On a cloudy, sultry morning in a Paris suburb, The Winning Team makes its way to a double-secret rehearsal facility in another Paris suburb where two sea containers have arrived, intact from their loading in Regina all those weeks ago. We have plenty of local hands to help us get all the gear into our Parisian residence and by noon, it’s beginning to look like a Leonard Cohen setup. We’ll have no band today, nor will we see the face of the man who sponsors this whole affair; this is good for us, as it allows us to check over all the equipment with no deadline requiring it to be put into general use. There are amps to be maintained, strings to change, cables to loom and solder; vacuuming, tidying, troubleshooting, and sandwich-making; chucking out, pow’ring up, sorting out, and marking up.
On this, the first day, a ‘tech day’, as well as getting everything into performance order, I managed to swap out the power valves of and re-bias two amplifiers, change eight sets of strings (those nylon-stringed things are a bugger) and clean all the audio connections of the pedal-boards; It looks like we’re good to go. I’ve still a list of things to do, but the above was enough for one day; we’ll have a few hours each of the next few mornings to finish the little projects.
When 7pm rolled around, after the rains, after the sustained period of rumbling thunder in the sky, the air had cooled, and many of us were itching to shut up shop and grab a bite to eat. We left our double-secret nuclear test facility for the the single-secret accommodation facility after a productive first day of dotting is and crossing Ts.