Posts Tagged ‘Nothing Falls Apart’

Monday 1st August 2016
Nothing Falls Apart – official release

So it has been 4 yeas since the release of the last Sacre Noir LP ‘Sinking Into Darkness’ and in that time we have written, recorded and thrown away enough material for several new records… always stuff we felt was ‘quite right’ and so here we are 4 years later with what we think is the best Sacre Noir record to date.
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This is going to be Sacre Noir’s final album and we’ve decided to do the physical releases as a limited edition wooden USB drive (100 copies). The drive features wave files and mp3s of the album, plus hand written lyric sheets, set list, press releases and photos.
We’ve had the idea for a few years and it’s really exciting to see the final product!
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The USB is available online from bandcamp & savage recordings or Elvis Shakespeare in Edinburgh & New Hellfire Club in Glasgow.
It’s also available to download / stream from iTunes, Spotify, Deezer & Bandcamp.
We’re very proud of the outcome & feel each track tells its own story as well as being part of the whole record.
SNNothingFallsApartPressReleasePlease do check it out and let us know what you think.

Here’s the video’s for the tWo singles to come from the LP
From last month ‘A Rhythm Between Work & Sleep’

Inspired by a line in a George Orwell book, this track has had loads of support since it’s release in July 2016 from radio plays and youtube views.
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The lyrics were built around this quote and Erin did an amazing hair & make up job within the 1930’s inspiration (very different from her usual work with Sacre Noir). Location is key & our venue, The Biscuit Factory, was a perfect fit for our look and the music.

And from last year ‘Listen To Me’ – filmed by MeltedBeetle

“In the span of just 2 minutes, the group present us with a ridiculously catchy tune with fantastic lyrics and a captivating rhythm that appears to have a subtle touch of old school blues. In addition, Carrie’s harmonies are stunning and the riffs are remarkable, only picking up with every passing moment. Nothing short of excellent.” Small Music Reviews
 

Friday 29th July 2016
Gig 8: The Monarch Bar, Dunfermline with Acoustic Live

After a lovely relaxing day to celebrate Alexis’s birthday, we woke up early with a spring in our step. It felt just like being on tour with a few delightful exceptions; getting up in our own house, in our own bed & with our own shower and washing machine etc. – living out of a bag for even just 3 weeks makes us realise how readily we take for granted the luxuries of modern living and how lucky we are.

Tonight we have a Sacre Noir first and must say ‘thanks’ to the good folks at Acoustic Live for inviting us to play their monthly event in Dunfermline! We don’t often do acoustic gigs as it doesn’t really reflect ‘Sacre Noir’ or our ‘lo-fi electro’ aspirations, but the organisers of this event are great so we decided to take them up on the offer and arrange some of the songs for a simple guitar / vocal set for our first ever performance in Dunfermline.
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Cob & Fiona who run Acoustic Live, have certainly got an ear for talent. First up was Micha Sutherland, a local lass who they discovered at one of the other event nights that they run in Dunfermline and invited her along to perform at this showcase event. Micha, sang a couple of covers (Emilie Sande & Adele) and a couple of her own numbers (one upbeat & one ballad), she has a cracking voice and I think would go down really well in the nightclubs in Edinburgh.
Next up was the mighty talents of Sophie De Rose; at only 15 years old she has her own country-pop style sounds going on and is definitely one to watch out for in the future. She confidently sang and played (guitar) her way through a set of covers that really suited her voice and told you that this young lady had taste beyond her years.
Sacre Noir played next; our debut Dunfermline performance was supported by the local crowd and quite a few members of ASIF (a choir I run in Dunfermline). We owe you all a big ‘thanks’ – the support really was superb and one of the talented choirettes also took some fantastic pics… thanks Sara T.
IMG_7169The tracks seemed to go down well, in a trippy / shoegaze type way and it was a great excuse for us to play a country cover, my favourite track by Patty Griffin ‘You Never Get What You Want’.

The final act of the evening was 3 piece covers band Half Built House.
Playing classics by REM and White Stripes the crowd loved them and it was the perfect way to finish off the event, with people singing along and dancing at their tables.
I can’t recommend these nights highly enough­; a great selection of talent, promoters that really care about live music and a nice wee function room in a local bar.

Saturday 30th July 2016
In preparation for the new LP release Alexis completed the redesign of the savage recordings website & updated the BandCamp page with back catalogue.
It really does take many-a-man-hour to keep that side of stuff running smoothly and Alexis is the man that makes it all happen for Sacre Noir (not just a pretty face and talented drummer, songwriter and producer).

Sunday 31st July 2016
Today is the last Sunday before the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 kicks off.
Went out for coffee at or favourite café, Art & Vintage trying to make the most of having weekends off during the summer holidays.
The circus is in town.
IMG_7195Tomorrow is a big day!
Nothing Falls Apart
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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.
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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.

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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