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Lyon, France

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 - Drawing

20-21 November 2008 - Text

We got to spend almost two days in Lyon with Pierre. It has been two years since we saw him, but as he said, it felt like only two weeks. I returned the lucky stone to him… his turn to hold onto it for a year or so.

Pierre was the sound engineer for us last night at Le Sonic, the venue on a boat. Pierre has been working there for a year or so and is a bit frustrated with it. It may be closing in a couple of months because they aren’t making any money. They had applied for some cultural funding from the city, and things looked good for a while, but they kept getting put off for a month or two, and now they have finally just received a letter telling them not to expect any funding.

Ground Zero, now in a different location from where we played it several years ago, seems to be the only alternative music organization that is getting any funding in Lyon these days. Pierre says this is typical of France, that when they decide to fund one thing, they just forget about everything else and let them die. There are rumors that Ground Zero has obtained all the city funding by black mailing some city official. Because they are so well funded, they can put on many shows for free, or at least keep the tickets very inexpensive, so other venues, such as Le Sonic, have difficulty competing.

We had a relatively high (for us) guarantee last night: 400 €. At 8 € each there were just about enough people there for Le Sonic to break even.

Pierre was additionally frustrated by the appearance of the younger step-brother of one of the two owners of Le Sonic, who arrived with his girlfriend, probably did not pay the entrance fee, and proceeded to drink for free all evening. This is the sort of practice that could really sink the place, since the margin of profit is already non-existent. To exacerbate matters, the step-brother and his girlfriend were really two of the most irritating people.

wall plates in Lyon, France