From the foothills of the Pennines to the Mediterranean coast and back again. This is Total Victory’s French odyssey as told by the band.
Narrator = Dan (singer)
ML = Matt Leonard (bass)
ME = Matt Evans (guitar)
James = James (drums)
MM = Martin (guitar)
27/10/13 – LILLE TO PARIS
After a good lunch at a Vietnamese place in Ronchin, we set out for Paris with Emilie. ML introduces Emilie to Hovis Presley (not the most heartwarming cultural exchange as the day, either). Crosswinds buffet the van, but the largest difficulties with driving are reserved for navigating Paris. Imagine every semi-xenophobic anecdote you’ve heard from a relative about what it’s like driving in a foreign city. It’s quite a lot like that. “You think this is bad? Wait until Marseille!” says Fred. Ulp.
Lleroy, the opening band, have pulled out, leaving the same bill as the previous night. La Cantine de Belleville seems like quite a cool place to grab a drink or a steak as big as my left arsecheek. The basement venue smells of masonry and can hold 40 if everybody breathes in. Violent noises from below stairs don’t affect diners, who eat what probably would seem like fine dining back home but probably qualifies as rustic and effortless here.
Not that we complain. Victor, promoting this evening, provides good food and beer and an audience. Later he provides accommodation and the finest array of Skin Graft Records memorabilia I’ve ever witnessed. The only regret of this show is not wearing breathable trousers; walking off-stage, it appears like I am wearing waders after a difficult day (wr)angling trout.
Afterward we wave goodbye to Berline0.33, who were even better tonight. James gives their friend David some PG Tips, bringing together our two countries even closer than they had been before. No more shall we say ‘up yours Delors’, instead children up and down Britain will tearfully utter ‘hold my hand, Mitterand.’
28/10/13 – PARIS TO LYON
Day off. Not much sleep has been had by anyone but ML and James still manage to hum the theme tune to every show screened by BBC1 from 1986 to 1992.
Morale is lower than you’d expect for the day after two gigs that went pretty well. We trundle into Lyon on energy fumes, low spirits pushing us into an English pub on the banks of the Saône. Evening falls and the lights come on along the rivers. The city is even more beautiful at night.
Our hosts for the evening are Matthieu and Christina (check out Matthieu’s fucking awesome band: Torticoli). There is a US Maple poster on the wall, as there was at Victor’s apartment in Montreuil. I take this as a good sign, correctly as it turns out. Burgundy and food, the latter mostly stolen from a Socialist Party buffet, is produced. We talk into the night, glad we don’t have a show. Ten fucking stars for hospitality, France, every single one of you. Before falling asleep in the van, ML & I wonder aloud when our luck will run out.