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Pete Atkin >> Gigs >> Champ de rÍves June 2012
(Message started by: oliver ash on Today at 11:27)

Title: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on Today at 11:27
It is perhaps not too early to mention, keeping everything in the conditional for the moment, that we are planning an event on a saturday in June of next year, to mark the 15th anniversary of the first Moneyash event.

Pete would play an evening concert in St Germain en Laye, near Paris. In addition we propose an informal afternoon gathering in a nearby (walking distance) house and garden (mine) for up to 20 odd (so to speak) MVs. Picnics, good wine, some music indoors and out and discussion around Pete and Clive on the agenda.

The town is very well connected to train services for those fearing a repeat of the Meudon marathon trek a few years ago. Pete played there in fact about 25 years ago.
So everything would be within walking distance and nobody would need a car.

Pete has agreed in principle to such an event. Ian Chippett and I are now going to try and fill in the gaps, find a suitable venue, etc. and make the dream a reality.

We would hope that a number of you would seize the opportunity to make a special weekend trip to Paris and get together again with MVs for a mini festival of Pete's music.
We'll keep you posted and keep fingers crossed that nothing too big trips us up.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Carole on Today at 11:46
Splendid news Oliver! Fingers crossed indeed. Good luck in getting everything in place - we await updates! :)

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Rob Spence on Today at 17:41
Sounds like a plan!

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on Today at 22:02
I can confirm everything Oliver says: fabulous situation for the pre-gig get-together, right next to the Castle where James the Second lived during his exile. We visited a few possible venues within walking distance all of which would be more than suitable for an -oD: it's just a question of getting the right conditions. All MV's should put this at the top of their priorities for 2012.

Our evening was brought to a suitable conclusion when we entertained Oliver's three young sons with a spirited version of BoTBS performed on what was Pete's very own Gibson which Oliver bought on auction some years ago. I took the trouble to explain the full significance of the song at some length to Oliver's kids and they certainly needed no help in going to sleep afterwards...

Ian C

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Keith Busby on 01.06.11 at 13:55
Joyeuse bonne idťe! Je serai lŗ!

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Steve Bennett on 05.06.11 at 21:58
Well done Oliver and Ian, this sounds like a great weekend, hope there are no problems on the way.

I must say that for the last 6 weeks have been having the same thought as yourself, that it was time for another 'oD' and to this end have located a Venue and Accomodation  in a village ( actually now a small town) some 12 miles north of Portsmouth, and was planning to arrange things for October 2012 along the line of SoD2k at a local College provisionally to be called CoD12, but Cod13 or CoD14 will work just as well !!!. ;D

If there is anything I can do please let me know

Steve

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 09.06.11 at 09:59
Steve,

<<If there is anything I can do please let me know >>

Come and bring dozens of friends!

Ian C

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 04.10.11 at 12:55
The Champ de RÍves is currently being held up by difficulties in reserving the venues which we had ear-marked. So far the earliest provisional booking of the Tati Theatre is for October 2012! (I also note this date might clash with CoD...)

The other venue is being renovated and the nice lady there kindly told me to **** off and call back in May 2012...

We're still trying to find an alternative before then. Who'd be a concert promoter eh?

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Carole on 04.10.11 at 16:57
You have my sympathy Oliver - but keep at it!

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Rob Spence on 05.10.11 at 18:40
What date are we thinking of? I'd really like it to be a weekend, but not the last weekend in June...
(Special pleading, I know. But if you don't ask, you don't get.)

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 14.11.11 at 17:38
Latest news from across the Channel is that I have provisionally reserved an excellent, easily accessible venue at the earliest possible vaguely appropriate date, which would be 20 October 2012.
However I have not given up on trying to secure the chapel in the castle in St Germain, which could be even better, especially if it were available in the Summer, which was the original idea...it's not easy this concert promotion business...I will of course keep you posted. Good wishes to all.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Carole on 14.11.11 at 17:55
The chapel in the castle sounds lovely Oliver, but whatever you come up with I'm sure it will be excellent!

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 17.11.11 at 10:53
Carole wrote:
<<The chapel in the castle sounds lovely Oliver, but whatever you come up with I'm sure it will be excellent!>>

I suggested that Oliver invite Clive along as the castle used to be the home of James the Second when he was in exile. Should be good enough for our James...

Ian C

Nothing better to do in Pantin (93)

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 18.11.11 at 18:45
Here's a picture of the chapel Oliver's hoping to get for next year's Champs de RÍves. That should be Chapel of Dreams now... Be interesting to see Pete wearing a cassock...

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Saint-Germain-en-Laye_Chapelle_Saint-Louis_2011_09.jpg

Ian C

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Carole on 18.11.11 at 21:21
Coo!  :)

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 14.12.11 at 13:48
STOP PRESS! SAVE THE DATE!

The good news is that it now looks likely that the Champs de RÍves will take place in St Germain en Laye, close to Paris, on Saturday 26th May 2012.  The concert will be in the evening but we hope to organise a few extras, such as a garden party, living-room concert, etc. to make a weekend trip from UK even more worthwhile. Details to follow. All subject to contract for the moment...

We have a good venue lined up, within the walls of the historic Chateau Vieux, right in the heart of the beautiful old town. Not the Chapel after all but an auditorium, which has far better acoustics so we are told. It seats 110. There are bars aplenty - as well as the train station - within 100 yards.  

I am now confident that arrangements are in hand but securing the venue has been difficult and I am signing the contract in early January so the fat lady hasn't actually opened her mouth quite yet...

I am meeting up with Ian Chippett over the next couple of weeks and we will prepare a detailed programme to send out when all is signed and sealed by mid January.

St Germain en Laye is a straightforward 2h30 minutes drive from the Eurotunnel terminal in Boulogne. There is a good hotel closeby (not too expensive and we put up all our wedding guests there recently!) and I urge you to plan a weekend out of it (Bank holiday, no?) because - in addition to the extreme and rare pleasure of hearing Pete in action - the town really is a delight and Paris is 20 minutes by RER train.

Merry Christmas (I know that reading this has just given you the best present ever!)

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 15.12.11 at 22:42
Looks like a great venue! However, the Bank Holiday is the following weekend (June 1-5), combined with an extra day for the Queen's Jubilee.

I'd love to attend but can't do so on the 26th May as I don't have the travel time.

Any chance of a date change before that large lady bursts into song? (And I don't mean Her Majesty!)

Ian

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 16.12.11 at 17:02
Ian that's got us off to a bad start! Really sorry but no unfortunately we can't get the venue at all in June so it's 26th May or bust. I hope you might be able to change plans and that others will be able to make the trip. It will be much easier to travel on a non-Bank Holiday weekend...

Ian Chippett and I met this morning to consider the organisation; lots of ideas including a saturday afternoon garden party with Pete at our house close by just for MVs. We will circulate more information in mid January including hotels, travel information, how to book tickets, etc. Remember the venue is quite small (110) so it may be good to book early if you are interested.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 19.12.11 at 00:53
Oh dear, sorry to be negative - it's just disappointment. I really should have kept a stiff upper lip and summoned up some Dunkerque spirit. I appreciate the organisational problems Oliver and Iain face, and I will look at ways to get there - as you say, it should be an excellent venue for the gig.

Cheers

Ian

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 19.12.11 at 13:18

The auditorium is somewhere inside the building in the link below I think (Oliver will correct me.) Pompadour's theatre in the stairs was alas booked but still quite a decent little place, we think. The RER station is right outside and the place of the post-gig festivities is two minutes from the Station for those of you who can make it. It's a very attractive town with a soul of its own, not just a posh suburb of Paris. Loads of nice shops and bars etc etc.


http://fr.topic-topos.com/chateau-vieux-saint-germain-en-laye

Ian C

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 19.12.11 at 16:49
I wrote : "the place of the post-gig festivities" but meant the pre-gig festivities. The place of any post-gig festivities won't be much farther away.

Ian C

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Noam Greenberg on 20.12.11 at 19:53
Amazing: we might actually be able to make it, May 26th will magically work out nicely. Now will have to ensure that my father joins as well, there may be 3 generations of Atkin fans in one concert. Very excited in NZ. Feeling too lucky...

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 23.01.12 at 14:53
Latest news from the Champs de RÍve:

-      The concert is set for 26 May at 19h30 in the Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. This is right next to the RER (fast metro) station and in the centre of town. It will last about 2 hours including interval.
-      The venue is quite small (110 seats) so please reserve as soon as you can to ensure availability. Having said this we will not be publicising the event locally for another few weeks so there is time.
-      Various bars are within 100 yards of the venue.
-      Places will cost £18 (children or students £15) and can be reserved by sending a cheque to the order of Oliver Ash to: Oliver Ash, 30 rue de Pontoise, 78100 St Germain en Laye. Please also send me an email to oash@richmond-dev.com so I can confirm to you when your cheque has been received and your place is booked definitively.
-      This is not designed to be a profitable venture, merely to try and keep any loss to a minimum, so apologies if you think the price appears steep.
-      The town is close to Paris, which is easily accessible by RER (20 minutes to Arc de Triomphe - Etoile) as above. However it is a delightful town for a weekend in its own right and there are a few local hotels. We are trying to reserve a few rooms on this basis and at an attractive rate at Ermitage des Loges, within 5 minutesí walk of the venue. It is a pleasant hotel where the rooms are likely to cost about 90Ä for a double. Please feel free to look on the internet for hotels or watch this space for booking arrangements at Ermitage.
-      For MVs we are also planning on holding an Ďopen gardení party form about 13h on the Saturday afternoon. Our home is close to the venue and the idea is to be able to chill out informally, chat with Pete and other MVs, sunbathe, drink and eat (my children will be manning the Pimms, beer and cheese stand so I am not responsible for their pricing policyÖ). Ian Chippett has dreamed up the idea of a MV quiz, one or two of you may be tempted to grab a guitar and play and sing (melodically please) from the stone steps at the back of the garden, whateverÖ
-      Please email me if you have any questions relating to arrangements or contact the esteemed co-organiser Ian Chippett.
-      I will update info on the forum from time to time.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Rob Spence on 23.01.12 at 15:35
Great to read that's it's all happening. My cheque is, as they say, in the post...

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Keith Busby on 23.01.12 at 15:57
Dear Oliver, please reserve two places for the memsahib and moi. I have sent you an e-mail re payment. Looking forward to it.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Carole on 23.01.12 at 22:44
Well done Oliver and Ian! It sounds to be a great venue. Give me a couple of days to let the jet-lag wear off and a cheque will be winging its way....

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by John_Waites on 25.01.12 at 18:32
Excellent news, well done. Have requested 2 tickets, can't wait!

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 26.01.12 at 15:14
Quick update:

- we're at 17 seats booked so far, an encouraging start;

- the hotel mentioned above, Ermitage des Loges, 00 33 1 39 21 50 90, has agreed to hold back 6 rooms until end March; price is 80Ä single and 90Ä double, ex breakfast. Please contact them directly if you want to book, they will take a credit card guarantee but refund you if you have to cancel at 48 hours notice I believe. It's very convenient for the venue and St Germain en Laye as a whole.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 30.01.12 at 10:07
CDR Update 2

- We have gone past 20 bookings so far, lots of cheques in the post...
- Please do your own hotel bookings, we can't look after that because there will be a need to give a credit card...however please email me for any advice on travel or any other aspect of arrangements;
- Please also remember that the 'garden party' is a private invitation to MVs who are attending the concert and not a public event; Mrs A has already voiced concerns at hordes of hairy hippies invading her space (!) but I've reassured her most of them (us) are now elderly and harmless...
- er...that's it so far.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 16.02.12 at 15:05
Brief update on the Champ de rÍves: so far 34 MVs from various parts of the world and a few non-MVs have signed up which is more than we had expected. A press release has been sent out to the local paper and to "Le Parisien" which  has special supplements for the various departments around Paris including les Yvelines in which St. Germain-en-Laye is located. Last week we went to the site with a specialist who told us what we'll need in terms of sound and lights which was our principal worry as Oliver and I are equally challenged in terms of technology. Just the poster to do now for various strategic locations around Paris to guarantee a full turnout of expats and English-speaking natives and we're in business. Just keep the cheques coming in...

Ian C

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 21.02.12 at 13:51
CDR Update 3

The hotel Ermitage des Loges has said they will block a further two rooms until 12 March. 4 of you have already booked so if any others wish to do so please don't wait too long or all the rooms might have gone. Please call them to book as the internet reservations may show no availability. The rooms are booked under 'Pete Atkin'.

Nothing else to add at this stage other than we are near the 40 mark for tickets and the excitement - at least in our household - is mounting!

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 21.02.12 at 18:53

Oliver wrote:

<< Nothing else to add at this stage other than we are near the 40 mark for tickets and the excitement - at least in our household - is mounting! >>

For any hesitant Voices we can still get the Stade de France if you book soon enough. Plus it's closer to where I live.

Ian C

Title: Ch‚teau de rÍves, May 26th
Post by S J Birkill on 25.03.12 at 10:03
Well, as Oliver says, it's not really a field... [nor is it in June!]

Latest report indicates close on 50 tickets already sold for the concert, out of 110 or so. And the posters have just been printed!

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/stgermain480.jpg (http://www.peteatkin.com/images/stgermain.pdf)

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 26.03.12 at 22:41
For various reasons I found myself invited to participate in a TV pilot for a new game show. They told me I would get 100Ä for just being there and could win up to 250,000 quid if I won. Thus it was that I turned up at the studio with my team which included fellow MV and mate Oliver. After a long wait, we were wheeled in front of the cameras where I proceeded to lose 30,000 quid by not being quite as vicious a swine as the other participant. After which for technical reasons too complicated to explain or indeed tio understand I had to pretend that I'd actually won and were asked what we planned to do with the money, why was our strategy so successful, etc etc. Finally, after the interviews when I asked what would happen next, they said that I wouldn't even get the 100Ä as I'd taken part and lost. The girl who signed me up had made a mistake. If I had just turned up and not been selected I would have got the 100Ä which would have paid for the new shirt I had to rush out and buy. What I'm trying to say is, Pete, if you're doing requests in Paris in May, Oliver and I would like to hear Be Careful When They Offer You The Moon...

Ian C.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 02.05.12 at 17:48
CDR Update 4

Latest news from the front near Paris.

Thanks to a tremendous effort from my sales team (alias Mrs Ash) we have now breached the 70 mark and there are only about 30 tickets left. A big atmosphere is therefore already guaranteed for the concert.

Nothing new to add on arrangements except to repeat with some changes the below paragraph from a previous post:

"For MVs we are also planning on holding an Ďopen gardení party form about 13h on the Saturday afternoon. Our home is close to the venue and the idea is to be able to chill out informally, chat with Pete and other MVs, sunbathe, lounge around the garden, drink and eat. We are very close to the town centre and therefore we encourage people to bring whatever food and drink they wish to the house in order to picnic in the garden. Just please clear up all rubbish! My children insist upon manning a drinks and crisps stand in order to top you up if necessary and I am not responsible for their pricing policyÖ

You can come and go as you wish during the afternoon, visit the park and forest closeby, wander around the old town, go shopping, sleep, etc. Oh and there is even a WC in the garden for you...

As far as events are concerned Ian Chippett has dreamed up the idea of a MV quiz, and we actively encourage an informal play-as-you picnic music session from the stone steps at the back of the garden. I will provide an acoustic guitar to keen musicians but reserve the right to whip it back if the results are not satisfactory and the neighbours complain..."

Please encourage any late-comers to join you for the event before it's too late. Look forward to seeing MVs on the 26th. Please also contact me if you have any questions or if I've left something vital out of the arrangements.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 24.05.12 at 17:16
Last Update!
We are already at about 85 tickets so a bumper crowd is guaranteed. Pete will be on his way tomorrow morning across the Channel. We are really looking forward to seeing lots of MVs at various times during the afternoon and evening; for those of you coming round to our place don't forget it's a picnic so please bring whatever you intend to eat and drink;
We're looking forward to a memorable evening and weekend.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 24.05.12 at 21:57
It's stopped raining here in Paris for the first time in months and temperatures have risen above freezing so we will all be able to loaf around in Oliver's garden during the pre-gig festivities. These may include a quiz and musical contributions from anyone so inclined or even vertical though any verticality will depend on what Oliver's kids put in the Pimms which will be on sale during the afternoon...

Ian C

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 25.05.12 at 21:17
It is, indeed a small world. After a train ride from Sheffield, Yvonne and me boarded the Eurostar for Paris. We shared a table with a young French guy and a bearded gent who claimed to be from the USA but clearly wasn't. After an hour or so a few words he spoke clicked in my brain and I deduced that he was none other than Keith Busby, PA fan from Madison, Wisconsin.

This was great good fortune as we speak no French and he teaches it to graduates. So our trip from the Eurostar terminal to St-Germaine en Laye was Teflon smooth. I returned his translation favours by using my acute geographical skills, honed by hours on Google Streetview, to guide us to the hotel.

Keith had arranged to meet up with Robb and his wife for dinner, so we all ended up in a nice Moroccan place where vast amounts of humous were washed down acceptable wines. We have now staggered back to the hotel, refraining from knocking on Oliver Ash's door and asking for a nightcap out of consideration for him needing his sleep before the big day. We are truly noble creatures.

The venue looks magnificent. The weather is appallingly warm (I'm Scottish so this is like exploring the rain forests to me) but there is keen anticipation of the day to come.

Wish you were here.


Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 25.05.12 at 22:40
Ian, just as well you didn't knock on Oliver's door as he was with me, Pete, Mrs. Pete, Steve and Carole not to mention Mrs. Ash in a local hostelry after 8.00 after setting up the gear for the show. We await your presence as of about 1.30 pm chez Oliver for the pre-gig picnic/rave-up. And don't count on Keith for translation purposes: he speaks medieval French, OK for Ronsard but not much use in present-day St. Germain-en-Laye...

Ian C

Title: Ch‚teau de rÍves May 26th -- the night before
Post by S J Birkill on 26.05.12 at 09:56
...and here we all were:

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/brasseriedutheatre.jpg


Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 26.05.12 at 10:50
A photo from the night after may look slightly different.....


Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Chippett on 27.05.12 at 06:32
My initial idea was (after the gig and the post-gig festivities) to come home and send the setlist before anyone else the chance. Unfortunately, I'd managed to lose the list for the first half of the show during the intermission and on arrival chez moi I found the entire residence without electricity. However, as the show was shamelessly bootlegged by several Voices (yes, I mean you, Sorensen, stop shuffling your feet, boy) this situation will no doubt shortly be remedied. Pete played a new song (this is exclusive to Midnight Voices) which doesn't really have a title yet as well as a few which I've never heard live before like "You Better Face it, Boy" which neatly segued (if that's how you spell it) into "The Hypertension Kid" and also "While The Music Lasts." He also did a few things he doesn't perform too often like "Driving Through Mythical America" and "My Dreams Are Troubled." He also revealed a little-known side of himself by introducing many of the songs in flawless, well, relatively flawless French. He sang later "Ce n'est pas magnifique" but it was, Pete!

The rest of the festivities were equally magnifique (though a few may quibble especially those who took part in the Quiz and yes, once again I'm looking at you, Sorensen.) Noam who'd come all the way from New Zealand with his family put several Voices in the shade with his knowledge of PA songs and has been awarded the Golden Anorak of St. Germain-en-Laye. I also take my hat off to Rob Spence (or I would if I wore one) for his participation in the Charades part of the Quiz where participants were invited to mime PA song titles. I had been looking forward to seeing Rob interpret "Femme Fatale" and I was not disappointed ...

A large part of the success of all this was due to the absolutely perfect weather and the opportunity of being able to take full advantage of Oliver's garden just across from the Chateau. We have him to thank as well as Mrs. Ash and Oliver's sons who have obviously inherited Oliver's sense of business enterprise.

Several Voices (and others) suggested that a future outdoor gig in the courtyard of the Chateau would be a good idea. I think so too but it would take some filling. However, I'm sure Oliver, emboldened by the success of this weekend, will sort something out. Anyway, thanks for a great weekend, Pete and everyone else.

Ian C


Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 27.05.12 at 10:29
The set list as well as can be determined.

Have you got a biro G
Ice cream man P
Dancing master P
An empty table P
I know the way it will go G
Carnations on the roof G
Hill of little shoes P
Driving through mythical Ameican P
Beware of the beautiful stranger G
Be careful when they offer you the moon G

Interval

The beautiful changes G
You'd better face it, boy P (segue into)
The hypertension Kid P
Me to thank P
Apparition in Las Vegas G
Learning the game (Buddy Holly) G
Canoe P
My dreams are troubled P
Tenderfoot P
You are the music G
Thirty year man P
Laughing boy G
Encore
Tonight your love is over G



Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 27.05.12 at 10:33
Just a quick note to say that the set list is version 2 as my first attempt didn't  make it to the site and I lost it, so had to do it all again very quickly as we  have a train to catch to Paris in 10 mins.

It was a great night, with Pete in fine voice. I think his vocal for Canoe was the best ever version. Thanks to Oliver, Iain and Oliver's army of helpers at the chateau.

Photos to follow!

Ian

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 29.05.12 at 20:17
As promised, some pics from the weekend. They start the day before then move to the garden party at chez Ash. Note the photo of Ian Chippet playing guitar - that's THE guitar, the one Pete used on BotBS. Still sounds great, even in Ian's hands.

The concert in the chateau was in a very comfortable theatre with excellent sound, courtesy of Mr Birkill.  There was an interval, shown in the photos by pics of people in the courtyard and the changing colour of Pete's shirt. Afterwards many people assembled in the bar across the road.

Here's the link

https://plus.google.com/photos/106827686464639211919/albums/5748001584970659585?authkey=CP3swauri-ujSQ

Sorry I haven't labelled the pics with names etc but can't get Google to cooperate with my iPad.

Cheers

Ian

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Rob Spence on 30.05.12 at 20:10
Thanks for posting this Ian, and very nice it was too to meet you and Yvonne at the event. Can I nick some of these for Facebook, since the link your mysterious alter-ego posted there is bobbins. :)

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Ian Sorensen on 30.05.12 at 22:47
Please feel free to nick. And if you can post a link to FB that works, please do that too.

I'm still in France and only have portable tech.

Cheers

Ian

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Rob Spence on 31.05.12 at 09:38
Thanks, Ian. A selection of the pics is now posted on the Facebook page.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 31.05.12 at 10:04
Well now that the adrenaline is slowly soaking away - even though the tunes keep going round my head day and night - I hope all those who attended Chateau de Reves enjoyed the event as much as I did. Thanks to you all for coming over from New Zealand, Wisconsin, New York, Scotland, all over England and even the far flung Jura. Thanks in particular to Ian C for helping with organising it all, Steve B for looking after sound for the concert and my wife Geraldine for her encouragement and her successful marketing efforts. And of course thanks to Pete for making it all possible!

We had about 90 in all for the concert, which exceded expectations. Pete now has a few brand new Gallic admirwrs as a result. Perhaps the most passionate has to be our friend Rachel. Following a wonderful relaxed Sunday mini-performance by Pete chez nous in the garden and then on the baby grand in the living-room she groaned:"Pete, est-ce que je peux vous embrasser?": priceless.

The venue was original to say the least; crossing the wonderful castle courtyard to get to the auditorium was pretty spectacular.

Pete suffered a bit from the lack of ventilation in the auditorium making his fingers slip on the guitar. Just one of those things. It didn't spoil anyone's enjoyment of a fine performance. I enjoyed in particular a beautiful 30 Year Man, Canoe and Laughing Boy.

Good memories of: MVs all over the garden, bright sunshine, moving all the chairs up to the shady terrace for the quiz; my kids going round selling beers and cola to all and sundry including me at one stage, forgetting who had funded their enterprise; a very convivial get-together for drinks at the local bar afterwards, several groups dotted inside and outside the bar, buzzing with the emotion of the concert; being thrown out at 1h15 with Noam, Karen and Vicky, slightly worse for wear, and stumbling homewards; relaxing on Sunday and enjoying Pete playing Skip to my Lou for Arthur in the garden; Pete playing Hill of Little Shoes in our living-room while 5 small children played in the play-room next door, which seemed so appropriate.

It would be great to do it again!


Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Keith Busby on 31.05.12 at 15:46
Thanks again, Oliver, for the organisation and the hospitality, and thanks to Pete, of course, for the music. Best to all.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Cary on 31.05.12 at 22:46

on 05/31/12 at 10:04:59, oliver ash wrote :
our friend Rachel. Following a wonderful relaxed Sunday mini-performance by Pete chez nous in the garden and then on the baby grand in the living-room she groaned:"Pete, est-ce que je peux vous embrasser?": priceless.

Can I just clarify whether it was Pete or Rachel on the baby grand? :-)

Title: Paris weekend
Post by Carole on 01.06.12 at 15:08
Better late than never....

Many thanks to Oliver and Gťraldine for such wonderful hospitality and for organising a brilliant event! And Ian too of course - even his singing didn't make the sun go in ;) Also to be mentioned are Oliver and Gťraldine's three boys. Really delightful, especially Tim who was a star helper!

A couple of highlights:

Tenderfoot - I always forget what a gem this song is. Pete mentioned he didn't play it that often - well he should. A classic PA/CJ song.

Meeting Karen Atkins - who has been a voice for many years but was a little reticent to speak out. She plucked up the courage to say hello and I was so pleased she had. We had a lovely chat and I'm sure we'll keep in touch from time to time and maybe meet up at a future event.

Interesting to see that Oliver has been bitten by the 'could do this again' bug. :) It is true that once you have a good venue, close to home so you can keep tabs easily, it kinda gets into your blood. Great to see everyone again on this fab weekend.

Carole

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 01.06.12 at 16:33
You're very welcome Carole; yes I certainly would consider doing it again, if Pete would, perhaps in a couple of years time if we are still in a fit state to...fingers crossed.

Replying to Cary, I apologise for the ambiguity of my post, which you are over-analysing as though it were a CJ lyric...even though I was in a dreamlike trance for most of the performance I'm pretty sure it was Pete on the piano throughout...well obviously not ON the piano...  

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Cary on 02.06.12 at 18:48
Never managed to analyse a lyric in my life!! Maybe I should have put 'ON' the piano in my tongue in cheek comment!! †:-/  
Glad everyone had such a great time. (especially Rachel  ;) )

Title: Re: Ch‚teau de rÍves, [not!] June 2012
Post by S J Birkill on 03.06.12 at 00:48
Work has been quite demanding for some months now, but faced with Oliver Ash and Ian Chippett's initiative for an őle-de-France "Field of Dreams" event at the end of May (despite the persistent title of this MV Forum thread), Carole and I made a supreme effort to liberate a few days around the time of the Jubilee holiday to attend the performance, and visit one of our (well, my) favourite cities. And are we glad we did!

We hadn't seen Pete in a while, and had missed what by all accounts was a superb gig at Walthamstow in April, so the lure of the "Champ de rÍves" would in any case have been hard to resist. But it turned out better than we could ever have imagined. Of course it wasn't actually in a field -- the venue was the historic Ch‚teau Vieux at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a small town just 12 miles north-west of Place de la Concorde, but in spirit far removed from the French capital.

As we were to discover later, several of the UK attendees had also chosen the Eurostar crossing, but it was our first time. Our 09:30 train from Sheffield gave us an easy transfer at St Pancras, and by 15:45 we were disembarking at Paris Gare du Nord. There, as in the UK, it was possibly the hottest day since the March false summer, and with the Whitsun holiday weekend looming the RER connection was a little uncomfortable at first, but we were soon out of the city and rolling into St Germain.

Oliver and his wife Gťraldine had graciously offered to accommodate us for the weekend, and their home -- a house historic in itself -- directly adjoints the ch‚teau grounds, so we were soon settling into our cosy bear-themed attic bedroom. Pete and his wife Mary were already established across the landing, having taken the overnight ferry and driven down from Le Havre.

Oliver soon appeared, as did Ian Chippett, followed by Gťraldine and the boys. With no time to spare we (Oliver, Ian, Pete and I) grabbed Pete's gear and carried it across to the ch‚teau. A royal palace dating in part from the 12th century, the Ch‚teau Vieux now serves as a museum and stands in its own park with extensive gardens and terraces on a limestone plateau overlooking the Seine, with views to La Defense. On the north side the park adjoins the huge forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, while the building's entrance on Place du Ch‚teau connects directly with the town centre. The modern auditorium occupies the southeastern corner on the ground floor of the building, and is accessed through the atmospheric inner court. Here we met the French technician who introduced us to the sound and lighting equipment.

The compact Bose console was a 4/5-channel mixer with digital effects and parametric controls, new to me. My French is rudimentary at best and the French tech spoke no English, but after fumbling my questions about 'puissance', 'paramŤtres' and 'interrupteurs' with the help of Oliver's fluent French, we were confident about controlling the system. Pete was in good form for the sound check, and we were treated to interpretations of some of his favourite songs, on his new, red, Nord electronic keyboard.

Later our whole party went for dinner on the terrace of the Brasserie du Thť‚tre, across the square from the ch‚teau.

The Saturday of the concert dawned fine and bright, and eventually we grabbed some breakfast with the help of young Tim Ash, and headed off into town in search of picnic provisions (basically bread, cheese and wine) for the afternoon. Some of our fellow Voices (see their own comments on this thread and the PA/CJ Facebook group) had stayed in a local hotel, and drifted in to Oliver's during the afternoon, to relax in the garden and participate in Ian Chippett's slightly chaotic Atkin song trivia quiz.

And so to the evening. After a welcome from Oliver, Pete introduced the first song in French, explaining to the audience the significance of 'Biro'. This diluted the impact of the splendidly executed trope of a perfect Perfect Moments guitar intro turning into Have You Got A Biro I Can Borrow? on the first word of the verse, but still it was appreciated by the connoisseurs. Not sure the easy-swinging groove suits the eager young poet portrayed in the lyric so well as the original treatment.

To keyboard for Ice Cream Man -- classic in every respect.

Dancing Master -- the tango instructor is sustained from one week's lesson to the next by his infatuation, obsession even, with his young pupil.

An Empty Table perfectly rendered. More lost love: the narrator walks past the scene of his once-frequent romantic rendezvous at a Thames-side restaurant.

Pete had to re-tune his guitar (the black Atkin small Jumbo), which was drifting in the high heat and humidity of the setting, for I Know The Way, a new and unrecorded song many will not yet have heard. In another one-sided relationship, the singer is certain that his sparkling date will realise the perfect inevitability of their union, but somehow the girl continues to entertain other ideas.

Still on guitar, Carnations On The Roof was padded out by an extra couple of bars between each line of the chorus, and repetitions of the final phrase. A difficult one to finish satisfactorily, but then so is the subject.

Back to piano for Hill Of Little Shoes, beautifully and touchingly delivered.

Driving Through Mythical America was next, again introduced en FranÁais -- an infrequently-played classic.

Then came Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger on guitar, a particular favourite of the Ash boys, to the point where Oliver would sing it to them at bedtimes. The three boys, refreshingly gentle and in no way street-smart, in a style once familiar in the UK, sat quiet and absorbed throughout the concert.

"This is a song we wrote to warn ourselves how dangerous it would be to be famous... Fortunately, we have never needed the warning" -- Be Careful When They Offer You The Moon.

During the interval the audience spilled out into the ch‚teau's courtyard to discuss the evening so far, pausing only to shell out their 5 Euros for one or more of the CDs on sale. On our return we found Pete had done a quick change (ŗ la Madonna, he offered) and was ready to tackle the second half with renewed vigour.

The Beautiful Changes (guitar) Pete executed in strict tempo, without the triplet feel of Julie Covington's version (coincidentally re-issued this coming week on the Cherry Red/Cherry Tree label.)

Next he played a favourite of mine from the Footlights days, You'd Better Face It, Boy on piano, segueing into a snappy Hypertension Kid.

Another recent and very poignant song, Me To Thank, addresses the recurrent James theme of regret, the narrator blaming his present predicament on his own actions, or inactions, rather than simply on the passage of time.

Apparition In Las Vegas (guitar), starting slowly and accelerating, was introduced as "about you" (the audience), though I couldn't spot a single pink rinse myself. But the guy on stage indeed "wrote and bound the book of which our early aspirations were the pages".

Pete described the songwriter's difficulty in keeping a song small, compact and simple, and illustrated it by playing Buddy Holly's Learning The Game.

Canoe, a story of exploration across the centuries and by now a very familiar favourite, was brilliantly executed on piano to high acclaim from the audience. I'll have to get a version of this on YouTube one of these days -- perhaps a mash-up of concert performances with historic or dramatic footage (frameage?) from 1970.

One of the very first two or three songs Clive James and Pete Atkin ever wrote, My Dreams Are Troubled, appeared on the 1967 privately-pressed LP While The Music Lasts sung by Julie Covington. Here Pete gave it a straight and simple piano treatment which brought out the beauty of the melody.

Next came one of the evening's highlights, Tenderfoot. A masterful evocation of the desert landscapes of the American southwest, this relentlessly driving verse-chorus number is an allegory of a man suffering massive regret for his loss of true love through a lifetime's uncaring actions. Written for the Secret Drinker album of 1974, this is surely one of Clive James' greatest and most poignant lyrics.

Back to fingerstyle guitar for another welcome rarity from the Footlights days, You Are The Music (While The Music Lasts). Then to piano again for an immaculate Thirty Year Man.

Pete rounded off the second set with Laughing Boy, on guitar with a boogie groove, remarking how on his tours with Clive the song featured as a finale in which Clive would also sing, and how he (Pete) would often have to modify the rhythm to fit with Clive's apparent inability to count beats and bars.

For an encore, Pete sang Tonight Your Love Is Over (guitar), remarking that the song has been omitted from the new CD of Julie's The Beautiful Changes, though it did feature on the (out of print) See For Miles reissue of 1999.

This must have been one of Pete's most memorable concerts in years, and the grandeur of the setting surely eclipsed almost anywhere else he has played.

After the show the bulk of the audience wandered across the square to the bar La Soubise, where we satisfied our hunger and thirst late into the evening.

Carole and I quit out on Sunday morning for a couple of days in Paris, leaving Pete to lunch and to play a few things for Oliver and his family before heading for home.

Midnight Voices members identified:

Oliver Ash & Gťraldine
Pete Atkin & Mary
Steve & Carole Birkill
Ian Sorensen & Yvonne
John Waites & Jane
Noam Greenberg, Rachel and Amos [travelling from New Zealand]
Mark Wing-Davy and Anita [from New York, USA]
Keith Busby & Josť [from Wisconsin, USA]
Rob Spence & Elaine
Karen Atkins & daughter
Ian Chippett

The remainder of the audience (87 strong in total, if I remember correctly) was made up of locals, other Parisian UK expats and friends of Oliver and Gťraldine, not all of whom we had the opportunity to meet.

All in all, a grand few days out! Very large thanks to the Ashs, Ian and of course Pete.

I'll generate a permanent version of this review as a page on the website, with photos and perhaps a video, over the next few days.

-- Steve

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Pete Atkin on 03.06.12 at 11:08
Blimey, more than a week gone already.  What a memorable weekend that was, for a large number of intermingling reasons.   A huge thank you from me to all of those who intermingled so, well, memorably.  But a specially big one to Oliver, Geraldine, Julian, Arthur, and Timothy, and another one, nearly as big, to all who made such efforts to be there.  And a large gold star to Steve for figuring out so well that neat-seeming little Bose mixer thingie - as well as for that (alarmingly comprehensive!) report.   Here's to the next time, wherever and whenever.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Rob Spence on 03.06.12 at 14:56
Thanks for the review Steve, and for evoking so well how special this event was. Looking forward to the illustrated version.

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by S J Birkill on 05.06.12 at 12:42
Here (http://www.peteatkin.com/chateau.htm) it is, complete with video of Tenderfoot.

S

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 14.06.12 at 17:15
Just a quick note to say that I tried to post a video on You Tube of Pete playing Laughing Boy in the St G garden on the Sunday, 27 May. I may have succeeded. The cameraman is hopeless...
Best wishes

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by S J Birkill on 15.06.12 at 09:32
I don't find this, Oliver. Please try again -- we'd love to see it.

Steve

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 15.06.12 at 13:12
Oh Dear, well I have uploaded it to You Tube because when I go to my new account it appears there; I gave it a Pete Atkin tag but it still doesn't appear to come out on the list of videos when I try to find it again...help...

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by S J Birkill on 15.06.12 at 14:02
Ah! Now I have it -- excellent! Here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6jL5uM1Bdg

Thank you Oliver

Steve

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by oliver ash on 15.06.12 at 14:12
Great, yes it's a fun song and I love the kids singing along. The brunette on the far side of the bench is the now famous Rachel...I'll see if my technical nous stretches to transferring one or two other clips from the old camescope onto You Tube...

Title: Re: Champ de rÍves June 2012
Post by Noam Greenberg on 09.09.12 at 07:34
Very very late (my excuse is that we are still catching our breath after a long European trip, of which CdR was certainly a highlight), but as was mentioned earlier (much much earlier), better than never.

So heartfelt thanks to Ian and Oliver for the organisation and Oliver for welcoming us to his lovely garden, for Pete and Steve for putting on the show, and everyone else who was involved. It was great to talk to Pete and Steve and Carole after such a long time -- could it really have been six years? It was also good to meet voices I have not met before and to chat more with some I didn't talk with much before.

The setting was unbelievable and the concert was excellent. My high points were A hill of little shoes and Driving through mythical America, which sent shivers down the spine. More importantly, I think Rachel now has a new and deeper appreciation of Pete's music - for her, recorded music would not have the same effect as live performance. As for positive impact on Amos's taste, I suppose time will tell.

We will recall this weekend fondly for a long time. And would like to go again. Who knows when and where... in the meantime, I will wait for that new album.

Best,

Noam

Small factual correction applied: it was of course Oliver's garden -- SJB



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