petite anglaise

August 27, 2006

rock en seine

Filed under: good time girl — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:01 pm

You know you are starting to get old when, at a music festival, you:

  • sensibly take care not to drink large quantities of beer, mindful of horror of festival portapotties;
  • elect to stand well back to get a decent view (of the suspended screen) rather than braving the teeming mass of sweaty bodies at centre forward;
  • time your departure just before the end of the last set so that you can catch the métro before the mad rush begins;
  • feel secretly relieved at festival’s proximity to Paris which excludes need for camping and Glastonbury-style personal hygiene involving daily swabbing with a lemon scented wet wipe;
  • do not indulge in any illicit substances, and therefore remember every single act;
  • do not indulge in any illicit substances, and therefore feel need to eat regularly;
  • realise, as you see a stallholder empty large quantities of raw mincemeat into his vat of bolognaise, give it a cursory stir, and start ladling it into people’s plates, that you would probably have been safer indulging in illicit substances;
  • overhear a younger friend confessing that they have never heard a Smiths song, whilst you surprise yourself at Morrissey’s set by knowing every word to “Panic”;
  • hear yourself start a sentence with: “When I saw The Orb at Glastonbury…”

Petite’s potted review:

Radiohead: masterful. Beck: puppet show and dinner party percussion thing very, very clever; man himself oddly lacking in charisma, but still wouldn’t kick him out of bed. Kasabian: not bad. The Raconteurs: not bad. Dirty Pretty Things: not bad. Morrissey: not enough Smiths. Burgers: undercooked. Churros: yum. Chili hot dog: a vile and dangerous invention. Earplugs: useful for blocking out sound of microwave next to pillow following morning.


  1. Another way you know you’re getting old is when you read that one of your music idols has died… of old age; and you remember when you saw him play for the first time when you were 17 and it was your first concert ever. Reference: Maynard Ferguson, one of the last great jazz legends, died this week at the age of 78.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — August 27, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

  2. You know you’re getting old when someone writes a delightfully succinct description of a popular concert/festival and you think “I’m kind of glad I wasn’t there!”

    I used to do security at various festivals like T in the Park (front and backstage – very enlightening)and have some vivid memories of the Portaloos!

    Chilli hot dog sounds interesting but what is Churros? (Save me looking it up)Sounds Mexican/spicy.

    Comment by Tattieheid — August 27, 2006 @ 10:20 pm

  3. Whenever I go to the UK, I always find that the burgers are overcooked. If there should be one thing over which France and UK will never get along, I assume it would be the cooking of meat.
    Other than that, l’affiche de Rock en Seine semblait super cette année !

    Comment by pardonmyfrench — August 27, 2006 @ 10:21 pm

  4. Googled Churros – Spanish – Probably too sweet for me!
    Prefer my nibbles spicy!

    Comment by Tattieheid — August 27, 2006 @ 10:26 pm

  5. Cant remember the last time I went to a concert. Wait, I remember, never ! I prefer not mingling with sweaty, doped-up masses with regular doses of flatulence probably caused by the undercooked meat and lack of sufficient portapotties. Those are just
    N-A-S-T-Y !

    What happened to the previous post ?


    Comment by AA — August 27, 2006 @ 10:34 pm

  6. I teach high school and every Friday the principal plays a different version of the Star Spangled Banner over the P.A. This last Friday it was an acapella version by Boyz 2 Men. I felt like a fossil when my students confessed they had no idea who Boyz 2 Men were. I’m only 30 for crying out loud!

    Comment by Byron — August 27, 2006 @ 11:09 pm

  7. Churros: the most wonderfully wonderful fried bread treat from our Mexican brothers. Melts in your mouth when done correctly. Just enough sugar to get you high and feeling heavenly and just enough cinnamon so that you can continue to sin (I mean, eat). The best combination of sweet and spicy. Yum.

    Comment by dora pirate — August 27, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

  8. And, sorry for the addition … often to be eaten at the break of day after a wonderful night with a thick dark substance the Spaniards like to call Chocolate … yum again.

    Comment by dora pirate — August 27, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

  9. oh for christ sake everyone in the world has seen Morrissey except me.

    Comment by andre — August 27, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

  10. You know you’re past it when you go to sleep to the thump of an open air rock concert thinking bloody neighbours, and discover the next day it was a Rock in the Park concert three miles away and you were that interested you’d not even copped the publicity.

    Comment by Andrew — August 27, 2006 @ 11:44 pm

  11. You know you’re getting older (could this be the start of what they call a “meme”?) when you’d even consider leaving before a favourite band rather than having to make use of any public toilet, let alone portapotty. Though granted this could also simply be the beginnings of OCD.

    Comment by Al — August 27, 2006 @ 11:52 pm

  12. Re: Maynard Ferguson. What a loss…….Reminds me of
    when Stevie Ray Vaughn died. What a tragedy that was…..(Though Vaguh was much younger, it was still a great loss for music…..)

    “overhear a younger friend confessing that they have never heard a Smiths song,”

    Try having a younger friend say they never heard a song by Talking Heads or *gasp* Bob Dylan……I’m getting too damned old…….

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 28, 2006 @ 12:01 am

  13. Yaxlich did chuckle when he read this. He went to the Hyde Park Calling event earlier this summer just to see The Who and left as the band started their encore as he knew that he would get a seat on the Underground.

    Comment by Yaxlich — August 28, 2006 @ 12:36 am

  14. ha ha! Oh so true! Especially stand in a spot where you can beat the rush.. Did it once at a U2 concert….I felt I was supervising my kids…

    Comment by simon — August 28, 2006 @ 12:44 am

  15. I was a 80s teenager but I have to question the comment – “not enough Smiths”. Quite frankly, they were too much, too depressing. No wonder we all wore black.

    Comment by Nigel — August 28, 2006 @ 12:47 am

  16. A man is old when he looks into the window of Burton Mens Tailors and thinks “Mmmm…..that’s a nice cardigan…..”

    Comment by Keith — August 28, 2006 @ 1:02 am

  17. ….now some bright spark is going to comment “Whats a ‘cardigan’?”

    Comment by Keith — August 28, 2006 @ 1:03 am

  18. Ditto on Beck! Yikes about that hot dog.

    Hope the earplugs work out.

    The Tart
    ; )

    Comment by Cheap Tart — August 28, 2006 @ 1:10 am

  19. You think you’re pretty clever, don’t you boy…. (my favourite)

    Comment by fjl — August 28, 2006 @ 1:39 am

  20. The biggest sign the I am getting old is that a big night out now means being home by 2am – and even that is a rarity. Churros: YUM!

    Comment by Ravi — August 28, 2006 @ 3:00 am

  21. You know you are starting to get old when you have no idea who the bands Petite is talking about are.

    Comment by Jacques — August 28, 2006 @ 3:20 am

  22. You know you are getting old when you don’t go to music festivals any more, or should that be “grown up” with too many responsibilities and not enough time?

    Comment by Keith — August 28, 2006 @ 9:41 am

  23. you know you’re an elitist snob when the very idea of a mass outdoor concert gives you the creeps :)

    Comment by maitresse — August 28, 2006 @ 9:48 am

  24. Flighty’s potted festival : first burger fantastic, second v. dodgy. Raconteurs amazing but headbanging in moshpit in one’s COAT surreal and brings on headache when nearly 37. Agree wholeheartedly about Morrisey. Highlight – petite spotting. Lowlight – achey bones next day after standing up for 8 hours when only 37.

    Comment by flighty — August 28, 2006 @ 11:09 am

  25. festival food, always best attempted after a few drinks…

    Comment by lilacstripe — August 28, 2006 @ 12:02 pm

  26. Dave of the Lake, this young person you know who’s never heard a song by Bob Dylan, that’s deprivation beyond measure!

    Comment by Susannah — August 28, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  27. What it means, dear Petite, is that you’re slowly turning into an old fart. lol

    Comment by Gil — August 28, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

  28. I loved the Smiths! How that takes me back — “Girlfriend in a Coma” and all!

    @Dora Pirate — I didn’t know that churros were Mexican but I loved them on the Plaza Mayor in Madrid ;-)

    Comment by Lost in France — August 28, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

  29. “Dave of the Lake, this young person you know who’s never heard a song by Bob Dylan, that’s deprivation beyond measure!”

    Yes, and sadly, that was my (at the time) 17 year old niece. I remedied that situation……..Got her 2 greatest hits packages, and chastised her father roundly………;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 28, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

  30. “Yes, and sadly, that was my (at the time) 17 year old niece. I remedied that situation……..Got her 2 greatest hits packages, and chastised her father roundly………;-)”

    …….Oh, and btw, she is coming over for a family event next weekend, so I am breaking out my DVD’s of “The Last Waltz” and “Lightning In A Bottle.” She obviously needs more education than what her college is providing …..

    Hmmm…..just realized that sentence should have read, “…..and roundly chastised her father.” Need more coffee…….

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 28, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  31. Hiya, i have just started reading your blog. :)

    you know youre getting old, when you realise you havent actually tried/tested/experimented with anything and youre already 25!!!! what the hell is happening to time these days?

    Comment by E.A.L — August 28, 2006 @ 2:53 pm

  32. oh my, i know EXACTLY how you feel. i was in a club about a month ago that is, unknown to me, frequented by a “younger” crowd. meaning 21-24year olds. i found myself looking around and coming to the conclusion that there was NO WAY they were checking IDs on everyone in the place. after that experience, i found myself at another club frequented by an “older” crowd. 25-40+ years old. this time, i found myself looking around and feeling quite comfortable with my surroundings.

    Comment by Hammers — August 28, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  33. You know you ARE old when you can tell people that you saw Jimi Hendrix, the Who, the Doors and the Grateful Dead live at festivals so long ago.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — August 28, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

  34. you know you’re old when the bass rhythm of a trash metal band gives you nausea no matter how far away from the stage you go.
    you know you’re old when you have to leave during the headliner’s set because it’s raining and cold while teenagers in tanks and minis jostle about.
    i know i’m old :)

    Comment by ellie — August 28, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

  35. I would have put this in the Navigo section, but the spam prevention etc.

    Despite having returned from Paris metro unmugged I’m a little bewildered by the romantic references to it dotted about on your blog. The RER stations have a VERY specific smell to them, which I wouldn’t say was altogether pleasant or evocative.

    Comment by Hugo Carr — August 28, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

  36. @ Lost in France — you are so right. I think I got so caught up my Pavlovian response to the very mention of them that my right mind was clouded with all thoughts of running to get churros immediately at my nearest Mexican restaurant. :)

    Comment by dora pirate — August 28, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

  37. Ha! I guess I was getting old at a Rage Against the Machine concert when I was 20 – I already had toned down my behavior by then.

    Thanks for the earplugs reminder. I’ll be seeing Radiohead tonight in Amsterdam.

    Comment by BlondebutBright — August 28, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  38. Ah Petite, you know you are getting old when you start keeping lists that include things like “Get up, feed the kids….” and your teenage son thinks ABBA is a new detergent. I give up and in to my 39th year…………….. Lisa

    Comment by Lisa — August 28, 2006 @ 5:30 pm

  39. I remember I had a very bad end trip after a churros overdose in Barcelona a loooong time ago. That was my very first time then with this kind of delight, or sweetness, and I just can’t have a look at them now it exists in France. The smell gives me nausea. Am I still young?

    Comment by 4 roses — August 28, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  40. Hey Dave, never fear — we actually *studied* Bob Dylan songs in my college poetry class a few years ago . . . best homework assignments ever =)

    Comment by emily — August 28, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

  41. You know you’re getting old when you’re working at the video music awards,(in the U.S. this week) and you tell your younger sister, who is 24 years old, that you don’t know any of the bands that are performing, AND you’re the happiest when the audio tech hands you “noise cancelling” headphones. If you want something similar Petite for the microwave issue, you might check out a store online called Sharper Image for a consumer brand.

    Comment by Sam — August 28, 2006 @ 7:49 pm

  42. Have you ever wondered if the metallic screen on a microwave oven door is always *really* thick enough (especially on cheap microwave ovens, mainly made out of plastic…) ?
    If you neighbour is an Ikea addict, if you’re feeling strangely warm in the morning, or if the only dream you can remember every morning (except saturdays and sundays) involves fried chicken, I guess you could build some sort of anti-radiation shielding by wrapping your pillow in aluminium foil.

    Comment by Ju — August 28, 2006 @ 7:58 pm

  43. hey i did Wrechter in belgium this summer, seems we had quite a few commoin points there… but come on, never heard a song of the Smith ???omg…

    Comment by Negrito — August 28, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

  44. and at last you managed to take a picture, seems they were quite tough with cameras…

    Comment by Negrito — August 28, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

  45. “Hey Dave, never fear — we actually *studied* Bob Dylan songs in my college poetry class a few years ago . . . best homework assignments ever =)”

    There is hope for the youth of the world…….;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 28, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

  46. The picture isn’t mine actually, I found someone who had posted Rock en Seine pictures on Flickr – and the picture links to his account as a matter of courtesy…

    Comment by petite — August 28, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

  47. You know when you are starting to get old when you do lists identifying ways in which you are starting to get old.

    Comment by laurence — August 28, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

  48. Hi there!

    Can you help me to promote this challenge?

    I’m trying to post 1 Million Love Messages from All around The World in my Blog.

    Readers write and dedicate the message to someone special, send it by e-mail, and I post it in 1 Million Love Messages

    It’s a big challenge, I know.
    But I believe that everybody has something to say to someone special.

    I’ll wait for your visit and for your messages.
    Thanks for your attention and compliments from Portugal.

    Comment by 1millionlovemessages — August 29, 2006 @ 12:19 am

  49. Your really only as old as your children make you feel.
    Which can be ninety-five, or about five.

    Comment by Andrew — August 29, 2006 @ 12:37 am

  50. You know you are starting to get old when:

    You say, “Yes, New Order played a set at school after the A Level results for the pupils a bit older than me, just because Ian Curtis studied there.

    And Sumner never replied to anyone’s letters, the git.

    Comment by neil — August 29, 2006 @ 2:16 am

  51. Dave of the Lake:

    Lover of Stevie Ray Vaughan AND coffee?…*sigh*
    ’nuff said…

    (I’m a kicka** cook, easy on the eyes, ferociously intelligent and possess a wicked sense of humor)

    Marry me?

    Comment by Belle — August 29, 2006 @ 2:40 am

  52. @petite — I read your post again where (and what) is Glastonbury? I only know a Glastonbury, Connecticut.

    @Dora Pirate — they are sinfully good though and I don’t know how the smell of them (churros)could give 4 roses nausea, do you?

    Comment by Lost in France — August 29, 2006 @ 9:55 am

  53. I enjoyed a local music festival in Cornwall a few weeks ago. All my friends and our kids were there, we put up our tents, we chatted, we ate posh crisps, drank, ‘got down’ a bit to the music, then I waved goodbye to my husband, children and friends, left them to their chemical loos and tents and drove the five miles home to my beautiful house, king sized bed and goose feather duvet. Following morning I went back armed with the papers, pain aux chocolats and flasks of coffee. Suddenly I was everybody’s best friend. If that is getting older, I really don’t care..

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 29, 2006 @ 10:17 am

  54. The Glastonbury festival is the biggest UK outdoor festival – see here. I went in 1992,1993 and 1995 (I think).

    Comment by petite — August 29, 2006 @ 10:26 am

  55. You know you’re getting old when instead of boycotting the supermarket which was built on the site of the best festival you ever went to (first T in the Park) you go there every time you go back to visit your family so that you can stock up on cheap children’s- and adult’s- clothes.

    Comment by suziboo — August 29, 2006 @ 11:03 am

  56. I know exactly what you mean. This weekend I realised I must be getting old as I felt relieved not to be at Reading due to the rain!
    Shameful really.

    Love the blog!

    Comment by suburbelle — August 29, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

  57. Lost in France,
    The smell makes me sick because I’ve eaten too much of them. Churros are very oily (fried) and mixed up in sugar. The first one looks innocent, a “pêché mignon” (weakness), but be very carefull…
    But I don’t feel guilty with “beignets” (donuts), and I redeem the past with chocolate crêpes and belgian waffles.

    Comment by 4 roses — August 29, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

  58. Actually I knew I was getting old when the lads in Office all thought Bob Dylan was dead and I knew Dylan was getting old when I went to his gig. Wrote about it on me blog too under the heading ‘Bob, you go your way, I’ll go mine’ or some such thing. ;) You should ask the neigbours to move their micro to the other side. I am sure they won’t mind, assuming it’s not the chaud’eau you are hearing ;)

    Comment by warrior — August 29, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  59. “(I’m a kicka** cook, easy on the eyes, ferociously intelligent and possess a wicked sense of humor)

    Marry me?”

    LOLOLOL!!! Well thank you my dear I am honored, but as I am not Mormon, my wife may object…..:-(

    I was in Austin about 4 years ago visiting a friend, and I paid homage to SRV at his memorial down by the river. I then went to 6th Street and had a wonderful night of blues club hopping. In Sept., I will be starting guitar lessons, something I have been promising myself I would do for some time……

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 29, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

  60. Oh, and Belle, I ALWAYS keep my Starbucks card at the ready………;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 29, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

  61. You know you are getting old when…

    it takes you three days to get over staying up til 3 AM on the computer/reading/… and you are still too tired to bite back when your wife reminds you whose fault it is (‘Look in the mirror’) several times a day, every day.

    This from someone who has never been to a music festival, having been middle-aged from the age of 15.

    Comment by John M — August 29, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

  62. @ lost in france — I concur. Churros and nausea are oxymoronic. ;)

    Comment by dora pirate — August 30, 2006 @ 12:40 am

  63. Just got back from the Stones concert…WOW, absolutely amazing. Mick Jagger is sex personified, I know what I’ll be dreaming about tonight!

    Comment by Susannah — August 30, 2006 @ 1:45 am

  64. “…I went in 1992,1993 and 1995 (I think).”

    Love the (I think). Reminds me of the famous saying about the sixties – if you were *really* there, you wouldn’t remember it. I *think* I was there too!

    Comment by Andrew — August 30, 2006 @ 1:52 am

  65. My God, you can get Churros in France? LOL! One thing I really miss from elsewhere…


    Radiohead – looking a little tired now when compared to Muse?

    Morrisey – I love him, even though J. Marr’s long gone.


    Your observations of the physical aspect of being at a gig… spot on, really made me smile (and remember).

    The sights, the smells… :-)

    It’s Glasto next year! LOL!


    Comment by Trying Times — August 30, 2006 @ 9:58 am

  66. You know your old when your husband and 3 year old son go out to buy stuff for your birthday and, when asked what balloons he thinks mummy would like best, your son carefully considers the display and decides on ones that rather proudly proclaim “Happy Retirement!” Youre sure of your age when he insists that they are in fact the best ones for the occassion, refuses to put them down, and you get presented with them on the big day. And are obliged to show them to everyone who comes to visit.

    Comment by Whisper — August 30, 2006 @ 6:25 pm

  67. Dave Of The Lake:

    Thanks for letting me down easy, darlin’- you are clearly a gentleman…Long live the blues! (& Starbucks)

    Whisper: you’ve gone and done it now – you made me laugh so hard, I have a stomachache…Hope you’re happy!

    Petite: you’re not REALLY old until you find yourself in front of the television moaning indignantly “you’ve co-opted my youth!” whenever a much loved song (or 12)is used in a commercial…

    Comment by Belle — August 30, 2006 @ 11:54 pm

  68. Churros, mmm indeed!

    Sorry, that’s a pretty poor excuse for a first comment, but I’ve been devouring your blog for days now and it felt rude not to comment in some way to say hello! So, hello! I found your site after Dave Gorman mentioned you on his the other week.

    I’ve stayed because you talk about so many things I understand – I’ve found myself pointing at the screen going “yes!” at things. I used to live in Paris myself. Sadly no longer, but I’m sure one day I’ll be back.

    Anyway, great blog, I’m enjoying your archive and I’m sure I’ll be sticking around.

    Comment by flechesbleues — August 31, 2006 @ 12:39 am

  69. hey Dave, you *really* have nothing to worry about now–it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s appropriately enlightened =)

    Comment by emily — August 31, 2006 @ 7:24 am

  70. You know your old when you have seventy one candles on your birthday cake and your hair catches alight when you try and blow them out.

    Comment by Mildred — August 31, 2006 @ 10:55 am

  71. But I forgot to say….it doesnt matter because I still feel young at heart.

    Comment by Mildred — August 31, 2006 @ 11:03 am

  72. Aren’t Radiohead just wonderful performers!!! I saw them recently in Dublin and they are simply amazing.

    Keep doing what you are doing, Petite, we love it.

    Comment by ScaraBoo — August 31, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

  73. Yes, I agree with you about Radiohead, Scaraboo, I saw them with my daughter earlier this year at Wolverhampton and they were pretty darned good, they ended with a rendition of “Fake Plastic Trees” which was stunning.

    For best rock concert ever, though I’d have to go with the Bath Festival of 1970…Led Zeppelin, awesome, absolutely awesome!

    Comment by Susannah — August 31, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

  74. You know you’re getting old when you hear a song on the radio and say joyfully, ‘Oh, I remember this! Oh no, it’s a remix…the original was better’…
    *Claim to fame* Wait for it….
    **I actually saw the actual lead singer of Radiohead actually in my local Sainsbury’s in Oxford!!! (When they just started out but were really actually seriously good)**
    Love them. He had a trolleyful of fresh fruit and veg, as I remember. V.good example to beer-quaffing, kebab-gobbling students.

    Comment by Lucy-Jane — September 1, 2006 @ 9:49 am

  75. I saw Donny Osmond at the Apollo in Hammersmith. He was great.

    Comment by Wendy — September 1, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

  76. “Thanks for letting me down easy, darlin’- you are clearly a gentleman…”

    Sshh!…..Belle, you’ll ruin my reputation as
    an SOB ;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — September 1, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

  77. Belle: Yes I had a very happy retirement. With exclamation marks. Sorry to hear about your youth being co-opted, I’m sure the commercial people are just trying to bring back the classics….yep, I’m positive, that must be it…

    Comment by Whisper — September 1, 2006 @ 10:08 pm

  78. Soundtrack, “Tommy the cat”, PRIMUS live (rhinoplasty)

    Comment by Aymardo — September 2, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

  79. What is up with this? This is the SECOND blog I’ve read about Rock En Seine where someone contemplated if they were too old for this kind of thing.

    Perhaps the thing to do is think: Is the only band I truly want to see at said festival is the lead singer of a highly-regarded 80s synth band? If the answer is yes, then don’t go to the festival.

    The Dead 60s, DJ Shadow, The Raconteurs, Kasabian, Beck and Radiohead were awesome and it’s one of the best festivals I’ve been too.

    Comment by An American In Paris — September 3, 2006 @ 2:19 am

  80. Synth band – if you are referring to the Smiths then shame on you! Never heard of Johnny Marr?

    Comment by petite — September 3, 2006 @ 10:14 am

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