MIDEM ’09: Day 1, Part 2

Sunday night

Well, Day One wasn’t a bad start. Johnny turned up right on time and we chatted for about an hour. Things haven’t gone as well for him, though; Delta Airlines seem to have sent his luggage to some other country, so he’s having to conduct his business meetings with no product to give to people. He’s only got one day left, so we’re praying his bags do turn up…

Johnny confirmed what I’d been thinking about this year’s MIDEM and have overheard a few other people say about it; it’s a lot less busy than usual. It’s been scaled down (four days instead of a week) and fewer people have come. Just as long as we’ve got the quality, I’ll be happy, I think. Had my first look round the exhibition area after my chat with Johnny. As far as picking up contacts for the radio show goes, it was a bit disappointing. I did meet one guy at the South Africa stand who gave me his card and a few CDs. Now I’m listening to the CDs and not liking them at all. They’re all house music… and they’re terrible! Don’t get me wrong; I’ve got nothing against house music from Africa when it’s done right (the Martin Solveig remix of “Madan” by Salif Keita is absolutely brilliant – as is just about every track on Afroganic’s album). This just sounded very badly made. On the other hand, the Vallenato and Reggaeton tracks on the Urban sampler I got from one of the American companies exhibitingg were so good, I’m tempted to go back there tomorrow and grab a few more copies. Good music needs to be shared! Oh, never mind; I’m sure there’ll be more people (and better music) tomorrow.

I wasn’t in the mood to learn a new route home tonight, so I spent about 40 minutes at the PRS For Music cocktail party in the Martinez Hotel and then headed for Rue de Serbes to get the bus home. The train runs a lot later than 8pm or whenever the last bus is – but I just wanted an early night. I was beginning to feel really tired.

I’ve now had a proper look at the contents of my MIDEM bag and am holding in my hands a pre-release copy of Hello Kitty’s debut album (that’s right – Hello Kitty, the Japanese cartoony thingy loved by girls all over the world). I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. But one thing’s for certain: I’m not listening to it right now. I’ve had more than enough sugar for one day.

Bizarre/mildly amusing (in a “so-wrong” way) sight of the night: a couple looking the other way as their beautiful white poodle had a wee on the Louis Vuitton shop window. I’m sure there’s some deep anti-materialism message being made there somewhere…

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