North Carolina, Washington DC & the Outer Banks

It took me 11 years to come back to the US. I still don’t know why it took me so long!

In less than 2 weeks I went through 3 different states : North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland.

During this time I was able to enjoy the “American way of life”, like celebrating Halloween, eating in diners, houses with their porch and rocking chairs …

The trip starts in Hillsborough, NC. A town that has about 3 centuries of history where native Americans and Spanish once lived. Tribes such as Occaneechi and Eno were living in this area when European started to arrive. At the beginning of the 18th Century, Occaneechi leave Hillsborough to move to Virginia. Some 20 years ago, an archaology team excavated a Occaneechi farming village, a replica is now built around the original site near the Eno River.

Next : Durham, NC with the Duke University which is a famous private research university. It is ranked as one of the world’s top 20 universities. Tim Cook – Apple’s CEO – studied there.
Back in Hillsborough to get ready for Halloween! I need to go and pick my pumpkin for the next day.

Back in Durham, to wander in the American Tobacco District, a factory complex and national historic district which is now part of a large urban renewal to bring back residents, businesses and shoppers in the area.
At a walking distance from it, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Durham’s baseball team).
Back in Hillsborough to find my Halloween costume to be able to Treat or Trick in the evening. First time for me carving a pumpkin and expose it outside.
Once again I feel as if I am living in an American movie. Children are all dressed up wandering in the streets with parents or friends. 

Raleigh, NC will be the next city to visit. It’s the State’s capital, second biggest city after Charlotte.
Raleigh is part of “The Triangle” together with Chapel Hill and Durham. 

In the evening, the road trip will begin, first stop : Richmond, VA. 
After an “American breakfast” in a tiny diners, I wanted to pop in Kay Scarpetta’s city (she is Patricia Cornwell’s main character, and I am a huge fan of her books), as I wanted to see what the city I read about looks like. 
A quick visit of Richmond before heading to Washington DC, driving by the Pentagon to go then to Arlington Cemetery. It’s been years I want to go and see John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s grave, and I discovered a cemetery way larger than I first thought!
This cemetery has been created after the Civil War, about 300 000 nations victims are buried there.
The Memorial Amphitheater has hosted States funerals and other ceremonies. The Tomb of the Unknown is located in front of it. 
Once arrived at the hotel, a well deserved walk downtown to go and see the White House (which is now known as a “nice wee place” in my own judgement as I was expecting a bigger building due to its fame) and then the National Mall.

A nice French breakfast (yes, I can’t help myself!) to get ready for a long day of walking! Back at the White House, and at the National Mall. 
Started at the Washington Monument, then the Lincoln Memorial. 
When walking by the Reflecting Pool to the Memorial, I couldn’t help myself but thinking of these movies taken place there (the first one that came to my mind was Forrest Gump). 
At the top of the stairs, seeing this large statue of Lincoln really astonished me! Then I turn around to see this view over the National Mall, and the view is as astonishing !
Next is the Capitol which is 3km walk away (about 2 miles). 
I would have liked to get inside but as it was Sunday I wasn’t that lucky. 
Behind the Capitol is the Supreme Court, where the sunset gave to this white building some warm colours. 

Some souvenirs bought, it’s time to head to Chesapeake, VA. 

The next day is a change in the scenery, I swapped buildings and concret for green landscapes and the Ocean. The Outer Banks. This strings that stretches from Virginia to North Carolina.
A walk on the beach where 2 whales decided to swim off shore, then a quick walk on one of the piers where fishermen were busy. 
The Outer Banks aren’t only known here for its beachfront but also thanks to the Wright Brothers who experimented in 1903 in Kill Devil Hills the first controlled flight. This is why “First in Flight” is a bragging point in North Carolina. 
On the way back to Hillsborough I experience my first Brew Drive. This is a shop you can buy any alcohol … without leaving your car … yes, you are in the USA 🙂.

Last day in Hillsborough, done some geocaching to visit the town a different way, that’s how I went to Alexander Dickson’s House which serves as a Visitor Center and an Office Space for the Alliance of Historic Hillsborough. 

Below a video I did to quickly sum up this trip that I really enjoyed !



Scottish Wedding …

On February 3rd 2018 I was honoured to be a guest at John & Tracey’s wedding

A lovely sunny day at the Waterside Hotel in West Kilbride helped the lovely young couple get some beautiful souvenirs of their day

Official pictures by Stuart Kennedy for The Image Village

Trip to St Martin – SXM

St Martin aka “SXM”. The union between France and The Netherlands … It’s not a french island, nor a dutch one neither. A multinational and multicultural island.

(clic on pictures to enlarge)

My journey started under a grey scottish sky to a stopover in a cold Paris and another one in a tropical heat in Point à Pitre to end in Grand Case and enjoy a sunset from a high point of view!
Capture d'écran 2016-03-15 08.45.48

Discovery of Orient Bay under the clouds but it didn’t last long to be able to enjoy the warm colors of Friar’s Bay.

Philipsburg, the dutch capital, and a short stop at Maho Beach, THE touristic attraction with Juliana airport just litteraly just behind the beach. Wee stop in Mullet Bay with its beautiful beach behind a golf court.

A cruise on a catamaran with Scoobi Doo. A day to explore Tintamare Island, a an uninhabited island off the northern tip of St Martin with a splendid underwater marine life and then sailing to Rendezvous Bay, one of Anguilla’s world renowned white sand beaches. Such a great relaxing day!

Pic Paradis walk up to highest spot of St Martin (424m) to enjoy a great scenery. Then lunch “on the beach” to end a day trying to catch a sunset! Unfortunately missed but Gallisbay was beautiful at that time of the day!

A ride on a jetski in the morning at Jet Extreme on Nettle Bay and a walk at Trou David.

Next to Trou David you can find ruins of a former 5* hotel “La Belle Creole” devastated by a hurricane. The hotel was meant to be bought again and renovated but that never happened. It’s now more a squat and been sacked.

Tropical Storm alert day … Wee wander in Grand Case (where a flea market was meant to be but cancelled due to high winds …)

Gallion Bay, the beach is surrounded by a coral reef ind the calmest crystal clear waters on the island. It is also a popular hangout for surfing, kite-boarding, and windsurfing enthusiasts!

Two early morning days to try to get the best sunrise over the sea on Orient Bay … but on both days clouds decided to stay over Green Cay.

Once again, a huge thank you to my cousin Cyrille and Magali 🙂

P!NK – Paris, Bercy – 17/04/2013


Some gigs are just like that : You don’t have to wonder if you want to go or not … you just go!
P!NK is one of them. After 3 gigs (I’m not Dead Tour 2006, Funhouse Tour 2009, Carnival Summer Tour 2010), it was obvious I would go for the Truth About Love Tour !
I choose to go to Paris as no dates were picked for Glasgow for her UK Tour !

We arrived at the venue at 1pm and the queue was already massive ! Luckily it was a sunny day !
I notice that the security guys are more organised than they were years ago and it’s good !

Around 4.30pm everybody start to stand up, at 5pm they were giving the VIP passes to the 1st ones who were queuing (so basically if you paid your ticket 300€ you will be surrounded in the VIP area by lots of people who paid only 60€ but queued early !). At 6.30pm we are finally in the venue ! I check where to go and choose to go in the middle …

8pm, time for the supporting act. Walk the Moon. A band from Ohio, USA who well deserved to be there as they were really good !!
After them the audience try to do a mexican wave, wasn’t a long one but enough to warm up everybody I think.

Suddenly a guy was walking down the seated area, play with the audience, once on the left side of the arena, then appearing on the right side in a blink of an eye ! He will entertain the audience in his own way … When we realise he is part of the show ! Like hosting it ! He introduced P!NK and we can see her on the big screen as if she was part of the audience and invited to go on stage. And then … The show starts ! It’s 9pm.

The setlist ? Too short for me … but only for me … I am happy she mixed old songs to new ones. It was unexpected but well done !

P!nk Setlist Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, Paris, France 2013, The Truth About Love Tour

As usual, it was a gig that worthed the price, the wait and everything ! Before the gig I decided not to watch any videos, pictures, read any reviews … I just knew or thought she would do some moves (like on “So What” I was sure what she would do as she did it during the Carnival Summer Tour, she usually takes some things from her previous tours).
She arrived up in the air, and she kind of introduce her show. “Try” is as beautiful as “Glitter in the Air” was during the Funhouse Tour. “Sober” as stunning as always … No net or anything ! Only a wee mattress in case she or her dancers would fall !
Since she played in Manchester she is on the piano for “The Great Escape” asking us to turn so we wouldn’t look at her and she wouldn’t make any mistake when playing … as if ! But she did make a mistake but that made her look at the audience who was holding in the air a sheet of paper given earlier in the day when queueing by 2 Fan Clubs. It was written on it “We Love You … Merci”.
I was wondering which cover she was doing on this tour. I had my answer with the beautiful “Wicked Game” and “Fire and Rain”.
Her (virtual) duet on “Just give me a reason” was as beautiful as the video clip !
She will end the show with a stunning “So What”. She was just flying in Bercy, going from the stage to the end of the arena, on the right, on the left, right up in the middle of it … everywhere. A way for her to say to everybody “I own the place!”. But this way everybody could enjoy to see her closer !
This show never stops, she never stops … mixing old and new songs, calm and energic moments … She is close to her audience, not hesitating to lay down on the stage, grabing hands, signing arms, kissing fans …
When the show stops you just want one thing : Go to another one (well … in my opinion !)

Since the gig I keep checking Youtube, looking at my pictures, uploading my videos … So here they are :
* My pictures :

* A friend’s pictures : Lynet Photos

* A mix of videos (mine and some I thought were really good as well) :

Crédits & Infos :
* Walk the Moon : Official Website

* Lynet Photos : Website

* Youtube Videos : – My videosLauubill’s Videos

Heather Peace – Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow – 16/03/2013

Heather Peace … It’s not as if it’s the 1st time I’m writting something about her on here … 🙂
After a tour in Australia and some episodes for Waterloo Road, she’s back in UK for a new tour.
I was happy some months ago to know that her supporting act would be Red Sky July (Ally McErlaine, Texas guitar player, is part of the trio).
A mix of 2 bands that can surprise a lot but I found it really good.
The audience was mostly discovering Red Sky July but it seems that at the end a lot liked them !
Obviously when Heather Peace arrived on stage, she was cheerfully welcomed.

Right at the beginning she said that she wouldn’t perform covers and there would be some new songs too.

– You Make Me Pay

– Fight For

– My Way Only

– Better Than You

– Thank God for You

– Sabotage

I miss some as I don’t have the full setlist.
As per the new songs there was :

– The Darkest Day of Your Life

– Broken Hearts

And again I miss some … but this time because I forgot the titles 😛

At the end of the concert, as always, we are getting a good entertaining cover. This time she chose a Diana Ross song :

I’m coming out

That was a really good concert, one of the best one I would say. You can notice that the band is now getting on well together and you can feel it.

If you want more videos, LittleJuke01 has got quite some … have a look on Youtube

My pictures :

Tanita Tikaram, Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow – 22/01/2013

Everybody knows this song :

Yes, way back in the late 80s, 1988 to be more precise.
For me it’s a journey back in my music memories, the one I was building …
When I checked Celtic Connections program I didn’t hesitate too long ! I knew I would go !

It’s now D-Day, and I see myself welcoming her at the hotel I work ! That was a surprise, good one though!
I managed to tell her that I was going to the gig in the evening … 😛

The gig is at the Mitchell Library. I never thought I would have found a small venue in it. Was a good venue for that kind of gig !
Al Lewis, supporting act, welsh man who lives in London, alone on stage with is mic and guitar.
Easy listening, peaceful music and voice. I don’t think I can find other words to describe him.
That was my 1st time I could listen to a song sang in welsh 🙂 … he’s got his last song which is broadcast on Radio 2 …

A 15min break and the audience is giving Tanita Tikaram a warm welcome. With her on stage a double bass player, a guitarist/pianist, and a saxophonist.
The gig starts and you can feel a smooth and voluptuous atmosphere coming ….

Setlist :

* Good Tradition
* World Outside my Window
* Dust on My Shoes
* My Love
* Play me again
* He likes the sun
* Science
* Cathedral
* Light up the world
* One Kiss
* Valentine Heart
* Rock N’Roll
* All things to You
* Twist in my Sobriety
* Can’t go Back
* I can’t Give you anything but Love
* Love is in the air (reprise)
* Make the Day

I would categorize the gig a bit jazzy, pop and folk at the same time.
Tanita is introducing each song by an explaning the meaning of it. It’s a musical journey full of love, unhappy love affair, hope.

I am discovering (again) this artist live, and I liked it from the beginning. I know that I would go to another gig easily.
A gifted artist with a deep voice … you just want to listen to it.

I had my camera with me, but I was more captivated by the music than thinking to take pictures …

Tanita Tikaram : Official Website
Al Lewis : Official Website
Photos : Bénédicte Beugnet

Heather Peace – Fairytales Tour 2012

Heather Peace, no need to introduce her anymore here … Standing away from her acting in Lip Service, her new album “Fairytales” is now out and she promoted it while doing a UK Tour which ended sold out between Glasgow, Bristol, Bradford, Leeds and London among other places …

I went to the gigs in Glasgow and London and you can find my pictures here :
* Glasgow
* London

If you want to watch some good videos from the two gigs you can have a look at LittleJuke01‘s vids ;-).


The album is on sale on, or on iTunes.
If you want to know her latest news : Heather Peace Official Website or Heather Peace Official Facebook Page

Gemma Hayes – Glasgow, 31/03/12

Gemma Hayes

It’s been a while I haven’t been to a concert which is not Heather Peace or Jill Jackson.
For this one, Jessica and Caro travelled from Paris to come with me to Gemma Hayes‘ gig.

Jessica made me discover some years ago Gemma’s music. I always said I quite liked it but never pay enough attention I would say … I was maybe too into some other kind of music, I don’t know. But I must admit that when Jessica told me about this gig in Glasgow I didn’t hesitate and said yes to go. Was the same for Jessica and Caro! 😛
Meanwhile I introduced Gemma’s music to Helen and she said ok to come as well to the gig.

Gemma will be on stage, alone, with her backing vocal / co musician. It will be an intimate gig.
As soon as it started I knew I would like her voice and songs.
Instead of talking about it I prefer you to listen to her music …

We had this little personal banter about her so called friend Willy, who inspired her for her song “Oliver”.

That was a good moment for me to take my camera again with me …

It was a really good evening, good sound, happy to have now her album as I really like it, maybe going to this gig help me 😉
Links :
* Official Website : Gemma Hayes
* Facebook : Facebook