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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