues going and I mean temperature-wise.  We played here in ’96 and again in 2001… real sweat box in the spring and summertime.  It can get so bad that the humidity condensation begins to drip from the ceiling.  We usually play a venue called Bercy but it is in the process of being renovated and we find ourselves back at Zenith again.

 

Ruth Moody and here great band opened again tonight.  Ruth speaks flawless French and had that audience straight away, speaking their language and with her singing and playing.  They loved her set and gave her a thunderous ovation at the end of her part of the show.

 

Zenith my be a crap venue but it was a tremendously rocking gig and audience tonight.  It’s not a large venue, around 5,700 but about a third of the way into the show people simply stood up and rushed the stage and it was a stand-up gig for the rest of the night.  I think it was the best show of the tour so far as Mark and band really playing at top form. A Paris gig to remember.

 

It was a runner from the stage to an impossibly posh hotel.  I opened the door to my suite and there was a block and a half of hallway before I actually hit the room.  Down that hallway at various places is a walk-in closet/dressing room with vanity, a bathroom that a family of four could live in and an espresso bar with a fridge.  Finally there is a bedroom where a plate of sweets, a bowl of fruit and a bottle of French red wine was waiting.  I’m drinking that bottle of red as I peck this out so I’m relying heavily on this computer’s spell-check.

 

I see an outdoor cafe in my future, tables with umbrellas, surly waiters, lots of strong French cafe au llait, an omelette au fromage and ogling the beautiful women in their spring fashions.  And… another show awaits tomorrow night at Zenith followed by a day off here in Paris.  You know, I’m actually getting paid to do this???

 

So long,

 

Richard