Nimes, France 9 July 2013
I had a couple of very cooled out days off in London, don't think I could've done less... spent them reading, writing and resting. The weather in London was bright, clear, sunny and hot, perfect for a walk along the Thames on Sunday and a couple of pints and lunch with my son who lives in the city.
By Tuesday morning the 9th I was ready to pack up and get back to it. We reconvened at Northolt, all freshly shorn, then boarded the Legacy headed back to the Continent for the final push of the Privateering tour. We arrived in Nimes and were met on the tarmac by our trusty drivers and fleet of Rovers. The drive through Nimes to the venue was a tale of two cities. For miles around the airport everything was brand new, terrible outlet malls, corporate chain business, home improvement centres, Burger King, motels... you get the idea. At some point we took a left and immediately entered the old world of Nimes...the one I prefer. As the streets narrowed and became more circuitous, we arrived at the venue.
Arenes de Nimes is a Roman amphitheatre dating around 70 A.D. It served several purposes including having a royal residence inside and being a walled community. In the mid-1800s it was remodelled as a bullring. The Arena still hosts the bullfights as well as musical events.
It was a very hot day, 39c/102f, every bit of shade was welcomed. As the afternoon gave way to evening and the sun sank lower in the sky, the temps dropped making it a comfortable, mild night. Our old friend Bap Kennedy was there to open the show and it was good catching up with him and his guitar player Gordon. They played an hour set and sounded great together.
We took the boards at 9:45 for a well rested and relaxed show for 9,000 folks in this ancient setting. We always enjoy playing the arena in Nimes and look forward to the next time.
After the final tune it was a dash to the Rovers and back to the airport. A friend of Guy's gave him a very large bottle of cheerful Rose wine from France that was chilled and served on the plane, a perfect compliment to dinner. It might have been Moroccan... a lamb stew in massively delicious, richly spiced dark sauce and cous cous with roasted vegetables. Whatever it was sure hit the mark. Cheese and biscuits followed. Just a light snack to get us in to Milan and a day off tomorrow.
Long day, three cities, two flights and a gig. Arrived at the hotel around 2 in the morning. Sleep.