Tour diaries: soso & Maybe Smith in France

Editor’s note – Troy Gronsdahl aka soso, a Saskatoon-based musician, producer, poet, artist and all-around gentle soul, is off gallivanting about in France for Les Transmusicales Music Festival from Dec. 3 to 4, which features several international artists as well as local electro fop Maybe Smith.

Mr. Gronsdahl has been kind enough to send us his tour diaries, which will hopefully detail his shows, getting wine drunk in the afternoon and the continued absurdity of Saskatchewan indie talents encroaching on the rest of the world.

Part 2.

Kütu Folk is the little label that could. They’ve parlayed a series of limited edition, hand-sewn releases into major European distribution, mainstream press coverage and an unprecedented week long run at the Transmusicale Festival. They’ve arranged for exclusive use of the performance space for the week, including a full service kitchen, a staff of audio and light technicians, and have assembled a cast of twenty musicians for a collaborative set featuring songs from each of the participating bands. This extraordinary feat of organization requires a bit of strict scheduling and well-meaning ball busting.

We’ve spent a couple of very long and weary days of rehearsal, performing for school children, festival organizers, invited media. My sweaty pits have been diligently documented by a hired photographer who has been shooting hours and hours of video and still photography. There is one particularly unflattering picture of me in the local paper bellowing out gang vocals. In the meantime, however, we’ve sorted out a lovely live interpretation of Hungover for Three Days Straight with Hospital Ships, Maybe Smith, and the Delano Orchestra. They also brought in a small string section, I assume, to make my music sound more credible. It’s a very sweet rendition.

The venue, though perfectly equipped and staffed with the most hospitable folks I’ve met, is a bit out of the way. During short breaks from the dark (and smoky) performance space, we’ve explored the immediate area on foot — a neat little suburban development located adjacent to the Rennes airport. After two very full days of rehearsal, Colin and I happily took the opportunity to bus into the city centre with our new pals, Taylor Holenbeck from Hospital Ships and Jonus and Sylvie of Evening Hymns. We gawked at cathedrals and ate churros in the square, returning in time for one more pre-show rehearsal.

Click here for photos of Les Transmusicales Music Festival.