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There's a Place Called France: Where the drunken Frenchmen dance. According to photographic evidence from The Devil Makes Three's recent tour, this is what they look like.

The Devil Makes Brie

In order to cleanse his soul for their June 26 Catalyst show, guest columnist Cooper McBean tells all in a diary of The Devil Makes Three's recent tour of France.

We went to France during the month of May. We played 17 shows over the course of 3 1/2 weeks and did all sorts of exciting things that there isn't room to talk about. So here is the abridged version of our trip to France. We'll just have to save the stories of playing to the Turkish Mafia in an Irish pub, making fun of Canadians in Normandy and passing out in a ditch in the middle of nowhere for a later date.

May 13 - Le Fantomas

I'm nervous and hung over. Tonight we play our first show of the tour at a little club called Le Fantomas. It's a cool little bar, but I still am afraid people won't like us.

Silly me. This turns out to be one of the best shows of the whole tour. The club is packed, people are screaming and dancing, and we play our asses off. It just doesn't get much better than that.

May 14 - Le Tout a Fond

The biggest show of the tour is a festival in a big circus tent outside of Toulouse. As we begin our sound check, I have a horrible realization. Before we got here, I didn't think it could possibly get any harder to communicate with a sound guy. Now we don't even speak the same language. Needless to say, the sound sucks.

We are all pretty nervous and on edge, what with the bad sound, big crowd, and the language barrier, so we do what we do best: drink beer and play music in the middle of a dirt parking lot. We get a chance to hear the other bands practicing, too, and we stick out like a sore thumb. Everybody else is playing this weird reggae/circus/rock with lots of horns. Now we are really nervous.

Our set goes pretty well. Half of the crowd seem to really like it. The other half just stand there and stare at us like we are from another planet. We don't sell any CDs at the show, but on the way home I learn something very important. You can drink in the car in France. I'm home.

June 2 - Paris

We are playing in a squat in an old hospital tonight, but there is a minor problem. Nobody was told that we were coming. We load the stuff into a tiny concrete room as the people who live there yell at each other in French. There is a huge puddle in the corner, and wires hanging off of the ceiling. I have a really bad feeling about this.

But miraculously, the guys clean the place up, set up a bar, cook us dinner, get us drunk, and invite us to stay the night. The show is awesome. I can't believe that people think the French are jerks. I've never met nicer people in my life.

We were all crushed when it was time to leave, but duty calls. And besides, we're going back next year. And we're opening for Motorhead. Awesome.

Cooper McBean

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From the June 23-30, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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