Archive for the ‘AsOne’ Category

Concert at La Dame de Canton, Paris (with AsOne)
This was our last full day in Paris for this trip and tonight we return to La Dame de Canton for a show with our favourite French band – AsOne.
Before that there was time to visit markets, wander streets, drink coffee, sit in parks and eat some lunch. We also found time to do some promotion for the show whilst spotting some great street art & funny menus (seriously).

Chip Butty (seriously)

Chip Butty (seriously) – The Sunken Chip

After what turned out to be quite a busy day, we got ourselves together for the show. Packing ourselves and the equipment into the tiny lift in our building was the first challenge, but that was pretty much the only challenge of the evening.

Sign at La Dame de Canton

Sign at La Dame de Canton

Jumping on the METRO at Gambetta, changing at Nation (the area we stayed in last summer) and finally arriving at Quai de la Gare in under 30 minutes all seemed too easy. We arrived at the venue (an old Chinese junk boat which is moored in the Seine) and AsOne were already there, getting up & getting ready to sound check.

AsOne sound check at La Dame de Canton, Paris

AsOne sound check at La Dame de Canton, Paris

It was great to see them all again – they really are a great bunch of musicians and lovely people to hang out with too. They’ve been taking some time out since last year to write & record new AsOne material (which I can’t wait to hear), Chloe has her solo project & Miam (her cabaret duo project) and Damien has recently started a new project too, so this alongside family life and work commitments I’m amazed they found time to do anything together. Playing shows with bands where there are 4+ members reminds me how easy we have it with the Sacre Noir set up. There are 6 members of AsOne and I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult that must be to organise. However, as they sound checked I started to remember just why I love this band so much and was just thankful that they do manage to organise themselves.
Our sound engineer for the evening, Romain, was great! He was just back from touring with IGIT (French Folky, Bluesy singer / songwriter who fuses electronics & loops to offer a modern Tom Waits style setting for his distinctive voice) and made everything seem very simple. He was friendly and relaxed and patient with our stilted French. The team at La Dame de Canton have been truly great to work with; incredibly supportive and professional from start to finish, we love working with people like this.

Sacre Noir live at La Dame de Canton, Paris (photo by Chacal Fréville)

Sacre Noir live at La Dame de Canton, Paris (photo by Chacal Fréville)

It was a great night. We ate, drank, played and danced, enjoyed the music and company and when time came to go ‘home’, we left knowing that this wont be the last time we meet with AsOne. There is a definite connection between the two acts and maybe one day we’ll even tempt them over to the UK to play some concerts here.

AsOne / Sacre Noir - Paris July 2015

AsOne / Sacre Noir – Paris July 2015

We gratefully accepted a life home to Gambetta with all the equipment from Roberto (AsOne collaborator & poet / musician). As we drove through the city in the early hours of the morning, the street lights sparkled, the bars and late-night cafes began to close and the bakers started work at the Boulangerie et Patisserie.

The evening ended with the discovery that my left eye had become blood-shot (like seriously). . . too much sun is what Google told me was the most likely cause.
So off to bed for one last time in this fantastic city as tomorrow we head home to another.

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Days off in Paris
Monday 20th
The morning after the night before (when the night before involved playing a concert in Paris) turned quickly into the early afternoon…needless to say we slept quite late. After morning coffees we decided to walk into the Marais in search of Les Pates Vivantes (one of our favourite restaurants in Paris). When we arrived and discovered it was closed we walked to the next street and stopped at a little café for falafel & hummus. Sitting outside having lunch, with the sun shining and the Marais buzzing; tourists and locals, dancing around one another, making their way to wherever it was they were heading, I was feeling very lucky. There is such a sense of romance in the streets of Paris and it’s easy to get swept away with the mode of the city, so after lunch we stopped by the beautiful Parfums de Nicolaï and indulged in a little retail therapy (when in Rome, or even Paris).

A treat from Paris

A treat from Paris

In the evening we discovered a lovely little park “aussi mignon comme tout” just a few blocks from our apartment. Right on the edge of Bagnolet, Séverine Square is pretty small but has lots of benches and shaded areas, large trees and well-tended flowerbeds. It’s definitely a park for locals; a suburban park with kids play areas and picnic tables, what more could you want.

Tuesday 21st
Today we ventured out to the Albert Khan gardens & museum. We tried to go last year, only to discover it was closed, but having heard good things about the space we made our way back. Across the city by METRO, it seems like the easiest thing in the world. I do love the Paris system of I journey = 1 price, unlike in London where they have a zonal system and it can cost a fortune to get from 1 end to the other. It turns out that a visit to the Albert Kahn gardens was a great tip! We spent a very peaceful few hours wandering around the statue garden, admiring the structures and different types of plants (we even saw a red squirrel), before visiting the exhibition “In search of Albert Kahn” which was really interesting.

flower in the Albert Khan garden

flower in the Albert Khan garden

Albert Kahn (1860-1940) was convinced that shared knowledge of foreign societies would encourage respect and promote peaceful relations amongst them. He was a very rich man and from 1888 he set up the series of bursaries (Autour du Monde), he opened the first centre for preventive medicine and established forums for discussion and research in France (National Committee for Social and Political Studies).
Between 1909 to 1931, Albert Khan commissioned photographers and filmmakers to record life in over 50 countries. Some of the images seemed very familiar, almost as if someone had used a filter on a current image (Venice looked particularly unchanged in the 100 years between the photograph in his archives and ones I took a few years ago).

Feeling very cultured we left and headed for the Jardin du Luxembourg (one of Alexis’s favourite places in the city). We sat in the sun and watched the boats in the pond (testing my flag knowledge – which is not great) and the kids terrorizing the fish and ducks with their punting sticks. Everyone always seems so happy at the Jardin du Luxembourg (except those duck I suppose).

Enjoying the Paris sunshine

Enjoying the Paris sunshine

In the evening we caught up with friends. We met at La Rotonde Stalingrad for a few drinks on the terrace before wandering down the Plage. I love moments like this in Paris; it almost feels like you belong in a place when you get to hang out with the locals. There were ‘congratulations’ to be given and ‘cheers to absent friends’ to be had, as well as a distant ‘happy birthday’ to be wished… a good evening all round.

Sending birthday wishes from Paris

Sending birthday wishes from Paris

It was late before we realized we hadn’t eaten, so we said out goodbyes and headed into town for something to eat (midnight in Paris is a perfectly acceptable time to order food, or even a coffee apparently).

Wednesday 22nd
In the morning we searched out a cafe recommended by Alexis’s dad, ‘Cream’ – an “on-trend café” which only plays analogue music. It was lovely & just a short walk from out apartment “halfway up the hill in Belleville”. The coffee was nice, strong and not expensive at all and the LP closest to the record player was Fleetwood Mac.

Coffee at Cream, Paris

Coffee at Cream, Paris

We sat outside on the small decked area to make the most of the morning sunshine (Scots abroad eh) and planned the rest of the day. Next stop Père Lachaise, which was situated at the bottom of the street. So back up the hill we go, this time looking out for an Amy Thomas bakery tip also located on the same street as our apartment.

If every we move to Paris this is the street to stay in – everything is right here!

Amy Thomas is a blogger who’s ‘Paris, My Sweet’ book I am currently reading. It’s about her life between NYC & Paris and her love of all things sweet. Amy’s tip, La Flûte Gana was closed “summer holiday 4th July to 4th August”… just our luck, however in Paris this is never a big deal as there is always another great bakery near by. With cakes in hand (tart au citron & some kind of dark chocolate mouse creation) we made our way via Père Lachaise to Pigalle / Montmartre and the top of another hill to Sacre Coeur.

View from Sacre Coeur

View from Sacre Coeur

We headed out in the evening to a Paris / British meet up at a bar near the Pantheon, which was arranged by our friend Carole. Every month she arranges an evening where people get together to practice speaking English and tonight the meet up was at a very ‘British’ pub in the city. Chatting on the boulevard in front of the bar it was obvious that everyone was lovely; a mixed bunch from all over the world. The conversation flowed along with the real ale and cider, bringing tales of trips to the UK & life in Paris and before we knew it the sun had set on our beautiful surroundings and it was time to once again find a late night meal before heading back to our tiny apartment.

NEXT GIG:                 Thursday 23rd July 2015 @ La Dame De Canton with AsOne
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Saturday 2nd August – Day Off, London
For our final day in London we went out early to make the most of our time; Celeb spotting in Soho without even trying over a coffee… Peter Capaldi (Thick of It / Dr Who), a picnic in Soho Square, an hour in Bar Italia for apple juice and a catch up with KMT (The Penny Black Remedy), free chocolate at Choccy Woccy Doo Dah (mmmm) and a chat with Ann in My Art Invest (an art share idea from Paris – investments coming soon) before heading over to Whitechapel for dinner.

Last Day Triptich 1

Last Day Triptich 1


We had made a reservation at Café Spice Namastae which is the restaurant run by Cyrus Todiwala (The Spice Boys / Celebrity Masterchef) and was possibly the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten. We started with the homemade chutneys and popadoms (all excellent, but the crab apple was the most unusual) before our ‘real’ starters arrived, then the Thalis for main, all washed down with mocktails and lassi – it was a perfect 2 hours of chatting, eating and being looked after by the fantastic staff. We left feeling very luck to have experienced such original, freshly prepared food in a fantastic atmosphere on our last night in such an exciting city.
Last Day Triptich 2

Last Day Triptich 2

Sunday 3rd August – Travel Day (London – Edinburgh)
We had a lazy Sunday morning with coffees on Pitshanger Lane before the ritual of packing, un-packing and re-packing on a travel day. Then it was off to Euston Station for our traditional meal at Ed’s diner before leaving London once more. We’ve had a great time in London staying with the super-cool Joe McG (one time flatmate of Robert Plant / designer of Black Sabbath LP covers / daughter who works at Vogue etc etc). We’ve had so much freedom whilst being looked after at the same time; BBQs in the garden and limitless tea and wee-fee… we love staying at Ealing Towers and hope we can show Joe a good time in Edinburgh if he makes it up for a show or two during the Fringe.
The train journey home was painless – no delays or problems with luggage and we arrived as expected into the madness that is The Fringe Festival.
Home Sweet Home

We still have a few shows to play & a video to launch this month, but it feels like the bulk of this tour is done and dusted.

Paris was amazing!
Thanks to; TT – for the great apartment / Pierre, Juliette, Laetitia and all the staff at La Dame De Canton / Teresa, Chakal & all the staff at AbracadaBar / Vincent and all the staff at Au Chat Noir / Dave, Lea, Ben, Leatitia & Tom for being cool / Victor at Midnight Special Records / Popper Must (Be) for a great set at Au Chat Noir / Aubry at Madoro Music Management for being the nicest person we didn’t meet (you really helped loads and we’ll be forever grateful to you for being so cool and professional) and most of all our new best friends Chloé, Ben, Ablass, Dan, Charly, Damien and Robert from AsOne – by far the best band in Paris!
Extra thanks to Chaval for the fantastic pics and to Sithara Ieng for the amazing video of our show at AbracadaBar from his “j’ai filmé pour vous” series.

London was fantastic!
Thanks to; Joe for the run of Ealing Towers / Martin / Andy Docherty and all the staff at The Village Inn for letting us hijack your acoustic show / all the “open mic’ers” we met in Putney & Ealing / Barry & Ray / Lisa & Bob / Phil M / Muir V / Tinderdust / Grand Bassam / all the staff at Power Lunches (especially their amazing sound engineer) / Andunemir for filming the show at Power Lunches and to Tom, Charles, David & Ben (dressmaker) for all their support.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 9 Wednesday 6th August @ The Central Bar (Gateshead)

Saturday 26th July @ Au Chat Noir, Paris
Feeling very tired after yesterday’s excitement, we got up late and after a coffee at the bar downstairs went into town for lunch at a curry house near Gare Du Nord, which was just what the doctor ordered. Well fed and feeling a little more human it was time to head back to the apartment and get our selves together for tonight’s show.

graffiti at GDN

graffiti at GDN


We arrived at Au Chat Noir and set up our equipment early as we are doing everything ourselves this evening (door, sound, promotion etc) and we were very pleased when the guys from AsOne arrived to help with the balance. It’s always difficult to be the musician and sound engineer at the same time but because we’d played together last night both bands could help each other (and the bass player from AsOne is a sound engineer for TV & Film so this was a great advantage). Our support act for this evening is a local musician who goes by the moniker of Popper Must (Be). A friend of a friend, he has kindly agreed to join us for this show after we had to cancel our original choice a few weeks ago. His music is new to me but having listened online, Alexis & I were both very impressed with his alt.folk style. He played a set of original material with a cover of “Nights in White Satin” which was amazing! His performance was rich in dynamic range and his lyrics are full of emotion and honesty. He is the kind of artist that makes you pay attention and he really draws you in to his performance.
Popper Must (Be)

Popper Must (Be)


Next up was AsOne, and after our show together last night we were really looking forward to seeing them again. We were not disappointed. Just like the previous night they played a full on set of trip-hop sounds and once again we were blown away! Unlike last night (when I was a little nervous) I was able to really enjoy their set and from the back of the room, beside the cash desk, I danced away to the whole set and tried to pick up some vocal jazz tips from their fantastic vocalist, Chloe.
The crowds gather from AsOne

The crowds gather from AsOne


Then it was our turn to take to the stage for our final show in Paris for this tour. With a mixture of excitement and sadness we played a heavier set than in AbracadaBar and again everyone seemed to really enjoy our show.
Sacre Noir @ Au Chat Noir - photo by Chacal Fréville

Sacre Noir @ Au Chat Noir – photo by Chacal Fréville


We are really keen to work with AsOne again & outside the bar after the gig we talked about future collaborations, remixes and tours together. We have had a fantastic time in Paris, playing in some great venues and making great new friends as well as getting to catch up with old ones. Now it is time for a few days off in this beautiful city before our next show in London, which we are really excited about.
dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts, Tinderdust, Grand Bassam

dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts, Tinderdust, Grand Bassam

Friday 25th July @ Abracadabar, Paris
In the morning we went to the Pantheon to check out the JR exhibition (having read about it in the Eurostar magazine) and then went for lunch at the Institute De Monde Arabe, which is in the same area of town. The view from the rooftop of the Institute is amazing!

Rooftop view of Paris

Rooftop view of Paris


Feeling excited about the show tonight, we went back to the apartment to collect the instruments and then made our way to AbracadaBar. We met AsOne outside and instantly knew we were all going to get on well. They are a 6-piece band (2 guitar, bass, drums, keys & vocals) and arrived with a van full of equipment. We decided they would play 1st as the other act that was meant to be supporting us this evening pulled out at the last minute (the guitarist is in Greece apparently). Like many venues in Paris, AbracadaBar has a limiter so I was a little worried that this space might be a little too small for them, but the sound engineer was great & everyone sounded amazing! I really love their ‘trip-hop’ sound! They have a classic, dirty sounding stomp (helped by the synths / keys), an amazing bass player, a drummer that used to be a Drum ‘n’ Bass DJ and a vocalist who oozes Jazz. Both guitarists played between lead & rhythm and there was even a bit of instrument swapping going on. To top it all off they have a friend (Robert) who records all the spoken word sample parts for them, which are so good I thought they were film samples when listening online.
AsOne at AbracadaBar

AsOne at AbracadaBar


There set was great! Each member of the band is strong & confident within their role and together the chemistry is obvious. I’m so glad we discovered them and hopefully we’ll be able to arrange some shows together in the UK soon.
We received a great response from the audience and again were signing CDs at the end of the night. Amongst the crowd we met a fellow Scot (who was on holiday from Kuala Lumpur) with a bunch of his friends and a few locals who all seemed keen to see us playing again. Perhaps Kuala Lumpur is a little far for us to go, but we’ll definitely be back in Paris again soon.
We stayed for a few hours after the concert chatting with AsOne & our new friends / fans as the Metro runs til 2am, so no need to rush off. Along with all the compliments we received, I also managed to attract a red rose & a hat by the end of the evening and only had one minor (major) drama RE: a lost iPod which turned out to just be a ‘Carrie’ moment and we went home feeling very pleased with ourselves.
gifts from fans

gifts from fans


NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 7 Saturday 26th July @ Au Chat Noir (Paris)