Saturday, 5 September 2015

Aarhus: 6

So today I:
- had lunch for breakfast
- watched Howe Gelb and Yasmin Hamdan try to (unsuccessfully) open a champagne bottle with a saber
- joined the town's gentry for an official farewell speech to Folmer from the Major of Aarhus
- drank champagne in a marquis tent sheltering from the rain with Anna and her and Folmer's daughter 'at least until the rain stops'. It's midnight and the rain still hasn't stopped. I'm soaked in so many ways...
- took high tea with Sylvie
- had an early dinner with Folmer and his lovely assistant Louise who had gotten me onto every guest list going and who tonight prepared a future Danish road trip for me
- virtually swam to the Howe Gelb's 'Deconstruction of Jazz' at the Atlas Theatre, featuring Thoger, Steve Shelley and Yasmin Hamdan
- virtually swam the 25 yards (I have the bronze badge) to the Voxhall Theatre next door to watch Daniel Lanois give a riveting performance of dub, trance, folk, ballades and blues. There were one or two ambient Eno moments that were are a little beyond me but, Daniel was classy. At the end of the show he ordered a bottle of whiskey from the bar and poured a glass for everyone in the front row.
- returned sodden but happy to the hotel for a glass or two before bed. Had an easy chat and a beer with Maggie Björklund, Yasmin Hamdan and Howe Gelb, although no sign of Simmons who still owes me a brace of beers. To be continued I guess...

It was great to see Folmer getting the recognition he deserves.
He got a couple of shout outs at Howe's show last night and there was real warmth for him at the official farewell this afternoon. It seems that his nine years as Festival Director have been a real success. He's developed the event from basic local beer tents and bands, to a challenging international event: ever evolving and of genuine cultural value. As a patron of the local arts his enthusiasm is unwavering and his crumpled charm infectious; he likes people and people like him back. Could it really be that simple?  All of the performers that I met loved him and his festival. As do I.
He will be missed but I sense that he is already eyeing new horizons.

I'm flying back London tomorrow then on to Corsica where we have a house to sell.
It's been full on but I've loved every waking moment.
- I've languished in a 'Superior Room'.
- Eaten some wonderful food.
- Drank far too much.
- Seen some of the best gigs ever and met a few of my musical heroes in the act.
- I've also met some fine local folk; calm, tolerance and kindness are virtues here, not weaknesses.
It seemed that every light turned green as I approached it; even the queues are couched in rainbows...
Goodbye Aarhus, you're my kind of town.

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