I recently found myself in France visiting my daughter and, as I stood looking over the river Somme in the beautiful city of Amiens, I thought it might be nice to have a stab at writing a song in French. Standing in such a beautiful place tends to put a chap in the mood, but what kind of song should it be? I was pondering this when, much to my surprise, I caught sight of my friend Aldo Sachs, the band’s alto sax player sauntering along the river bank towards me. He seemed in remarkably good spirits and the story he told me soon revealed why.
Followers of the band will be aware that none of us is what you might call lucky in love. The romantic travails of guitarist Dee Sharpe in particular have been detailed elsewhere, as have those of drummer Kit Bashir. This tends to give some of our music a bit of a melancholic tinge. How nice, therefore, to find inspiration in a happy tale.
Five years ago, before joining the band, Aldo met and fell in love with a beautiful young street musician at the very spot at which I stood. Their careers took them to separate corners of the earth but, as they said their tearful farewells, they vowed to meet again by the banks of the Somme five years to the day from when they parted. As I watched, a dark haired beauty caught sight of Aldo from across the bridge and, dropping her cello, ran, crying with joy, into his arms. A tear formed in my eye too, and this song formed in my head as the lovers embraced. Aldo was too emotional to play the saxophone, and he’d left it in his hotel room anyway, so he held the mic, but Marie retrieved her cello from where she’d dropped it and joined in during the instrumental break.