Lees sister Mitsu is married to Stephane and lives in Paris. Stephanes brother, Jerome, turned 40 this week end and to celebrate he played a gig with his band Lee Miller at his village hall in Gahard (Brittany, France).
It wasnt just any gig, it was as part of a fundraiser for Madagascar featuring 12 hours of entertainment that encompassed a fashion show, a choir, a samba band, African drumming and a further half dozen act. This was to be Lee Millers final gig. Band members had moved away and with 2 kids under 2 in the house, Jerome felt things had come to a natural end.
Gahard is a tiny village near Rennes yet has an amazingly well equipped community hall with a stage that would grace any major town. It was here where Madfestival took place. Apologies for not knowing the names of acts hopefully one of the locals will be able to fill in the gaps. First up were a samba band who got things going with a bang. This was followed by an African drumming virtuoso.
There was plenty of time to buy cakes and artwork..etc…….
……before a choir took to the stage. Made me think of Brian Enos choir-philosophy. What you need is a good song well this choir finished with a version of Bohemian Rhapsody guitar solos and all vocalised.
There was then some rather fabulous belly dancing from (I guess) the Turkish community. Who needs a size zero when you have women like these doing their stuff
Next there was a solo performer who did a Neil Young cover as well as his own material…..
……followed by a full blown fashion show complete with pouting catwalk poses.
3 of the models later returned and did a few covers (Mad world, Smells like teen spirit) their first show.and it showed!
A duo with acoustic guitars did a much better job of entertained us (musically if not visually).
The last 3 acts were very polished. Enoalie are a duo whos Frederic Rondeau is something a bit special – I loved his guitar playing sometimes accompanied by a basic drum machine, sometimes looped guitar licks. Jerome got me a copy of their CD The Indian Field and its only after listening to it that I realised theyd sang in English.
A last minute stand in band were the penultimate act they had a hardcore following and played like a 60s pop band full of energy and confidence.
After nearly 12 hours of entertainment it was now disco time. Lee and I were SO tired that we made our excuses and left to gaze at the stars on the way back to Jerome and Virginies house. J+V stayed on for many more hours dancing and the clearing the hall. A fabulous day and well worth the trip.
Bob the Chiropodist