Day 10 – April 18th


with Al ‘Carnival Time’ Johnson @ FQF


We are up late again. Sort of becoming a habit, this getting up late.

Found a place we had not been to before for a late breakfast. Petite Amelie on Royal Street. Reminds me a little of Envies, the staff are very friendly. I went for a smoked salmon BLT bagel. An interesting combination but believe me it works.

We sort of just hung around for most of the day and then headed out at 4:30 for the free music at Lafayette Square. Couldn’t ask for a better night weather wise. I grabbed a Creole Cream Ale and we settled in for the first band – Darcy Malone and the Tangle – Darcy is the daughter/niece of New Orleans music greats Dave Malone and Tommy Malone.

This paragraph is for Melanie, Kate, Cara, Zac, Madden and Gumbo. Your mum/granny has just come back to me from buying herself a spicy pulled port po-boy!

The main act tonight is the legendary Wayne Toups. Wayne has been melding Zydeco and Rock for decades. I have not seen him perform live before, but I am sure glad I have now. Real entertaining, a fantastic band of highly talented musicians.

I love coming down to Lafayette Square on a Wednesday evening. It is pretty much all locals out to enjoy Louisiana music in all its myriad forms. I know this is a local crowd and there ain’t anyone here wearing beads. Such a great community/family feel. People greeting friends, walking dogs, little kids, plenty of food and cold beverages. New Orleanians enjoying their city in all its glory. I spotted a guy I have been seeing for years at gigs and concerts. We just sort of nodded to each other. He would be older than me with a grey beard and long grey hair tied back. He came back our way after five or so minutes and stopped for a chat. Introduced himself as John and asked where we were from. He picked up on our accent and knew we were Australian. Turns out he is English (Muswell Hill), not that I could pick his U.K accent. He told us he came to New Orleans in 1977 for Mardi Gras and never went home! Of all things, he wanted to talk cricket. He knew all about the Steve Smith, Warner and Bancroft ball tampering debacle. He wasn’t being smart about it though, in fact, he thought they had been hard done by. He gets all his cricket information online.

A guy just went past with a trolley ‘the roving anti-trump bandwagon’. I’m onboard that one.

Wednesday night after the music is my traditional casino night. We lost $40 but it took a long time and Wendy took advantage of the free Margaritas. I think she is getting a little tipsy. We decided to bar hop home (as you do in New Orleans) We called into a Mexican bar (Felipe’s) and walked into Kermit Ruffins as he was coming out with his take-out. I told him we were Facebook friends and he was cool to talk to. Hopefully, we will get to his bar next Monday. Wendy got talking to a guy from Boston who works for the Brewer Samuel Adams. He is in town for a convention. Nice guy, he gave us his email address and if we are ever in Boston he wants to show us around the Brewery.

Time to move on and we called into Johnny White’s. A favourite drinking hole of Pat and Bobs. Out friend the barman (Evil Bob not to be confused as Pat’s Bob) greeted us like long lost friends. Wendy had a Fireball to end the night and we headed home.

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