Friday, 17 August 2012
On the campsite in Bretagne (sorry if you're getting bored of 'what I did on my holidays') I saw two bands play. Just before they stuck the Olympics closing ceremony up on a big screen in the sportsbarn a Breton band played on the basketball court. Breton culture is very celtic so this threepiece had mandolins, tin whistles and a one horned bagpipe thing as well as guitars. Second song in I started singing along to something I recognised (they sang in French, or Breton more likely). After the first chorus I realised it was a cover of The Pogues' Streams Of Whiskey, which they followed with Sally MacLennan (sung in English, with a French accent). Later on they did A Pair Of Brown Eyes and a rather affecting version of Thousands Are Sailing. Then we all decamped to the sportsbarn for the closing ceremony. As the Kronenbourg kicked in and the scooters charged across the Olympic stadium to the sound of Pinball Wizzard, and people cheered images of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah, it all felt very peculiar and for the first time, almost ever, I felt a pang of being patriotic (and not in a following the England football team way but a newer, modern British, multicultural, left-of-centre kind of way. Let's see how long this lasts).
Thousands Are Sailing