FolkWorld Live Review 02/02 by Christian Moll Cathrin Delasalle & Une Anche Passe, photo by The Mollis

3rd International Folk Festival Tilburg

A really great start for the festival season 2002

In 2002 I have had already for the third time the pleasure to start my festival season already in january with the excellent festival of Tilburg in the Netherlands. It is great to have also a festival spot in the dark time of the year...

 Bratsch with Piet Maris, photo by The Mollis

This review will cover only 3/5 of the festival - it started already on wednesday, but I only found time to attend the weekend from friday to sunday. The festival always has a focus on an instrument and a country, this year it was the accordion and France. So the first concert I visited was 'La Maison Francaise' - a showcase of four very different French bands.

 Susana Seivane, photo by The MollisFirst on was a special duo of Renaud-Garcia Fons (double bass) & Jean Louis Matinier (accordeon), they presented a mix of fresh instrumental music mostly of south western European origin with influences of among others Jazz and classical music. Nice to see masters of their instruments.
Next on was again a duo, but of a totally different kind - Jan Màri Carlòtti (voice and guitar) sings songs in a troubadic style. He looks like a man from southern France - he hails from the Languedoc - and sings ancient songs in the occitanian language, a language that is still spoken in some regions of southern France, northwestern Italy and northeastern Spain. His musical partner is Michel Marre, he plays brass instruments trumpet, tuba and sax in a quite free jazzy style. The two form a very unconventional duo presenting Troubadour music with Jazz.
Cathrine Delasalle is a French chanson singer, as she is living at the moment in Bruges in Belgium her band at this festival provided a mixture of the core of the young Belgian scene and France. She has a fine voice and her band is stunning. You could feel the influence of Wouter Vandeabele (of Olla Vogala and Ambrozijn fame) in the music of the band. There were a good 10 musicians on stage presenting a very powerful backing of Cathrin, the music had strong influence of France (of course), Belgium, but also world music and Jazz...
 Ialma, photo by The MollisThe last band of La Maison Francaise was again a totally different affair: Bratsch playing gypsy music with strong influence of southern and eastern Europe - as a special guest they had invited the Begian singer and accordionist Piet Maris (Jaune Toujour, Mek Jek). It worked very well and it gave their concert a special note...
Friday evening was a good start for a great fetival, but there was still more to come....

Traditionally (yes -I think, as it is the third festival you can call it a tradition) the saturday is the Celtic night of the festival - this year it was focussed on Irish and Galician music (although one of the bands playing Irish music is hailing from England, and one of the Galician bands is based in Brussels in Belgium).
The evening was presented by the Dutch singer Dagny van der Loo - and she has had a special idea: she introduced the acts together with some friends with short a capella songs... a special form way to act as a MC...
 Sarah Allan of Flook, photo by The MollisIalma are Galician girls living in Brussels, they sing in the typical tradition of strong female voice accompanied by the pandereita. But Ialma is not 'just' a capella singing and percussion, they brought along a full backing band. If you like the very strong female voices of Galicia you have to look to Belgium to find an excellent band in this tradition....
If you like flutes and whistles, and Irish music - then surely you know Flook. Sarah Allan (flutes, whistles and accordeon) and Brian Finnegan (flutes and whistles) form the melody half of this great band. The sound is completed by the 'rhythm section' of Ed Boyd (guitar) and John Joe Kelly (bodhrán). Their music is stunning - you find breathtaking combinations of flutes and whistles. They do know how to act with their instruments...
Galicia has a wealth of gaita (the Galician bagpipe) players - Susana Seivane is one of them. She is getting international better known. Besides playing very well the gaita, she has started to do also some singing of Galician songs. Susana is the focal point of her band consisting of accordeon, drums and percussion, bass, guitar and bouzouki.
Last band of the evening was the Irish party band Kila - these mad musicians are knowing well how to bring their audiance into ecstase. They play trancy music with stong Irish roots, but with many other influences (e.g. african singing style - used with gaelic songs...
 Troisseur, photo by The MollisAnd if this was not enough dancing for you, you could stay and dance to some folk dance DJs: DJ Wizards Celtic Dance Beats and DJ Simon Emmerson (of Afrocelt Sound System).

Sunday's theme is always 'New Folk Adventure' - and here is the place where you surely find some bands new to you. My two new favorites were the 'Deux Accords Diront' from Belgium and 'Debout sur le Zinc' from France. Of course there where more great bands on sunday, but my other favourite bands I have seen before.
Especially for the concept of the sundy a huge thanks to the organizers - it is for me always a great pleasure to see some new folkbands, and when they come from all over Europe it is even better. Thank you!
I do not mention all bands that where playing on sunday, just some highlights... Opening the concert already at 3 pm Troisseur and their guest percussionist Satoshi Takeishi presented highly individual folk music made in Belgium. The three brothers (not sisters Debout sur le Zinc, photo by The Mollisas the name would suggest) Vanvinckenroye: Edwin (fiddle), Joris (double bass) and Rein (accordeon and guitar) together with Peter Thys (string instruments and percussion) have developed their very own style - the addition of the Japanese Jazz Percussionist Satoshi Takeishi is fitting very well into their sound...
I mentioned already above the Belgian duo Deux Accords Diront as a new favorite of mine. Two girls playing the diatonic accordeon, they do not sing, and they do not play any other instrument - and their music and performance is absolutely stunning. They can capture the attention of their audience. On the one hand it seems as if they would be the only two persons in the whole hall - because the interaction between them is so strong; on the other hand the audience always gets involved in the show. Brilliant. Watch out for them - you will find soon an interview with them in this mag...Regis Gizavo, photo by The Mollis
Next highlight of the sunday was the French band Debout sur le Zinc. Wow what a band - if you like modern European music with many influences, you should give them a listen, better even go and see them live. Debout sur le Zinc are seven Fench guys playing among others guitar, accordeon, double bass, fiddle, banjo, klarinet, drums and they have two quite different singers. Their music is based in France and has many influences of different music styles and traditons of other regions. Their show is stunning - hopefully they will get a bigger attention in the European folk music scene, they are definetly worth it.
Règis Gizavo is based in Paris, but his roots are in Madagaskar. Règis is a very strong musician, he plays the accordeon and he sings - as a 'backing band' he has David Mirandon playing drums and percussion. Together they have an extremely full and fresh sound. Règis is an outstanding performer, he has found his own way of arranging the music and presents it in a very powerfull way. If you close your eyes, you often would think that there must be a whole band on stage.
Next band on is a totally different story. Besh o droM hailing from Hungary, they play often very fast jazzy and modern music rooted in their tradition. This music is to fall into trance. Besh o droM have an extensive brass section often dominating their sound. But inbetween all these fast instrumentals they do some slower songs... A great totally different act.
 Deux Accords Diront, photo by The MollisTo round the sunday concert up, the last band of the day is, as the first, from Belgium. In FolkWorld's article about them we called them the tip of the Flemish Iceberg. Lais are surely the best know folk band from Belgium. The three girls have magic voice, and they have a great band - although at some points the music is a bit too "listener friendly". Neverthelesss they are absolutely stunning and an appropriate end of another great festival in Tilburg.

And one last thing - I found it really amazing - it seems that the local shops wanted to support the festival, there were quite few shops decorated with accordion players (see foto below)... Somehow mostly clowns with accordion - if this was just because of the carnival two weeks later? - I do not think so...

And for all those who have not been there (the others do know this information already and will surely come again...) here a bit of information to attent the next edition of the Tilburg International Folk Festival. The fourth edition will take place from 22nd to 26th January 2003. The country they focus at will be Italy... Clown, photo Tom KellerI am looking forward to it, as some of my favorite bands come Italy e.g. BEV (best album in 1999, included in the 10 best live acts of 2000 of the FolkWorld Top 10), La Lionetta and Accordeon Master Ricardo Tesi from northern Italy, Spaccanapoli (third best album of 2000 in the FolkWorld) from Napoli and the more southern Rosapaeda (best album of 2001 in FolkWorld Top 10) and Zoe (best live act in 2001 in the FolkWorld Top 10). I am looking forward to see the choice of the Tilburg festival - I am sure it will be outstanding, as always.

See you all in January 2003 in Tilburg!

Further infos available at the Tilburg Festival homepage

Foto credit: All photos by The Mollis taken at Tilburg International Folk Festival 2002: (1) Cathrin Delasalle & Une Anche Passe (with Wouter Vandenabele); (2) Bratsch with Piet Maris; (3) Susana Seivane; (4) Ialma; (5) Sarah Allan of Flook; (6) Troisseur; (7) Debout sur le Zinc; (8) Regis Gizavo, (9) Deux Accords Diront; (10) Clown with accordion - photo by Tom Keller

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