Total Victory Tour Diary Part 6: Lorient to Bolton via Rennes

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)

MM is still drunk. ML has his first hangover of the tour. The collective pallor of the band resembles a team of haunted undertakers. We have a great lunch with Vince, Corinne, Erwan and David from Musicsova in La Chapelle-Bouëxic. Armagnac and cheese lift the spirits for the final push home. Thankfully the road to Rennes is short. Rennes itself is fantastic. I have to come back here.

We faff about with our gear for a little while as I pace up and down the narrow venue. Walking toward the front door for the thirtieth time, I recognise a pair of faces walking up the stairs with broad grins on their faces: it’s Emilie & Fred from Berline 0.33, who have travelled from Lille for the send-off. The band’s spirits are raised by both this and a tartiflette pizza, and, after Musicsova play another great set, we throw everything at it one last time for Don and Lester and Niko and the full house and all the well-wishers and people who had helped us to do this, and who may help us do it again in future.

In the city square outside the venue, where we sit with the van door wide open to let the steam out, ML plays Dexys Midnight Runners at top note in celebration. It’s a great moment, brought back down to earth when some bloke pisses on our van wheels.

A pleasant drive with Fred and Emilie along the quietly attractive and gently undulating rural roads of Northern France. Aside from a fond farewell in Calais, nothing happens of note for the 13-hour trip. We retain grip on our sanity. From Teddington services to home, Stewart Lee’s Carpet Remnant World keeps everything alert and in check. In the pissing rain and to the sounds of a covers band murdering ‘Delilah’, we quietly unload the van, before talking about Thursday’s show in Preston and saying our hurried goodbyes.


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