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 4.

All the anxiety that accumulated over the day was alleviated during the show. The venue was filled to capacity and I think my clumsy French was sufficiently charming. French audiences seem particularly well suited to my slow, melodic songs – they are respectful, engaged and seem genuinely interested in music. Getting them to jump around or clap along to a song is a bit more of a challenge but I’ll take a patient and curious listener over a rowdy crowd any day.

I inadvertently did an encore fake out when I walked back on stage to grab my jacket. I’ll have to remember that trick. I had a quick interview with a French journalist between sets and took the stage for the finale. I channeled Band Swap type energy into our Kütu group set, bruising my thigh with an over enthusiastic sleigh bell performance (rookie mistake). Champagne and still more beers followed; the venue was incredibly hospitable. We were spoiled all week with quiche and roast chicken and lamb and gâteau aux poires and the most delicious cheeses and breads. I’m gonna miss this place.

Sunday was our last scheduled performance. The collective energy was pretty low following the success of our previous evening. I was not expecting much from the show and was pleasantly surprised by another great turnout. I did my best to grind out a meaningful performance. A couple of small fuck ups thankfully went unnoticed. Colin really killed it. We mingled with fans after the show and signed a few autographs. I made amends with the aforementioned band (they are very, very nice). We sold out of my CD at the merch table. I said farewell to most of my new music pals and retired to my little suite in the attic feeling content and very proud.

The next morning I said my final adieu to the few staff people still kicking around and the primary Kütu organizer, Alex. He gave me a copy of the popular French daily, Libération – in the festival recap I received props for the best performance in the festival. Incroyable!

I’d like to thank my homie, Maybe Smith, for lending me music cred and patiently enduring the first world hardships of tour. I’d like to thank all my new pals at Kütu Folk, the skilled and friendly cast of musicians, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board who offset my travel expenses through their appropriately named Travel Grant program. Merci beaucoup! See you at Amigos on December 23rd with Slow Down, Molasses and Shooting Guns.