So what’s a group of AMers to do to kick off the evening after a day near the beach ? A friendly competition to test their music knowledge of course !
Spiritualized/Olivier and his family sure know how to make you feel at home ! Freshly arrived in one of those gorgeous houses you can only see in fortified cities from the south of France, we were greeted with a formidable patchwork of cheeses, snacks and “charcuterie” (a much nicer saying than “deli meat” or “cold cut” imo), assembled by Olivier’s youngest daughter Amélie.
Obviously, competitors need to be hydrated, so Olivier had arranged fine wine for the group and, as I’m not a big wine drinker, some dark Belgian beer for myself. The cherry on top, much to Moonbeam’s delight, arrived a bit later in the form of a gorgeous cheese platter.
So, how do you go on organizing a music quiz between music buffs ?
First, you need a music selection that would be specialized enough for the experts gathered here, but also eclectic not to give an edge to anyone… For most people that would have been hard to come by, but thanksfully we had the perfect source : AM ! We could have gone with various playlists, but agreed on using Rob’s awesome “A Taste of Acclaimed Albums” playlist (randomized of course).
Next, we needed rules : we considered going for 1 point for the artist, 1 for the song and 2 for the year, but checking the year for each song ended up too much of a hassle for our very game referee, Amelie, who had the spotify playlist as the sole source of answers. For some reason we didn’t consider using the album as a bonus answer, so we stuck with artist and song and a few additional courtesy rules to make the game go smooth.
Finally, teams had to be set. Since we were already seated on sofas, we decided to go one sofa = one team.
On your left, hailing from Paris and Sydney, the New Power Generation, Nicolas and Moonbeam.
On the middle, an Hispano-French coalition, the Young and the Wise, Honorio and myself.
On your left, from the cold Northern part of Europe, the Ice Ice Babies, Henrik and Dan.
In the back, the lone ranger, the one man band, Olivier, who needed to keep an eye on the backstage operation and had to come and go.
The battle was respectful but intense, with everybody getting his time to shine, from Moonbeam’s wildest guess of Sun Ra to Honorio’s mastery of Brazilian deep cuts. Even the seven of us together couldn’t find every answer though, and it quickly appeared that jazz would be our weak point, despite Dan & Honorio’s audacious strategy to shout “Bill Evans” whenever we got stuck on a song of this genre.
We probably could have gone all night long, but it had to stop at some point and we settled on giving the win to whichever team would get to 100 first, and I am proud to say that Honorio and I took home the metaphorical trophy !
That’s when we learned that while we already had filled our bellies with cheese and snacks, there was actually more food to come, and headed to the kitchen to eat a delicious meal of pasta and meatballs crafted by Luc, Olivier and Clare’s son. And champagne ! And more wine and beer ! And desserts ! And more warm discussions and laughters !
And the evening wasn’t even finished yet !