May 16, 2009

French week with Yves Duteil and others

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 11:17 am


(Photo: Yves Duteil tuning and retuning, Leine’s second gig of the night)

The city of Amstelveen, next to Amsterdam, has been playing host to an entire week of French cultural events, the Festival Alliance Française. It was opened on Tuesday by the mayor of Amstelveen who lovelingly prepared a 15 minute speech in French. I listened because he mentioned my name as the MC for last Thursday’s evening of French music, starring French legend Yves Duteil.

My co-blogger said he’d woken up this morning withto the sound of a woman DJ from the radio talking about how nice the concert was. The week isn’t over and the 26th French song contest winners will be crowned tomorrow with Yves Duteil on the jury.

Last Thursday, three former winners of this French song contest performed and received serious applause: Sjors van der Panne, Sandra van Megen and Guido van de Meent.

The rest of the evening featured a mixed bag of local favourites Philippe Elan, Ben Cramer, Leine, Ralph Rousseau and David Vos, as well as Parisians Peppermoon. DJ Guuzbourg was in the DJ booth and wonder planner Frances Gramende who organised the event was enjoying the fruits of her labour.

One of the jokes I cracked backstage was that I felt like Kermit the frog at the Muppet Show. Leine laughed at that one because she finished the evening on stage with a French version of ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’, a coincidence.

Yves Duteil also jammed it out on guitar with a Dutch alto sax player of house band Omnibuzz and they then did that on stage which was very nice. When Yves told the audience he’d been giving shows in Paris recently and that there were Dutch people every night in front, someone yelled out “I was there!”.

The improvised duet of the song “Allez viens on danse/De Clown” by Ben Cramer singing the Dutch version and Philippe Elan singing the original French version was a crowd pleaser. The writer of the original French song, Georges Châtelain, came all the way from Paris and was in the audience. It was a perfect evening all around.

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March 18, 2009

Singer claims he’ll win song contest he can’t even enter

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 2:15 pm

My very talented friend Frances, part of the organisation of the Concours de la Chanson de l’Alliance Française (French Song Contest of the Alliance Française) here in the Netherlands was at the hairdresser’s this week and grabbed a tabloid while she was waiting.

Claude Francis, a Belgian singer who apparently sings international musical numbers in French, claims that he’ll win the above-mentioned song contest because he’s better than all the silly Dutch folk who know squat about French music. It may not read this way word for word in Dutch, but the repeated phone calls Frances received from this man pleading to be entered into the contest in order to win it kinda point that way.

What’s the big deal? It’s a Dutch contest and so you have to live in the Netherlands to enter it. He claims to have a girlfriend in a Dutch town and so he’s often in Netherlands, and he thinks that’s good enough.

Already claming to win a contest you can’t enter is just stupid — unless he was misquoted. Time to get a manager who can communicate, methinks.

(Photo: Privé, 11 March 2009)

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