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May, 2011:

Little Gem

If there is one thing that I dislike about France (well 2 if you include the terrible drivers) is that they do not seem to be able to advertise properly.  By this, I mean their local events and not lingerie or perfume !

Summer is the time for lots of events – musical, theatrical, artistic etc etc – but if you are not careful – all of these things pass you by as you would only find out about them if

a – you actually drive into the town of the event and see the signs or

b – purchase a local paper – and then not all of the events are in it or

c – discover it on a really badly designed webpage or

d – hear about it after the event and make a note in your diary for next year !

On the odd occasion that I go into Parthenay town I always take a look at the posters on the  Nouvelle Republic’s office window.  Adrian’s folks were visiting and his dad spotted a flier for a musical evening performance in a park – somewhere in Parthenay.  After searching for the park on a local map I thought – no worries Google is my friend – I will find out all about it online.

After searching the websites of the local tourist office and local paper – nothing.  Searching for key words and still nothing.  We could remember the time and place so tried to find the park – guess what – nothing.

So not defeated we decided to just go in and drive around until we found the park – shouldn’t be too difficult.  Yes – after asking 4 people in town (“near the cinema”) and then another en route (“somewhere over there”) – we found the park. Nestled between a gymnastics hall, football pitch and tennis courts was a lovely green space, typically French with lots of grass and a variety of trees.  A small raised bank was made into the staged area.

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As we arrived a big band swing jazz ensemble were playing some twists on well known songs – Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, Eurythmics Talking To An Angel etc.

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But the real gem of the night was Swing Home Trio – three musicians (obviously) – double bass, lead and rhythm guitars.  WOW – gypsy jazz manouche – super fast playing, great shoulder moving, hip swaying, foot tapping music.

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I am so glad that we stumbled across the advert in town and made an effort to find the park.  A great night was had by all !

As we like to support up and coming musicians we bought 2 of their CDs between us.  I am certain that Swing Home Trio  will be the soundtrack to summer 2011 at Bellebouche.

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