Sunday 7 September 2014 - Saint Aubin Market Concert, Toulouse (#100)
We rose early at 0500h to drive to Toulouse for our final gig, playing at the St Aubin Market. We had to arrive there before 0700h, so that we could set up the instruments before all the stall holders blocked the way with their stalls. We had two parking spaces reserved by the Mairie, but when we went to check them out, they were occupied by other vehicles. We had a difficult decision; did we alert the police who where busily towing other vehicles away from the market area, or did we go find somewhere else to park? As it turned out, we left the camion parked just behind the band, and found other places for the 9-seaters, rather than annoying the locals. This turned out to be a good place to hang the Pans on Fire sign, and also improved the sound by bouncing it out towards the front.
We ended up playing two long sets with the "Long Live the Brass” brass band playing for about an hour in between. In the first set, we tried to play fairly softly because there was a Mass being held in the church, and because some book-sellers had complained to Rita about the noise from bands on previous occasions. However, after the brass band let rip, we decided to turn up the volume for the second set.
The audience at the market was interesting to say the least. Apart from the Market patrons who came and went during the day, we had a group of dealers on our right who did a good trade throughout the morning, and a bunch of punks on our left (complete with Bay City Rollers tartan pants) who liked to dance along to the music with their bottles of Scotch, and fall into the band during our playing of Bohemian Rhapsody! Quite an experience to round off the French Tour!
After we finished our gig and had packed the van (after weeks of practice we finally managed to get everything into the van, with nothing left over to go into the 9-seaters), we were invited into the church to hear a few songs on pan flute played by someone who had listened to us earlier. Quite a change in style.
Since we couldn’t move the van until all the stall traders had packed up and cleared a path for us to leave, the band split into smaller groups who then went in search of some lunch and final drinks. On the way back to the van after drinks, Rita found a street band playing Caribbean music and couldn’t resist the urge to pull out her flute and join in with the music. Some band members wondered who the new player was.
In mid-afternoon, we all headed back to Moissac, where we unpacked the pan boxes from the van at the house so that people could start re-packing the boxes with pans and personal belongings for the trip home with DHL Freight. Doug, Isaac and I then took the basses to the storage shed (where they would be stored over winter), and with the help of Bob and Terry we also took the catamaran off the barge and also put it into the storage shed. We then headed back to the house for a late dinner (sans sausage rolls) and drinks at the house to wrap up the Tour.