Friday 22nd July 2016
We now have a few days off in London before heading back to Scotland and as the weather was still so lovely we decided to make the most of it and went to one of my favourite spaces in the city, Holland Park. We visited he Kyoto garden, spotted one of the peacocks and then went to lunch with Joe (a fantastic family friend who has hosted us on every previous trip to London). We met at Mona Lisa’s on the Kings Road, ate fantastic Italian food, chatted about Brexit and avoided the rain (a quick shower).
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Saturday 23rd July 2016
We had the most perfect last day in London imaginable.
Started with a wander around Little Venice before taking a canal cruise to Camden, where we indulged in a fantastic vegan lunch at Mildred, then wandered on to St John’s Wood so I could visit Abbey Road (well the crossing at least) – it was super busy with tourists trying to get family photos of the famous zebra crossing, in front of the studios and even writing on the street signs. It’s the one place in London that I’ve always wanted to go but until now had never found the time. I was a very happy girl to have finally have my own memories of this famous street.
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Growing up neither of my parents were huge music fans and it wasn’t until I was much older that I developed my appreciation for British music (my dad had a John Lennon album on tape that I used to play when I was very young, but neither he nor mum tried to get me ‘into’ music).
As a small child I loved anything I could dance to, Culture Club / Boy George & Bonnie Tyler being my favourites. As a young teenager I was more into American based bands like REM, Smashing Pumpkins & my all-time favourite band Nirvana.
However, arriving at Perth College in the late 90’s to study music and being surrounded by musicians and their musical appetite and lecturers who challenged me to broaden my listening repertoire, I realized that I loved all kinds of music, even those genres I’d rejected as a child like Jazz & Country.
I spent a lot of time in that first year at college with folk who loved The Beatles & The Kinks and you can’t really ignore the writing skills and stylistic development of the ‘British Invasion’ and the impact on bands like The Stone Roses and the Brit Pop scene.
In that first year at college I must have listened to the Abbey Road LP at least once a day and fell in love with the lyrics and guitar sounds, with the imagery and production.
It really was a treat to ‘walk the walk’ whilst on tour myself – I’m sure when I was at college I never really thought I’d be living the life I do and I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out.
It’s not all roses, but I’ve always believed that if you really want something and if you work hard to achieve it, then anything is possible.

Sunday 24th July 2016
We were rudely awoken on our last morning.
Firstly, I’d set my alarm for a ridiculous time (forgetting that my iPod was stuck on French time), then the receptionist marched into our room (not realizing it was still occupied).
It’s definitely time to go home.
Coffee. Underground to Kings Cross. More coffee. Train to Scotland.

Someone was pleased to see us again.
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Monday 25th July 2016
Back to reality.
Edinburgh seems grey and cold.
The supermarket seemed a bit boring & the lack of local shops to peruse (cheesemonger, patisserie and chocolatier), as in Rue des Pyrenées, was ever so slightly disappointing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Edinburgh, but after every tour (especially the longer ones like this at 22 days away) the return to ‘normal’ life is difficult.
Why can’t I just stay in ‘tour mode’?

Tuesday 26th July 2016
A brief trip to Glasgow for work & I discovered a new cafe (replacing another cafe under the arches at Central Station).
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The train trip from Edinburgh took ages; I’d forgotten about the refurbishment at Queen Street and managed to get on the train that stops at Carluke for 20 minutes.

Wednesday 27th July 2016
Distribution of the new LP ‘Nothing Falls Apart’
Popped into our local record store, Elvis Shakespeare and posted copies over to Glasgow’s New Hellfire Club.
We had a Sacre Noir trio rehearsal at ColorSound Studios, Edinburgh in the evening.
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Thursday 28th July 2016 – A Savage Birthday
Coffee at Crumbs, Portobello
Hot Chocolate, Bruntsfield
Food at David Banns, Old Town
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Thursday 21st July 2016
Gig 7: The Troubadour, London with Whetherman & Harrison Bond

We had an amazing night playing at the iconic London venue, The Troubadour.
It was everything I love in a music establishment – organised & friendly. It really is an amazing venue and deserves all the plaudits that come it’s way. The staff were warm and welcoming. Our sound engineer (Stacey) was fantastic; here’s a man who knows his stuff (he was great at advising on my set-up and the electronic drum kit balance, suggesting that I tweaked the level of FX to allow more of the lyric to be heard– not something I’ve not heard before, but for some reason his advice sat well with me) and that Alexis tweaked the kick drum volume to provide more of a ‘thump’… no wonder people say it’s the best sounding room in London.
Our support acts for this event were fantastic!
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Whetherman (the first act up) is the moniker of 31-year-old folk singer-songwriter Nicholas Williams, who has released six studio albums and 1 live album. His lyrics are poetic, his voice is soulful and he is a thoroughly nice chap.
He explains each song before playing, introducing the audience to his world & process – very insightful and honest which I found endearing.
I especially liked the final song in his set ‘Ghosts in the Water’ a fantastic modern Americana sound. On record it features the beautiful female vocal sounds of Rachel Murray.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhX3oMmn49U
Nick had played in Edinburgh last year at Henry’s Cellar Bar & he had nothing but great things to say about his experience there. I thought this was really sweet and felt a little pang of pride that ‘our’ city had shown him such a lovely time during his visit.

Harrison Bond was next up, a 21-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Milton Keynes who wins the prize for ‘best rock ‘n’ roll name of an act we’ve played with this summer’.
His biggest influence is Lana Del Ray and this was evident most in the final song of his set ‘Honey’ (a beautiful modern ballad which showed off his vocals style and delivery perfectly). I really enjoyed his set; regional accent, looped guitar & beats, melancholic lyrics and an almost shy stage presence – he’s definitely one to watch out for in the future. https://soundcloud.com/harrisonbond/honey-rough-demo

Finally, it was our turn to delight The Troubadour crowds.
We played a 50-minute chilled trip-hop style set which mainly included material from the new LP, but also covered tracks from Demo Recordings III, Her Volatile Condition & Sinking Into Darkness. The stage sound was great and from the audience reaction it was great out front too. Our bass sounds were phat and the change to my vocal FX were clearly effective (generating a bigger shift between the Mini Kaoss Pad AKG mic and the KP3+ Green Bullet mic – as I said, our sound engineer Stacey clearly knows his stuff).
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We were very pleased to have our good friends Keith & Marijana in the audience for this show. It’s been a long time since they have seen us play live and as fellow musicians (The Penny Black Remedy) we were keen to get their thoughts on the new material and LP.
It’s always lovely to have friendly faces in the crowd and there can’t be too many folks that are more friendly than these two. Taking time out of their busy schedules to make time for us was much appreciated and it meant we got to spend some time chatting about their news & the progress of future PBR releases too.

Monday 18th July 2016
Today we took a trip out to Montrouge (a pretty little village in the southern suburbs of Paris) and then a relaxing afternoon at the Parc Montsouris. It was the warmest day of the tour so far, and at 35 degrees for most of the day we tried to find some shaded areas.
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Montrouge is a growing commuter town with a number of lovely local shops and cafes.
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Parc Montsouris is one of four large urban public parks in Paris. The others are Bois de Boulogne and two of our favourite places in the city, the Bois de Vincennes and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Parc Montsouris may be a new spot to add to our ‘favourite places’ list as it was beautiful and calm despite being popular and pretty busy.
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That evening we ate at Samsara before taking in more of the local area (bars, parks and views).
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Paris really is a beautiful city and even with a large section of the population struggling to survive amongst the rich and beautiful, the growing concerns about racial hatred and the recent attacks on their way of life, the atmosphere is open and friendly, warm and welcoming and I hope to spend more time living in this fantastically inspiring place.
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Street Art 75011, Paris 2016

Tuesday 19th July 2016
Our last full day in Paris started with a trip to Au Pain et des Idees (another fantastic patisserie recommended in Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas).
IMG_7130 The choice was incredible; fresh breads and tarts adorned the display cases and baskets inside this old-fashioned looking bakery, but it was the original flavor combinations that excited me the most; Le croissant au thé Matcha & à l’eau de rose looked beautiful and the choices seemed endless. We were greeted with a big smile and made our decisions; Alexis opted for L’escargot chocolat pistache & I decided that the Pain au chocolat et almond was the one for me. We took our treats to a nearby bench overlooking Canal Saint Martin and savoured the moment. Flakey, buttery, rich and decadent – another excellent recommendation.

We couldn’t resist one final stop at Belushi’s Canal as this is where Sacre Noir first found our feet on the non-Scottish gig circuit. The view from the terrace is one of my favourites in Paris and the staff are always so lovely. All along the canal, workers were preparing for this year’s Paris Plage; installing zip-wires and sand-pits, showers and pop-up bars and cafes for the locals to enjoy, but right at that moment it was probably one of the most serene spots in Paris.
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Wednesday 20th July 2016
Time to say goodbye to my favourite city, before heading back to the UK.
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We met with a family friend for morning coffee and as always it’s great to spend time with friends who we don’t get to see very often.
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The Eurostar back to London was running late due to the previous night’s vandalism and over-crowding at passport control (to be fair to the Eurostar staff, if people had completed their boarding / landing cards before getting to security, things might have moved along a little quicker). Regardless, we were only delayed by half an hour and arrived safely in London before the evening rush hour really kicked in.
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We made our way to our hotel (Earls Court Garden Hotel; great location but a little noisy as our room seemed to back on to the Underground line), got changed and headed out for coffee and something to eat.

Our first stop was Café du Coin (it only seemed right to try to extend our Parisian experience for as long as possible) – a lovely café at the end of our street which serves salads and simple plates as well as coffee and pastry treats. We settled for coffee before making our way to GBK for some very fine veggie burgers, milkshake, fries, onion rings and elderflower presse. Both the food & service were really very lovely and despite being a chain restaurant the atmosphere was relaxed and not dis-similar to an independent diner (if such a thing still exsists).

We had a good walk around Earls Court & then it was time for bed.
Everything seemed a little strange, waking up in Paris & going to sleep in London, but we definitely felt excited knowing we had a great gig lined up the following night at The Troubadour.

Sunday 17th July 2016
Gig 6: Pop In, Paris (Open Mic Night)

The day started at a slow pace; pre-brunch drinks with our good friend Carole, followed by brunch with another friend Ben (ex-marketing manager at Belushi’s Paris).
We arrived at Café Martin around midday and stayed till after 3pm – passing the time with coffees, good food and great chat.

Pop In is a pretty special place and although the venue space is small, it has played host to some amazing acts, so we were very pleased to be invited along for their open mic session.
Pop In is more than just a bar with a venue in its basement – it’s a record label and community too. Playing host to releases by Herman Dune and shows from some of our favourite artists like David Byrne & The Kills, it really felt like we were discovering the ‘underground’ scene in Paris – real musicians looking for new contacts and opportunities (just like many of the open mic nights that can be found throughout the UK).

The talent on show ranged from hip-hop to French pop, solo acts who sounded like Al Green to duos who were bringing something new to the scene – I enjoyed them all.
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We played a small guitar/vocal set (thanks to one of the performers for letting us borrow his brand new electric guitar) and the reception was excellent. I’m sure one day we’ll be back to play a full set of Sacre Noir material.

Saturday 16th July 2016
Gig 5: Au Chat Noir, Paris

We had lunch not far from the apartment at Les Fleurs de la Pensee – a lovely family run Chinese restaurant, serving fresh raviolis filled with vegetables and accompanied by a variety of sauces.
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Afterwards we headed back to the apartment to ready ourselves for the concert at Au Chat Noir and to check through our equipment. We headed along to the venue early to meet up with Antonia and rehearse our collaboration with her.

It has been 2-years since we last played at this lovely little bar in Bellville; it’s a very cool little space with lots happening including the Spoken Word Paris events (Monday & Wednesday every week). We popped in for coffee a couple of times during the week leading up to our show and as always Vincent (and his staff) were very welcoming. It’s an easy place to pass the hours, people watching and listening to the jazz music chosen by the bar staff. The coffee is good and the atmosphere relaxed.

To say we were excited about this show is a bit of an understatement.
Not only were we able to arrange the collaboration with Antonia Klimenko (I’ll do a special ‘the people that make the tour special’ post soon and will give you more details about the fantastic lady), but also the other acts who agreed to play this show were very special indeed.
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Firstly, my newest Paris based folk/pop discovery Sarah Jeanne Ziegler; a young lady born & raised in Paris, who finds herself taking the French music scene by storm.
Sarah played her solo set of guitar/vocal tracks, utilising her live vocal fx to generate a fuller sound than most solo performers manage to achieve. For her last song she invited an electronic musician to join her and they performed a version of her track ‘White Gun’ to complete her set – c’est manifique.

Finally, (and for me most excitingly) our good friend Chloe Cassandre took to the stage as our local headline act for this event. Chloe is a fantastic musician, vocalist and performer and we have been lucky to play shows with her trip-hop band ‘AsOne’ for two years (2014 & 2015). Chloe also performs as part of a duo in Paris ‘Miam’, but for this show it was simply Chloe, a piano, and her spectacular voice. I honestly think she is one of the most talented singers I have ever met and each time we see her perform I fall more in love with her style and originality.
See for yourself…

Many thanks to everyone from Spoken Word Paris who showed their support for this show and also to Sithara for filming us once again.

 

Thursday 14th July 2016
Gig 4: Le Gambetta Club, Paris
Bastille Day

We visited Père Lachaise in the morning as it is located at the end of our street and is always a peaceful space within the city (as long as you don’t spend time near the grave of Jim Morrison). As it was Bastille Day it seemed pertinent to visit and pay respects to those who have fallen fighting for their country, protecting human rights, or gaining civil liberties; it provides cause to be thankful for all we have & also to remember those who we have lost.
Pere Lachaise is a beautiful space & I’ve always found the graveyards of Paris to be less sombre than churches.

Last year we arranged a concert at Le Gambetta Club & had a fantastic night, so we were happy to be returning.

On the 13th July the fire stations host the Pompier Balls across the city & as Le Gambetta Club is a late night bar, the party had gone on until the early hours of the next day, so when we arrived at the venue to set up for our show, Joe (owner) and Marco (bar manager) were both still feeling very tired – nothing a couple of espresso shots didn’t fix.
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We were very pleased to have secured Laurent Henode to play with us at this gig as we’re both big fans having followed his progress since meeting two years ago thanks to a mutual friend. He is currently working on material with a new band but for this show he played a solo set of material just acoustic guitar and vocals under the pseudonym Popper Must (Be). Laurent’s voice has great dynamic range which matches his writing style perfectly. He is a master of the ‘quiet-loud-quiet’ delivery and his confidence seemed to have grown along with his repertoire. It was so lovely to seem a familiar face in the city and especially one as friendly as his.

The other act we secured for this show was Eric Costa, an electronic musician based in Paris who not only played an amazing set or original compositions, but also played ‘DJ’ in between the live music, styled the stage with lights and saved the day with brown tape.
I discovered Eric’s music via his BandCamp page and cannot speak highly enough about his live set-up. Intense and modern is one way to describe his music, moulding synth sounds and drum loops with ease (whilst trying to get rid of drunk fans intent on speaking to him during his performance).

Le Gambetta Club have a BBQ (free with drinks) so people who were coming to the show were offered food as well as great cocktails, a selection of Japanese whiskeys and fab live music – what more could people want.

We had a great night and after our set we talked till late on the terrace with Eric.
We must say thank you to Stéphanie for inviting us back to this lovely local bar to perform our new LP.
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When it was time to head back to the apartment we said our goodbyes and the bar manager Marco wished us a ‘bon soiree’ and also ‘good luck’; making sure we understood to ‘be careful’ on our way home. We thought this was sweet but didn’t realise until we got home that there had been an attack in Nice and this was why he was so worried about us getting home.
We have always felt safe and comfortable in Paris, but this year we have noticed a marked increase in the presence of soldiers on the streets. Sure, they have always been around the large train stations, Tour Eiffel and Sacre Coeur, but this year we have seen them lining the streets near Pigalle and Bellville (both are areas which have suffered attacks in recent months). Honestly, I’ve never felt comfortable with the soldiers and cops having guns openly on show, but I think this is just because it’s something you rarely see in Scotland. However, this summer the sight of them and their increased street presence did not leave me feeling uneasy; if anything I completely understand why the locals feel safer with these guys around.
It’s hard to imagine what it must feel like to be living in a constant state of ‘emergency’ but life in Paris seems to be carrying on as usual and the city is still such a vibrant place that I also can’t imagine that changing too much either.
We live in strange times, but we can’t let the fear take over and change who we are.

Vive la France.

Friday 15th July 2016 (Day Off)
We slept in after a late night at La Gambetta Club and the city also seemed to be late in waking itself, so we headed down to Arts et Metiers for a coffee; and a great spot to sit and watch the world go by. It was a hot day and we wanted a lunch that would fill up all the lost calories from the previous night’s exertions, so we checked out a few Indian restaurants by Gare du Nord and chose a place that specialised in dosas (Indian savoury pancakes) and vegetarian cuisine. It was excellent and filling, with great service as per usual in Paris.

In the evening we cooked another meal in our Parisian apartment (warm goat’s cheese salad and bread), we then headed out to wander around Belleville and soak up the atmosphere of the city. It’s lovely to be able to walk the streets late at night while the weather is still warm and we spotted many nice looking bars and restaurants with people dining or drinking into the wee small hours. It was great to be able to have such a relaxing day after our first gig of 2016 in Paris.

Wednesday 6th July 2016
Yay! We’re going to Paris today!
Shower. Pack. Check out. Coffee. Underground to King’s Cross. Check in. And we’re off.
Thank you Barking – it’s been great!

Arriving in Paris at 5pm the sun was shining and everything seemed to be right with the world again.
J’adore Paris.
We arrived at the apartment and dropped off our bags before heading straight out for the night.
Coffee, walking then food.
We ate at the Lotus Flower (a lovely family run Vietnamese resto) and watched the world go by. The food was great; filling and healthy tofu & veg dishes and the service was, as always in Paris, fantastic.
After a little late night stop at a café we headed back to the apartment and watched a couple of episodes of a French drama called ‘Paris’. It’s good for me to watch French language TV as it helps with the language & accent and also it’s great for location spotting.
‘Paris’ tells a twisted tales of love, life and politics staring Éric Caravaca, Florence Pernel, Sarah-Jane Sauvegrain – I’m loving it.
“24 hours in Paris following the trail of different people whose fates will cross decisively”

Thursday 7th July 2016
After morning coffees Alexis headed over to GDN to pick up his large drum bag and I popped into Belushi’s to catch up on some emails. We didn’t think that there would be anyone left there that we knew however Liam (a guy we met and suggested he ask for a job at the bar a few years ago) is now the bar manager.

Lunch was vegan burgers at Hank’s in the Marie, and it was great.

We wandered up to the 19th arr. & popped into our ‘home from home’ Belushi’s Canal.
This place and the old staff are the reason we first started playing shows in Paris – being invited in 2011 by the manager at the time to play shows in the bar and at their Plage stage. We met so many great people over the years thanks to the Belushi’s team and even though only one member of our Belushi’s family still works at Canal it still fills us with great memories and lots of love for those times.
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Tonight is the France vs Germany Euro16 semi-final so we left before chaos ensued and walked back to the apartment via shops before finding a less ‘crazy’ bar to watch the game. Well, that was the plan anyway.
We ate at a lovely Indian resto close to the apartment and finished our meal about 9:45pm; just in time to pick a bar and get settled in for the second half of the game. The atmosphere was electric and we decided that the bar at the end of the street was looking like the one most likely to provide us with a seat. Outside all the tables and chairs were filled with wine drinking, face-painted fans and as their team were winning there seemed to be no chance of them leaving to provide us with a space in the late evening warmth. We headed inside and there were a few chairs left which had a view of the TV. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so impressed with a bunch of drunk football fans (being Scottish means we have the best fans in the world however our team sucks, so we never really get to see fans celebrating such a big win). The locals shouted and cheered at the TV, applauding every decision and kick of the ball. Even when Boateng was taken off injured, the French fans were gracious and applauded the player’s effort. The full time whistle blew and the cheering and singing, clapping & dancing began. It continued into the small hours of the morning.
I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again- I LOVE PARIS!

Friday 8th July 2016
Waking up for our second full day in Paris seemed strange; almost like we’ve been here for ages already. Everything seems so familiar and easy.
Today’s plan involved making some soup for lunch and testing out the facilities in the apartment and by lunch time we were sitting down to a healthy bowl of lentil soup and bread straight from La Flute Gana (one of the amazing boulangeries on the street).

We’d arranged to meet up with Antonia prior to the show at Au Chat Noir next week. Antonia is the poet in residence at Paris Spoken Word & I’m such a big fan of her work. We’ve been emailing back & forth for a few weeks and she has sent me some examples of material she may use for our collaboration & I am beyond excited to have her involved in our tour this year.

We met at 2pm outside the station Saint Germain des Pres and took a small walk before stopping off at a cute side-street café for some drinks.

After leaving Antonia we made our way to Au Chat Noir to deliver some promotional material for the gig, then carried on to Le Gambetta (again to deliver the flyers and posters for the show) before heading to Cinecitta (Italian resto) and then home for the evening. Determined to get to sleep earlier tonight, we watched the final 2 episodes of ‘Paris’ and went to bed.

Saturday 9th July 2016
We headed out to the beautiful and peaceful Bois des Vincennes in the morning armed with a picnic of bread, hummus and potato salad for lunch. The area is popular with locals as a spot for dog walking, horse riding and running, but still it retains a sense of calm. The sun was high in the sky, reaching temperatures of 35 degrees as we strolled through the wooded areas along the stream.
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As we were close to Nation we decided to pop in to café Arnold Netter for coffees, reminiscing about our stay in this arrondissement whilst on tour 2 years ago. Each morning we would start the day with a café creme pour moi avec un espresso pour Alexi. We have very fond memories of the area and were pleased to see not much had changed (if anything) since our last visit.

Feeling refreshed we decided it would be a good idea to walk all the way home to our apartment on Rue des Pyrénées. It’s quite a long way so rewarded ourselves with cake from one of the many Patisseries on the street.
That evening we started watching the 1984 film flop that is David Lynch’s Dune. . . as big fans of Mr Lynch we were still keen to soak up his greatness (also Alexis had read the book and figured I’d enjoy the story if not the special fx that were bound to be out-dated).I was not surprised to see that the cast was filled with Twin Peaks actors (Kyle MacLachlan & Everett McGill) alongside classic British greats like Patrick Stewart & Sting.
The special effects do indeed look pretty awful now, but I can imagine that if I’d seen it back in the 80s I’d have been more than impressed.

Sunday 10th July 2016
This was our 6-year wedding anniversary.
We had coffee in the retro-styled café ‘Cream’ before making our way to the Buttes Chaumont for a tasty picnic.
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Then we wandered along the Canal Saint Martin to the Parc Villette to enjoy more of the sunshine and weekend atmosphere.

In the evening we found ourselves a lovely Indian retso close to our apartment before we went and joined the locals surrounding the nearby cafés and bars to watch the 2nd half of the Euro2016 final. It was a nervous time but in the end France lost to Portugal.
All was not lost in the world of sporting achievements as Andy Murray won the Wimbledon men’s singles final.

Monday 11th July 2016
Lots of places are closed on a Monday (including the laundrettes) so we had a pretty quiet day; walking along the Seine from Gare De Austerlitz to the Louvre then the side-streets around the Champs Elysees. The street that our apartment is on is a food-lovers paradise and so we popped in to the deli downstairs and got some fantastic fresh ravioli for tea.

Later that evening we sauntered along to Au Chat Noir for coffee and a bit of Spoken Word Paris – the guest was Chris Bernstorf (from the USA) whose style and delivery was good but the content was overloaded with ‘Jesus loves us’ and ‘God is King’ chat…. A bit too much for my personal taste.

Tuesday 12th July 2016
We listened to the mastered tracks for the new LP all sounding fab and we’re so pleased with the final results.
Coffee & a visit to the laundrette were first on the cards for today, but after that we enjoyed another fine day of weather and wandering in this city that we love so much.

We visited the Jardin du Luxembourg and ate fresh falafel at a great little café near the Insitiut du monde Arabe (one of our favourite buildings in Paris).

Alexis treated me to a home cooked meal of puy lentils and goat’s cheese which was just what the doctor ordered. It’s strange being away from home for so long and not being able to indulge in life’s little pleasures (cooking and having a reliable wifi connection), so was lovely to be able to have such a fantastic tea made in our ‘own’ space.

Wednesday 13th July 2016
Headed out early to have coffee in the Marais before heading to the Pompidou centre. The queues were massive (even though we turned up 20 minutes before the place even opened), but we waited in line with everyone else eager to see inside. Doors open at 11am and once inside we found a bunch of other queues for tickets and who knows what else.

We saw a fantastic photography exhibition by Louis Stettner (American photographer) which put us in mind of our good friend Stephen Young; he also has a love of NYC and real life photography – not staged shots.

Afterwards we went to our favourite resto in Paris Les Pates Vivantes for lunch. Watching the noodles being hand-rolled whist we waited only served to make our tummies even more hungry. The food & service were as always fantastic – it never disappoints.
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The afternoon was finished off by a trip to A L’etoile Dor – the renowned chocolate shop run by the equally renowned Denise Acabo. Recommended by everyone from my favourite ‘sweet freak’ Amy Thomas to the world’s favourite food blogger David Lebovitz, this place is like stepping back in time. Denise welcomes you like you are a long lost friend, providing a tour of her beautiful shop and the exquisite bon bons and bars that it houses. She speaks so quickly that I’m not sure I understood much of what she said but her enthusiasm is clear and the ingredients are world class. Denise selected a bag of 20 or so chocolates from her hand-picked range stored in wooden cabinets for us to take home and try before closing up for her summer holidays (she’s off to the south of France for 1 month to get some sun and much needed rest).
If you ever find yourself in SoPi (south Pigale) with a few euros to spare, I strongly recommend paying this marvellous woman a visit.
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The shop was closed due to a gas explosion in 2014 and reopened in November 2015 almost exactly as it always was.
You can read about the recent adventures (or reconstruction & reopening of the shop) on many a blog but here’s a link to David’s updates… he is clearly a big fan.

On the same street as this fantastic candy store there are a number of musical instrument shops alongside cafes and bars which lead away from the seedy side of the area and back into old school Paris.
Feeling pleased with ourselves we stopped off at Belushi’s GDN for coffee and wifi before heading back to the apartment to finish off the press release for the new LP.

Next up we have our Paris shows: 14th @ Le Gambetta Club, 16th @ Au Chat Noir and 17th @ PopIn
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