Le St. Paul Soul Jazz Festival. We played here before, in July 2012. We did the opening night then, now we do the final on sunday evening July the 17th. Unfortunately it’s only a one gig visit: fly on Sunday, showtime in the evening at 9 p.m. and fly back early in the morning on Monday. We’d like to stay longer or be there earlier, but that wasn’t an option because we did two shows on Friday and Saturday the days before.
Snatchers on the road …, excusez, in the air. Timothy is reading a book by Marianne Thieme. Rinus (with reading glasses on!) fell asleep in an attempt to read an arty Batman Comic Book he bought. Wouter Schueler is sitting next to him. He’s the excellent substitute for Thomas, our own saxophoneplayer who is on tour at the moment in Brexit land with the Busquitos.
Round about noon we arrive at Lyon. Our transport to St. Paul 3 Chateaux is not there yet, there’s a lot of traffic down the road.
On the photo you see us waiting for the busses to come. Trompie’s got good vibes. Watch his pink vacation shorts! Elvis, our brandnew organ grinder, is also well prepared for hot southern french temperatures considering the length of his pants. His jacket however …?
Elvis is his real name, he’s from Croatia. I call him ‘Elvis the Croatian’. Sounds like a book title, or a movie, or a cartoon. I’ve no idea if he likes it … Mind you, I’m not practicing ethnic profiling here. I wouldn’t dare.
Almost everbody in the band has got a nick name: Tjeerd adresses me as captain America ever since my American road trip in 2012, while my real artist name actually is Parelvet. Timothy = Phil Martin, Thomas = Tommy Tornado, Rinus = Curtis T, Ton = ome Tonnie, Jimi’s real name is not Jimi Bell Martin at all and I don’t think he’ll be amused if I mention his birth certificate name here on the spot.
2.15 p.m. finally the cars arrive: one bus and a limo. Timothy, Rudy and I take the limo. The other Snatchers hop the bus. All Snatchers are equal, but some are more equal.
There’s a lot of traffic indeed en route. It took us almost three hours to get to St. Paul 3 Chateaux. We finally arrive at 5.15 p.m..
In 2012 we stayed in a no nonsens cheap skate budget hotel at the outskirts of St. Paul. Now there’s this lovely old hotel for us in the centre of the village. That’s more like it!
I usually share a room with Trompie (= Ruud) on our Snatcher tours abroad. That’s handy, because we both like to read, we both like football, Ajax is our club. And, Trompie is a genuineTour de France connaisseur. Oui, Yes surree! The first thing Rudy does when we move into the room (roomnumber 14, great number!), is turn on the tv to watch the finish of today’s Tour stage.
When we were here in 2012 there actually was a Tour de France stage right here in the village, as you can see on this photo.
St. Paul 3 Chateaux is so lovely, so picturesque, so very …. French. I sure would like to stay here for a couple of days more. But I won’t. Got work to do!
Round 6 p.m. we do the sound check. The band is in a good mood, despite the terrible attack in Nice the other day on July the 14th. We really do want to play. Even when location geographically speaking and date are so close by, scary…
Ton and I wondered if we should pay special attention during our set to what happened. We’ll wait and see. We want the audience to feel good and give them a real nice evening in these difficult times. Distraction can also offer consolation.
Soundcheck Elvis the Croatian.
Sound check drum & bass.
The only effect pedal I brought with me: the essential Wah. I left my pedal train board at home. Travel light! Unfortunately, this means that my Boss stomp tuner also didn’t come with me in my suit case. Turned out to be not smart at all, my travelin’ Telecaster was constantly out of tune because of the heat wave. The brandnew strings I put on it two weeks ago to prevent breaking didn’t really help either.
Out of tune traveling guitar
Ecoute! Twin with french accent. Sounds just as good. Vive La Twin!
Festival square in burning afternoon sun. Man in shadow is Jimi.
Festival square at night.
Early visitors. Look at the two younger girls who immediately are in the proper selfie-smile-modus when they see me taking this photo. The elderly people pretend they don’t notice anything. O wait, boy on the side of the gallery is waving. Of course, he’s young!
This is Coko Buttafli, the Boss Lady from Detroit. She performed on Saturday night. Unfortunately we missed that. She’s awesome!
The man in the yellow shirt on the right is Brian Auger. All my younger fellow Snatchers, except the Dordrecht Posse of course, never heard of the guy, nor did the iconic sixties hit Wheels on Fire ring a bell. How’s that possible? It really was a massive world wide hippie hit in 1968 by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity. My hint at tv show Ab Fab (Absolutely Fabulous) didn’t work either. At wit’s end me singing Wheel’s on Fire out loud only made my fellow stnatchers look at me with pity. Go see the movie, I’d say.
By the way, Wheel’s on Fire originally is a Dylan song, for those who’re interested.
After our show it is wonderful on the roof top terrace.
Round midnight there are mysterious forces coming off from the ancient village. Curtis T. suddenly has a greasy R&R hair do. Jimi says: “Hey Curtis T! My hooter is in the back of my neck! What the f*ck?!?”
Rudy kinda liked the idea of a St.Paul’s fairy giving away hooters for free. It doesn’t fit right yet, but who cares… Wouter is nodding approvingly, but Tjeerd is not quite sure yet.
Our hotel. Wouter and Rudy on their way to their comfy beds. Rise and shine early in the morning. The Snatchmobile hits the road at 6 a.m.
Snatchmobiles may look fast, but you can’t beat traffic jams. We arrived too late on Lyon Saint Exupéry Airport. Check-in desk already closed, nothing left to do but run to the gate with all our baggage.
At the security check-point some Snatchers had to dispose of their shampoo bottles and nale scissor, but then they let us pass. I wonder if they let us through if we were a North African – or Arabian band. I don’t think so. Talking bout ethnic profiling!
It was quite a long run to the gate. To my relief they let us on the plane. They even loaded our check-in bagage in the cargo hold at he last minute. Only Rudy was not amused because he had to pay 60 euro’s extra for his (too) big trunk. So, do not bring your own pillow again next time Rude Boy!
Finally on the plane (Easy Jet) there was some commotion because some of our seats were already sold through and taken by other passengers. Well, just as easy jet. But if you just follow the adagium ‘seek and you will find’, you will always find a place. Good for Tjeerd, Rinus, Rudy en Jimi. They didn’t have to stand in the aisle, nor sit on the roof.
Vive Marianne! Vive St. Paul Soul Jazz Fest, the nicest soul jazzfestival in Europe!
Ronnie Guitar Smith a.k.a. Parelvet
p.s. Good wine needs no bush: Of course we kicked ass at St. Paul’s. Da’s logisch! (J.C. r.i.p.)