I spent most of this morning working in the charming little Wiltshire town of Melksham. A pretty place that boasts a rubber factory, a single track railway line and six supermarkets (they being Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl and the Coop) which, according to the 2001 census, amounts to one supermarket per 3,500 inhabitants. However, life isn’t all fun and games in Melksham and visitors are prone to clinical depression if they stay there for more than an hour.
After two hours I found myself plying my trade in a small cottage on a country estate several miles from Melksham. I thought I had escaped but here lived an elderly lady who insisted that her cat talked to her.
I dismissed this as being a side effect of the anti depressants she had been prescribed to help her cope with mental torture caused by the proximity of her house to Melksham, but as I pruned and pared and polished at her feet I was sure I heard her sinister looking feline beast utter the words, “I wish the silly bitch would shut her fat gob.”
Perhaps the cat could talk or perhaps I was hallucinating as she had been. Either way it was time for me to do something to take my mind off the malevolence that lurks in the murky air around Melksham.
The best thing I could think of to put my world to rights was to go home and buy a ticket to go to see la légende de roche 'n' le rouleau, Johnny Hallyday performing live in a massive arena on the outskirts of Brussels, like you do!
Now I know I said in an earlier blogginess that I refused point blank to do such a thing but my mate Rigger went to great lengths (a Facebook message) to convinced me that this was a gig I just couldn’t afford to miss. After all, he is said to be the French Elvis Presley . . . Johnny that is, not Rigger . . . though there is something a bit special in the way Rigger shakes those hips.
So I went on a Belgian ticket agency website and, armed with my credit card and an in depth knowledge of the French language (Marie-France joue au volley-ball sur la plage et Mme. Marsaud prépare le petit déjeuner dans la salle de bains is about my linguistic limit), I spent €85 on a ticket to see a 68 year old terminally ill bloke that only sings in French and who I had only ever seen or heard of before on the South Bank Show on the telly late one Sunday night way back in 1984 when the only other televisual options available were The Horse of the Year Show or An Evening With The Spinners.
I’m pretty sure that musically he won’t be my tasse de thé but I’m also pretty sure that such a big event, featuring such a big local hero nearing the end of a massive career at such a big venue will be well worth seeing and a highlight of my own forthcoming European tour. If all goes well I see myself throwing a television out of a hotel window, especially if The Horse of the Year Show or An Evening With The Spinners are on.
And if it’s not worth seeing then Rigger owes me €85.