Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Brussels, muscles

One of these shows that will remain nameless, I was talking about how I would do it in my venue: firstly, I'd welcome the band warmly. Then I'd tell them where to park and where to unload their gear. I'd offer them a drink and maybe some snacks. We'd sit down together and I'd tell them what was happening for the evening, how the sound check would work, when we'd eat, what time we'd play, how long we should play for, how the door would work, what our roles and responsibilities were, how payment would work. As other people arrived, I'd introduce them and tell them their roles. We'd soundcheck, maybe eat together, maybe if there was time I'd tell them where a park was, and then later we'd play, and I'd give them a nice place to sleep. But all this is baubles: the most important thing is to let everyone know what's happening.

So it was wonderful to arrive in Brussels to our warm hosts saying, and I quote, "we will take care of you" - giving us snacks, letting us know what's what. They were lovely people and great dinner table companions. Le Bar du Matin is a really great venue, with free gigs at least every week, and lots of people. It's huge, with the longest continuous bar (circular) in Europe, and tables on the broad, broad pavement. People gathered there, happy for the warmth after weeks of rain. It was a great show, and the fresh mint tea was delicious. We partied on, talking to the people from all over the world that frequent Brussels, or at least this bar. Eventually Angus and Ben led us to the hotel (!) that they had already been to. This took several hours. At first it was because the men were playing frisbee, while I hissed at them not to hit any cars, and I was forced several times to confiscate that frisbee. Secondly it was because we got entirely lost. We walked for hours on the empty streets (sometimes the same ones, several times...), philosphising, disagreeing on the correct direction... We finally arrived and managed to check in. I set off some alarm by not closing the door correctly. High drama. Lake found a cool hair dryer.

The next night there was more frisbee/lying down in the park, and we got our tourist on. We stayed with Halit, a guy from couchsurfing we'd met at the gig the night before. Turkish, he lived in the Turkish part of town, and took us for pide and told us the history of modern Turkey. He took us to drink tea in a local community centre with some kindly old Turkish men. Halit was awesome. The men watched a two week old rugby game on the internet, and we made ourselves comfy on the floor for a good rest.

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