Premiere Partie

We were all set to go to a concert last night in Angouleme: the Raveonettes and Vic Chestnutt, an odd pairing maybe but we're fans of both. And our part of France has very little live music, so this was a big event for us.

I was waiting for Eric to come back from running errands, and our friends were on their way over so we could all make the hour-long journey together and get something to eat in the "city" before the show at La Nef - Angouleme's hardly even a city but we are deep in the country here so anyplace with even more than a restaurant or two seems downright sophisticated.

The phone rang and it was a guy from the club in Angouleme. He knew we were coming to the show (France is a smaller country than I thought) and would we like to be the premiere partie?

With my limited French it sounded like he was asking if we wanted to play first (premiere partie) tonight. I knew I must be hearing him wrong. But he kept on, saying that the Raveonettes had cancelled and, since we were coming anyway, they wondered if we could play before Vic Chestnutt.

Luckily at this point our friends pulled up and I ran outside with the phone and they confirmed that the club was indeed asking if we'd play tonight. They are so supportive of us and love to see us play, so they were practically putting our guitars into the car by now.

"But we haven't played in months! It's an hour to get there and they want us to play at 8:30, and Eric's not even back yet." He showed up then and we said what the hell.

We sped west past chateaux, cow pastures and churches into a deep crimson sunset and arrived with just enough time to set up, sound check, eat something (this is France, after all), say hi to Vic and play.

Here's where I'd like to say that the audience went nuts for us from the first song, saying "Raveonettes Who?" instead of "Raveonettes Ou?" but the truth is they were pretty confused by the whole thing. Eric pointed out that by looking at us they could get a good idea of what the missing band (a gorgeous Danish guy and girl duo) will look like after 30 years of touring, but I don't think they got it.

But, no matter. It was fun to play again, the awe-inspiring Vic Chestnutt appreciated our act, and we got paid instead of shelling out 18 euros to see a younger, fresher, cooler version of ourselves.