FrancoFolies 2014 edited Genevieve PM Roy
Francofolies: Everything good about music “en français”.
From June 12th to the 22nd 2014 French music lovers converged in Montreal to enjoy this year’s edition of the world’s largest French music extravaganza; Les FrancoFolies de Montréal.
Francofolies : French MUSIC for ALL everything good about music “en français”.
From June 12th to the 22nd French music lovers converged in Montreal to enjoy this year’s edition of the world’s largest French music extravaganza: Les FrancoFolies de Montréal.
In contrast to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, currently celebrating its 35th edition and running from June 26 - July 6, 2014, the FrancoFolies main mission is to promote Francophone music with a uniquely effective program. Having run for over 20 years, this annual music and performance festival, presented by Bell in collaboration with Ford of Canada, features several hundred Francophone performers from all over the world and transforms the downtown core into a gigantic jukebox offering over 180 free concerts on various outdoor stages in and around Place des Arts. Other select performances require tickets and are held at nearby theaters around the Quartier des Spectacles.
The festival draws a wide variety of attendees from local hardcore lovers of chanson française to curious international tourists of all ages and backgrounds including a sizable Anglophone crowd presence. Musical range varies as one can enjoy rock, hip hop, punk, pop, chanson, hip-hop, folk, and many other styles during the festival's nearly two-week run.
Several international stars were on this year’s roster such as Stromae and Karim Ouellet. Veteran Rocker Éric Lapointe presented the premiere of his Jour de nuit during a massive free outdoor show Soirée SiriusXM. Discovered and launched into mega stardom right from his first show, his free concert was a beautiful symbolic homage to underline his twenty-year love affair with the festival.
Like Éric, several artists dream of gaining wide exposure and choose to springboard their careers at the festival by launching a new album or bringing their premieres to the Francos. One such talent that I was extremely glad to discover was Gaspésien born author-songwriter and storyteller Patrice Michaud who launched his second album Le Feu de Chaque Jour to quite an enthusiastic audience on the intimate stage of L’Astral Concert Hall. Preceded by Benjamin Schoos from Belgium and La Maison Tellier from France, he presented a unique show that combined elements of rock, folk, and storytelling with bouts of intersecting humor. Very comfortable in front of his audience, his deep set smooth voice seductively carried the listeners to Cap-Chat, his birthplace, and later in Rimouski where he tried to concentrate on literature, but instead discovered the pleasures of the opposite sex.
Seductive, funny and touching Patrice Michaud is a talented songwriter, singer with the guitar to match and also a great storyteller. Personally, I love his compositions that brought the audience into the depths of his deepest emotions.
Another troupe that graced the stage and completely mesmerized me was Argentinean tango trio Plaza Francia. On Thursday the 19th of June, singer Catherine Ringer (of Rita Mitsouko) joined forces with Eduardo Makaroff & Christoph H. Müller, founding members of the famous Gotan Project, for an electrifying and sexy performance at Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts. This Franco - Argentinean musical powerhouse was a wonderful artistic collaboration that presented rich instrumentation, catchy melodies and up-beat electronic music that stemmed its roots from Argentinean tango.
Catherine captivated her audience decked in elegant gowns and by presenting a suave and sexy picture on stage. In interview Makaroff and Müller said that they were looked for a voice that is not initially from the tango world. They found a goldmine in Ringer, whose voice is rock popish enough to be different, but also adds a great sensibility that comes from singing French songs. Her timber and tone is veritably close to traditional tango music. In prep for the concert she concentrated thoroughly learning her songs by heart and taking the stage with great composure and gusto, even doing an impromptu tango dance for all! The trio’s first album recently released: A New Tango Song Book shows that organic tango and pop is an electrifying and energetic combination!
For those seeking to visit next year’s 27th edition of the Francofolies, The 2015 dates has just been announced with the festival stating on the 12th of June to the 20th !
For more information please consult their main web-site: