The day before the fête, we received a phone call to say that our emplacement had changed. We would be on a remorque opposite the Mairie.
Being flexible, with a Yes We Can attitude, we took it in our stride, passed on the message to the crew and rocked up to Moréac on a lovely warm evening.
The first thing I noticed about the trailer was the smell. I wondered if it had been used that morning for muck – spreading. It had been hosed down of course, but there was an interesting odeur which lingered.
The second thing was the fact that there was no method of getting on to it. Someone had come by & promised to bring back some steps – but he disappeared & was never seen again.
Now the thing doesn’t look too high on the photos, but it came to shoulder height for the smaller members of Chanti. The only way up was via the metal rod which attached the trailer to a tractor. Triangular shaped, wide at the trailer end & narrowing down to a small ring which would go over the tractor’s hook.
It was not appropriate for any of us to get on or off the trailer by this method. One of our members is 70 years old! I have no idea in what terms a Health & Safety Officer would describe it – so let’s just say it was a tad dangerous!
Once on the damn thing – there was just a small lip all round to indicate that we might be in danger of falling off.
But there we are – all plugged in & ready to go. Let the singing commence!
A fun first set, then Chanti-Rock turned to Chanti-Pirate Metal for one song. Thank you Chanti-crew, for indulging Luke et moi!
Towards the end of the first set, I noticed a man talking to our photographer. He’d been watching us closely for quite a while. Apparently the conversation went something like this – but in French:
Man : « Who are they? They’re very good. I go to lots of music festivals & they are the best group I’ve seen for a long time. Really original. »
Ricky: « They’re called ‘Chantimor’, they sing 19th century sea shanties. Sometimes with an accordion & whistles, sometimes with an electric guitar. »
Man :« They have a great sound! Do you have a card, or any publicity? » Our flyer is handed over. « That’s fantastic. Where do they play? »
Ricky: « Anywhere; bars, fêtes, markets… »
« Do they do private events such as weddings? » Why not. « Do they do Christenings? » Mmm, maybe.
« And do they do enterrements? » (Funerals)
Words fail Ricky at this point, so : « Bonne Soirée »
Back for a second set, neatly avoiding the roving carnival drummers and giants, which I have to say were both brilliant.
Finally, after scoffing grilled sausages & chips, & quaffing free beer, all courtesy of the very generous music festival commitee, we all went home. Except Shirley, who couldn’t get down. She’s still there, in fact … waiting for some bloke to come back with the steps. 😉