It’s the Fête de la Musique in France today, which means people take to the streets with their musical instruments and play to their hearts content, and for this one day nobody is allowed to bat an eyelid or complain. In fact they’re meant to join in, dancing, singing, clapping… well that’s the idea anyway. Right now there are some noisy fucks playing artlessly below my window who clearly have no idea it’s midnight or that a ratchetty old bear like me needs his beauty sleep without having to stick a pillow over his head in a vain attempt to drown out third rate fucking Pearl Jam impersonators.
For the first time ever I’ve come home and there’s sick on my doorstep, but I’ll forgive whoever it was this once because obviously they’ve had a little bit too much pop like an Anglo-Saxon and made a fool of themselves. In Brick Lane it used to be sick, blood and piss, and one time someone told me a kid had been stabbed to death outside my front door. A few days later she corrected me: “Oi Jel,” she cried, beckoning me over. “That geezer only got stabbed in the end and he’s pulled through”. How we both cheered that he’d only been stabbed.
Still, it’s been a good evening, and an excellent day all round. There were proper gospel singers outside the Eglise Rêformêe du Marais, a group outside my favourite Parisian church Saint Eustache playing traditional French waltzes with an according and banjo as people sang along with sheets in their hands, some yoot doing some rather pleasing hip hop near the Pompidou and generally lots of enjoyable noise coming at you from all angles, and some crap noise too. There were men dressed as bears jumping up and down to nasty techno and shouting somewhere between the Scottish and English pubs on the Rue Saint-Denis (unsurprisingly enough).
I wasn’t so pleased when a tosser in front of my dropped a firecracker under my feet either, and I thought for a minute there’d been a terrorist attack when it exploded. I could smell it and was wondering if my bag was on fire when it went kaboom, but in the end it was just a tosser and some short-lived ringing in the ears – so no bother. I hope the tosser ventures up this way and puts the cat amongst the pigeons by tossing one of those boomsticks amongst the rotters making a shitty racket down below. Not that you’ll find many cats in Paris. Or pigeons.
I’ve just read this back. I probably sound a little intolerant for someone who makes a living writing about music. It was great fun, honest.