Monday, 14 November 2011

The sound of silence disturbed...

As I have mentioned before, the winters here can be cold,a little dreary but thankfully short. One of the things that helped us through it in the past was our frequent Saturday night visits with our friends Cally and Nev to the live music venue that was the 'L'Union' bar/restaurant in nearby Paulmy.

 We have had some very good nights of live music there both inside and surprisingly for a small Southern Touraine village,outside as well. The place could have been described as rustic and the toilet facilities 'basic' but this and the staff all added to making the bar a little special. Sadly after 27 years of dedicating himself to the promotion of live music,the owner, 'Jackie Pineau', retired on the 30th June 2011. There is hope for the future however with perhaps a grand reopening in May next year under the management of  Jim and Sandra McNeill. They will, I'm sure, bring new life (some paint) and ideas to this unique venue.In the meantime we will have to do without our weekly music fix and rely on alternatives.

 One such offering was sussed out by Cally - a gig by the 'Deepers' a band who had played Paulmy, in the vllage of Thuré, about half an hour away, in the Vienne. One slight problem was that there are two bands who gig locally using this name and the advertising poster gave no clue as to which one we were going to be listening to. Anyway on arrival at the Salle de Fete, the venue, we were a little surprised to see the volume of parked cars - whoever they were they seemed to be popular! 

There was an entrance fee of 5 euros which you could redeem for a drink at the makeshift bar so a reasonable start,(They  cost one euro thereafter.) The place itself was huge and rather splendid for a 'village hall' and after the usual  procrastination, poster says starts at 9.00pm, music didn't start until after 10.00pm ah La France! We had of course a couple of speeches to get through from the local dignitaries. These were a bit more passionate than we were used to- it was only after these and some translations from Nev and Cally we realised that the do was in fact a fund raiser for a local political party! We now knew why the local population and indeed some from farther afield had turned out in numbers. We actually met another couple from Barrou plus a refugee from the L'Union,who was perhaps missing his 'fix' or, politically active,no matter,,,

The band themselves were the 'Deepers' with the female lead singer as opposed to the ones without. They served up the usual cocktail of  bluesy numbers plus 'Stones; classics, 'Quo' standards a couple of ZZ Toppers, 'Mustang Sally' and the ever popular 'Sweet home Alabama' - I know ;been there, got the tee shirt' The lead singer good as she was began to run out of steam and provided a cue for us to leave - at least it got us out of the house and away from the banality of the 'X-Factor'.For that we have to thank Cally.

Here is a short and not so good quality video, of the Quo's 'Sweet Caroline', I must learn how to switch on the back light but as a man I cannot bring myself to read the instructions.If I can't do things intuitively then they weren't meant to be.

Don't you just hate it when some naff singer sings along to his video!


  1. We also love live music. Unfortunately our time in the area thus far has been limited, and Saturday is usually the travelling day. The upshot is that we didn't ever get to L'Union before it closed, but are looking forward to it's revival. We saw Nev and Cally play with Jim McNeill following a walk in the summer. I have a video of it on my blog (sometime in August).

    The only good thing about it being a political meeting would, for me, be my lack of understanding of the nuances of what was being said and hence less frustration!

  2. We always put it down to experience. Think a really good 'cover band' would go down a storm over here.