Ha - made you look! Not that kind of swinger! Tch, you should be ashamed of yourselves! No, I mean swinging in the musical bebop-zabba-dabba-da-da-do sense of the word. I mean jazz, man, oh yeah. Ptah, ptah, ptah. You don't have to be a turtle necked cool cat to appreciate the odd bit of swinging live jazz music, nor, thankfully, particularly rich. Certainly, it will only cost you the price of drink (even non-alcoholic if you're boring/cheap/tee-total). You'll already know what I'm talking about if you've stumbled into l'Artichaut on Grande Rue of a Thursday night sometime in the past year or so. For there in the cellar in amongst the tightly packed bodies you will have discovered purveyors of some of the finest jazz music that the world can offer. The title of the show is 'It's beef' (lord only knows why, some sort of French jazz in-joke perhaps?) and it 'goes down' more or less every other Thursday under the very talented eye of Rick Hannah. Monsieur Hannah, as you've probably guessed, isn't remotely French, but is [...]
It's national poetry day in the UK and the English Speaking Community of Alsace are running a Limerick competition (with an Alsatian angle) to mark the ocassion. I thought I'd shar my entries with you: There was a young chap, rather posh, Who was asked if he'd like to play squash, at la terrasse des halles, with Sarkozy and pals, just provided he first had a wash. There was a young girl from Rosheim, who was arrested for committing a crime, for in this location, so very Alsatian, you can't walk and chew gum at the same time. (er... not true) There was a wee lad from Colmar, who like to play blues on his guitar, But passers-by wouldn't throw money, rather - jarrets de porc, choucroute and honey, which is why he now lives in Myanmar. There was a young chap from Alsace, who had an embarrassing problem with gas, he blamed all the cheese, and plums from the trees, and even Choucroute Royal - oh alas.
There's a lot of brouhaha going on in Strasbourg about Johnny Hallyday's concert at the Zenith last night, and fair enough, as it's supposed to be his last tour (yeah right). However another artist named Jonny is also hitting the headlines, and one that, personally, I am more inclined to go and see perform. Jonny Wilkinson, the star of English rugby who, as I predicted well over a year ago, made the move to Toulon from Newcastle earlier this year to revive his flagging career. However his success in France since the start of the season has been largely ignored by the British rugby-going public mainly because the LNR (Ligue Nationale de Rugby) gets precisely zero coverage in the UK. I am sure Monsieur Wilkinson is not particularly bothered about this - as the British press have not exactly been positive about his chances of return to form. Anyway, for all you English rugby fans out there, I have decided to create a Jonny-Wilk-o-meter (see sidebar >>) to help you track his performance week to week in the 2009/2010 [...]