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A European Tour, #2: Le Moustache and Lyon

Posted by Greg / June 5, 2009

Thumbnail image for Van.jpgNathan Howard plays guitar for Montreal's Bonjour Brumaire. We've recruited him to send us stories from their first European tour, underway through mid-June

We start in Lyon.

Youri's pops gives us the tour (Youri being our lead singer). Architecturally speaking, the city's old core is exactly what one expects: 16th century residences well enough maintained to be clean and beautiful without risking their authenticity; churches and towers pepper surrounding mountain perches; Stone 'Coquilles St-Jacques', markers of the Compostella pilgrimage route, reward the attentive. The city's terra cotta and cream palette announces that we are closer to the Mediterranean than anticipated.

In Lyon we met Julien, our van driver. Make no mistake, Julien is a sweetheart, but he is also the perfect example of what makes Frenchmen so weird: they can say, wear, and do things that might otherwise brand your average North American as a throbbing, sweaty pervert (see far left in photo at top).

A distinction must be drawn between Parisian and non-Parisian French. Non-Parisians are much friendlier than Parisians, but lack the fashion acumen of their Lutetian cousins. Julien is one such friendly Frenchman, but at first glance looks like one of those guys on St-Catherine corralling libidinous men, young and old alike, into Club Supersex. Not the case, however: he was my singer's co-worker when they worked in Lexmark's internet marketing department almost a decade ago. Youri's best assurances calm my fears that he has a child's decaying corpse hidden in a road case ("pour plus tard," he might say) and is smuggling coke across the Franco-Swiss alps, which we are currently crossing. My ears pop.

On the topic of masculine Lyonnais fashion sense, here is a quick analogy that will properly illustrate to anyone that attended "Ecole Secondaire" in Montreal the kind of guys we played for in Lyon. Do you remember those French dudes that really liked basketball instead of hockey; that always had some shitty gold chain on with overpriced flashy sneakers; that listened to that really shitty Eurotrash dance mix '96 (*hint* *hint*)? Those guys were repping Lyon hard. There is a wholesale absence of 4-day beard shadow, anything resembling flannel, and (excluding artfully) unkempt hair. Gel abounds; smoking pervades. The women are petite, dark haired, U-de-M students at first glance, and are friendlier than one might initially expect. Good luck if you don't speak French unless you can work that 'cute anglo' angle you should have perfected by now.

We are driving to some showcase in Geneva, where I'm told the maximum volume for a live band allowable is 98db. I recall clocking in at 120db during our show with Wintersleep some time ago (the only other time such considerations have been imposed on us). This could be problematic... à toute!



drumzandmore / June 15, 2009 at 06:01 am
"frenchmen so weird..."
what te f***k d'ya mean ?


bon retour, et c'etait bien ce tour...
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