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13 Nov

Concert at Chateau de Jalesnes

Last weekend I played a really special concert at a Chateau in Vernantes in the Loire Valley, travelling by car with my small PA system in the boot, from East Lothian to a Travelodge in Wakefield, to Dover, to Paris, to Vernantes.  Stopped off in Paris and walked the streets and sat in cafes.  In the evening met up with Steve and Muriel and they treated us to dinner as a thank you for playing on the Steve Nieve plays Costello mini tour.  It was a fantastic evening.   It’s exciting that music can lead you to meet all sorts of people.  I was a last minute stand-in to play piano for Kathryn Williams a few months ago for Radio France in Paris, so it was pure chance that after the session I ended up meeting Steve and Muriel.  They are incredibly inspiring people to spend time with.  After Paris it was a 3 hour drive south, to the chateau.  Let me tell you how this all came about…

A few years ago I received an email from one of the new owners of the chateau, Jonathan.  He told me that they had bought it from a man who let out the rooms for use by artists and musicians.  The man had been asked by one of the musicians if he could write down the words to my song ‘Rely’, which they had heard on a TV programme.  He in turn asked Jonathan if he could work out the lyrics.  Due to my poor diction(!), Jonathan couldn’t figure it out, so he emailed me and asked if I could send the lyrics through, which I did.  We exchanged a few emails and I said that if I ever get down near the chateau I would pop in for a glass of wine and maybe play a house concert.  Well, a few years passed and I emailed earlier this year to organise a trip and so the concert came to happen last weekend.

The chateau is in incredibly beautiful building, which has been lovingly refurbished over the last few years.  It has a fascinating history with all sorts of different owners.  After the concert we drank wine and sat outside the front of the building eating steak.  And I sat there thinking how wonderful it is to come so far, to make new friends, all because of a song.

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