One of the perks of being a gigging musician is the constant movement. You get the chance to meet new people in all sorts of events and venues. Every stage is a blessed new opportunity to delight a different audience. For example, this week I took my music to a luxurious yacht anchored on the Bay of Cannes in France. The international spirits company Erdrington invited me there for a business event they hosted in occasion of the TFWA World Exhibition & Summit.
I traveled that same morning, starting with a taxi that picked me up at 4:15am to take me to Birmingham New Street. I needed three alarms to be able to get up on time! The station was as quiet as I’ve ever seen it, with only a few staff people walking around. Despite the fact it was too early and I hadn’t gotten sufficient sleep, I was excited to travel and go to work in another country. The train ride to Gloucester was good. The only eventuality was that a ribbon I had tied to my suitcase in order to identify it more easily got stuck in one of the wheels. I had to put my understanding of needles, threads and tweezers to work, but after a bit, I could fix the problem. It’s handy to be handy, you know?
I was pretty tired but I didn’t want to miss my stop, so I forced myself to stay awake. It got to the point that I had to get a mocha, which is a rarity for me. I only drink coffee when I have to drive for a very long time.
We got off in Gloucester and walked to a bus stop from where we could take a coach to Bristol Airport. I’d never been there before. It looks small from the outside, but the interior is massive! We ate something while our gate was announced, and given that Edrington booked my flight with speedy boarding, I could get in the plane early and meet the bliss of two empty seats besides mine.
I slept for almost all the journey. Michael woke me up when we started the descent because the views from the windows were too beautiful to be missed. We were entranced by the mountains, rivers and towns we saw, which concluded with a gorgeous 360° view that our plane gave us when it turned around over the sea in order to land on Nice.
After a quick meal in the city, we took a taxi to Cannes and I started to feel the hurry. There’s a one hour time difference between the UK and France, so the performance felt suddenly too close. It would’ve been nice to make that bit of the journey on public transport, but the clock was ticking! We checked in at our hotel as fast as we could and our room became chaos while I rushed to get the clothes I was going to wear and applied make-up at record speed. I don’t like chaos, but it couldn’t be helped. Fortunately, experience played on my favour once again: the whole look —rebellious fake eyelashes and all— took me 30 minutes, and I was ready on time to take my booked taxi at 4:45pm… which didn’t arrive.
We waited, we enquired, I installed the Uber app. While we looked for a solution, I met another musician who was also going to perform at the TFWA World Exhibition & Summit. We ended up sharing a ride alongside the coast, enjoying the beautiful views and the warmth.
I set up on the second floor of a three levels yacht and got my soundcheck done in time for my performance. To my delight, people on ships nearby could listen to my music too, so I could see both them and the passangers of the yacht I was on dancing and enjoying themselves. The set went really well. Superstition by Stevie Wonder and Levitating by Dua Lipa were particularly well received; I’d say they lifted the roof if only we hadn’t been outdoors, haha.
For the second part of my performance, I went to the third floor to join the DJs. We had a great time until 10pm, hour at which all the music was scheduled to stop. From there, it was a matter to find a taxi back to the hotel and have a well deserved, long sleep after so much emotion.
We also spent Tuesday morning relaxing, starting with a scrumptious breakfast including the famous French croissants (that I wanted warm, which prompted a hilarious bilingual conversation between the lady in charge of the food, who only spoke French, me, who only speaks English, and someone from the reception desk who spoke both). Then, I caught some sun by the hotel’s pool, watching jets and helicopters come and go on the private airfield next to it, and got ready for the long journey back home.
I want to thank Erdrington for giving me the opportunity to bring my music to their lovely business gathering. The TFWA World Exhibition & Summit looked fantastic and Cannes is a gorgeous place. Let’s see what new adventures the future brings!