When we arrived in Geneva at our lovely hosts place I had expectations of seeing Geneva and spending time with Carol and Paolo and listening to their story (I love the way the French call it a story). I did not expect to be hanging out at the Montreux Jazz Festival, walking past a bronzed dedication to Freddie Mercury (Queen) and standing on that famed “Lake Geneva shoreline”. It’s that awesome feeling you get when something happens that you weren’t expecting.
For me this was a “High Coup”. I was standing where the guys from Deep Purple (a band I have loved since my childhood) had been hanging out almost 45 years previously and written “Smoke on the Water” This was in fact the first piece of music I had ever learned to play on the electric bass some 36 years ago.
Walking along the foreshores of Lake Geneva in Montreux tonight is a very exciting and very different experience. The people were bustling around each other and there is a serious amount of enthusiasm in the air. We had decided to come down here as it was a place that I had always wanted to go and I was really looking forward to standing in front of the Grand Hotel.
The sun was setting in the distance and the moon was low in the sky. The night was warm and the music was everywhere. I was walking through the foreshore crowds at the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival. This was a place I had dreamed about when studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. It was a place of legend and so many of the great players I admired as a young musician.
But I was here and I was ready to take in the sights and sounds of the place. The people were dressed in their coolest of cool and they were looking good. The lake is lined with dance tents, restaurants and food stalls. The music is loud and it makes you want to move your body…….but it ain’t jazz…..it ain’t fusion and it ain’t what I would call great, but anyways opinions are like arses….everyone has one.
I know the previous statement sounds negative but I was truly disappointed in the music I was hearing at this iconic festival. It is, from all indications there and then……just another festival now and what was once apparently a truly incredible and unforgettable experience, was now a street festival with a few venues that were extremely expensive to buy tickets for months in advance and sold out months in advance.
I did enjoy myself incredibly wandering through the crowd and seeing what people were eating and wearing and the experience overall was not a negative one. We had an awesome night, the beer was great, the pizza incredible and the vibe was wonderful…….
Unfortunately we didn’t experience any great jazz, but we were part of a wonderful experience that only happens when “we all come down to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline”.
I would highly recommend visiting this fine city and hanging out at the festival.
Click Here………it’s the reason I wanted to come here in the first place.