Your Lux In


“Serge Gainsbourg – you might know him… he’s a famous French composer?”

Greg Lami’s got a tough crowd tonight, at least when it comes to their musical knowledge. I think I’m the only customer in the Von Krahl bar who knows who Serge Gainsbourg is. Then again, I only really know him for his duet J’Taime with Jane Birkin.

And I’d certainly never heard of Greg Lami before this evening, but I was determined to at least experience a little culture on this trip, rather than struggling to remember any of it through a haze of beer. Greg is one of a trio of jazz musicians entertaining us this evening, assisted by Paulo Simoes on guitar and Marc Demuth on bass. It’s the kind of laid back set that really requires a roll neck sweater and a large cigar to be properly appreciated. But I’ve never really looked good in a roll neck.

Greg Lami (right) with Marc Demuth on bass and Paulo Simoes on guitar

It’s useful that Greg’s band are from Luxembourg, because they announce each song in English, making the whole set easier to understand, for me at least.

After the performance I discover that Paulo is quite a fan of Serge Gainsbourg. “The guy was so f***ed up – he was crazy, man. Did you know, he bought the rights to the Marseilles just so he could do a reggae version? The establishment – they didn’t like that!”
I’m sure they didn’t. But Paulo’s got more. “And then, in the Eighties, he was on a French chat show the first time that Whitney Houston appeared. The host asked him what he thought of Whitney – meaning her singing – but he just said he’d like to f**k her.she didn’t even know what he’d said, because she didn’t speak French.”
Who says you don’t learn stuff from a music gig?
It was a good way to end the evening, and at last the rain had stopped. My journey to Von Krahl has basically involved a new form of walking, which was akin to swimming. Seriously, Tallin’s Rainy Season is really starting to annoy me. The route was only brightened up by the discovery of Kompressor – a roomy bar in an old building full of students and extremely cheap and filling pancakes. And I also passed DM Bar, making a careful note of its location.
It’s an entire bar dedicated to Depeche Mode. I kid you not. More of that to follow….

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