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Phespirit goes to France
Lille     November 1999

A long weekend in Lille - cheap and cheerful, taking Eurostar from London Waterloo - provided Phespirit with opportunities to enjoy live music, displaced art and varied shopping.

The live music came courtesy of the atrociously-named "Inrockuptible" festival, playing the Aeronef venue in Lille. For a mere 90F Phespirit revelled in renewing his acquaintance with Pavement and The Flaming Lips, with a fine introduction to Muse into the bargain. Of course, The Flaming Lips were visually, aurally and creatively way, way up in the Empyrean compared to the rest of the field, whilst Muse were sufficiently Jeff Buckley-esque to warrant a T-shirt purchase.

At the Palais Des Beaux-Arts, Phespirit appreciated the resident flagship works by Rubens, Goya and assorted Flemish and French artists, but particularly enjoyed a guest exhibition of works from Finland - "L'Horizon Inconnu" - featuring gorgeous works such as 'Démasquée'. A number of the landscapes on show reproduced beautiful scenes of snow, rivers and fjords in a uniquely Nordic light entirely alien to the works of more renowned artists from southern Europe. All very interesting and unusual.

As for shopping, Phespirit returned home laden with: the Muse T-shirt, CDs by Muse and The Flaming Lips, an art catalogue (unfortunately in French), and a nice bottle of Moët & Chandon pink champagne. Well pleased.

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