Well, it’s about time to nicely wrap up this excursion diary! First, let’s get it out of the way, for those of you wondering all this time: yes, I only brought two sweaters on this tour. And I wore them all the time because it was cold, which is why it looks like I always wear the same thing, even if I promise I actually wore different things under it. I hope it didn’t make our photo galleries too monotonous…Oh well, I’ll bring a third one next time and will think of switching outfits more often. Inevitably, I smelled a lot most of the time because of this limited wardrobe: my armpits could have furnished an Indian restaurant in spicy yellow curry for a full winter season, but again, I’m French, so give me a break, I’m supposed to come with stinkiness.
For closure purposes, here are some observations gathered from this crazy strip of US gigs, also inspired and backed-up by comments made by fellow singer-songwriters. Even if I did play for lots of friendly, supportive and respectful music-lovers, I have to say audiences felt a little rough this time around, and I want to believe this is more a bad series of coincidences than signs of worse things to come for the consumption of entertainment:
1. There are still well-educated adults in this world who sit with their backs turned to a performer when he’s on stage performing the songs he wrote and brought with passion, but not without efforts, from very far away.
2. There are still civilized human beings who talk very loudly with their friends, even a few feet away from a performer, making him/her feel like a set of speakers, or a entertaining puppet. And I won’t even mention the short-attention span disastrous phenomenon fueled by new technology gadgets, causing performers to give out their heartfelt words to a forest of laptops, ear-budded buddies and other smartphone freaks, checking out their Facebook for the 45th time when you play a chorus or loose them with your stage banter for a second.
3. It’s getting harder for bands writing original songs to get booked at venues, making them feel like a jukebox.”Everybody wants to hear covers now” was a recurring sentence heard among fellow songwriters on the road.
4. It’s still very common for other performers to greet another performer’s after-show with a muttered, automatic and highly ungenuine “Great set man!’ or “Good job!”. I had the chance to get thrown twice my new favorite: “I like your style, man”.
5. It’s still not unusual to spy other performers sharing the bill with you to show up right when they’re supposed to play and disappear right after they’re done without even a sloppy handshake or a half-assed salute to the other musicians. The best combination is when they do that but still manage to pretend they saw and heard your show (see #4). I guess we don’t all value the same sense of community.
But enough with my whiny rant, I had a blast and met lots of great people, learnt great facts, saw cool acts, heard fun stories, and witnessed unforgettable sights! Thanks a lot for following our adventures, you kind and curious friends. 2000 views with a peak at 400 one day, wow!
Mickael gathered a lot of awesome footage on the road, and after letting it rest for a while during the holiday season, we’ll edit it in January and a series of kick-ass videos from the tour will be released this winter, so keep your eyes peeled!
The Keys’ next step is an exciting tour in France in February with fellow songwriters Sammy Decoster, Pollyanna and Odran Trümmel so keep your eyes peeled for more road stories, photos, videos and tour dates closer to you! It also starts to feel like it’s time to think about recording my numerous new songs, but time will come when it shall all fall together nicely. 2012 might be the year of You Can’t Beat Me If I’m Not Playing, The Keys’ 7th musical adventure but who knows?
Have unreasonable daydreams. Feed your fantasies daily. Nurture your friends like you would look after exotic flowers. Give yourself a well-deserved treat at least once a day. Spread love like peanut butter on a never-ending toast. Don’t drink and drive. Keep live music alive. Keep purchasing independent music. Serve and protect. Seven fruits and vegetables, two liters of water (Stay hydrated!), eight hours of sleep a day. Lend an ear to the weirdos.
Off to Southern Ontario now to rest my ringing ears, callused fingers and raspy voice, I wish you a dreary Christmas and a sappy New Year!
Warmly from Detroit,