Discovering great bands at Paléo
The best thing at Paléo is coming across a band you’d never heard of before, and get totally blown away. This is what happened to me yesterday with Dubioza Kolektiv, a Bosnian band who mix hip-hop with ska and punk with inextinguishable energy. In a country ravaged by war and communitarian conflict, Dubioza Kolektiv got together to sing their radical view of freedom and brotherhood, supported by a mix of guitars, saxophones and heavy basses. The collective had everyone dancing and jumping around in the hot afternoon, and left them wanting for more, for what was one of the festival’s highlights. You can find their whole album for free download on their website.
Later on, it was Nick Cave’s turn to sow his bad seeds on the grande scène. This cult musician delivered a classy musical show, packed with sombre and melancholic rock. With the dark elegance of a moody undertaker in a suit, Nick Cave made l’Asse a darker, more violent and miserable place, much to the pleasure of the crowd.
An evening for Hip-hop fans
Last night, Paléo was full of hip-hop fans, as this was the main musical style played across the grounds. From English hip-hop artist Dizzee Rascal on the main stage to politically committed French rapper Keny Arkana, the air was full of hip-hop beats and lyrics. Although this isn’t my musical cup of tea, I enjoyed Keny Arkana’s concert at Les Arches. This French rapper from the suburbs of Marseille grew up in foster-homes and started rapping at an early age to get away from her daily miseries. Since, she has created a collective that works with people whose voices aren’t heard, made a documentary on globalization, and played a lot of great music. On stage, the music doesn’t come out of a computer, but is played live by a drummer, guitarist and a Dj, making for a much full musical experience.
Mlle Orchestra, hilarious to watch, great to listen to
On of the highlights of the night was stumbling upon “Mlle Orchestra”, whom I mentioned in an earlier post. This all-feminine orchestra, clad in matching bright colours, play some great music, with a clarinet, saxophone, tuba, trumpet, accordion, flute, electric guitar, etc…, mixed with a lot of humour and wild feats. From the unsmiling drummer, to the rocker who plays the bass, the shyer saxophonist or the orderly trumpeter who seems to get out of hand extremely easily (an impromptu strip-tease was avoided by pouring a bottle of water to calm her down, leaving her slightly embarrassed, while a second bottle was poured over a member of the public who was encouraging her to continue). Seeing the punkish bass player swap her Doc Martens for a pair of high heels (a birthday gift!) was pretty hilarious too, but one of the best parts of the show was probably when the flirting couple from la cie Tonne came waltzing through the crowd, danced to the music for a few minutes and cantered off again. This great collision of two different shows is part of the magic of the festival, where you never know who you are going to meet. Make sure to try and catch Mlle Orchestra on the grounds, their show is really worth it!
Eating at Paléo!
Coming to Paléo is also about getting to eat some good food from the hundreds (nay, thousands!) of food stalls all over l’Asse. Here are few that Living In Nyon has tested just for you.
The Village du Monde offers a mix of food from all along the east African coast and islands, and you can find lots of great food there. The Abyssinia serves really tasty Ethiopian food. Try the vegetarian dish, for two different types of lentils with some kind of Ethiopian sour unleavened bread. Right next door, the Koeksisters serve South African sweets. The “koeksister” is a ginger, cinnamon and cardamom fritter, served with ginger syrup and coconut flakes.
If you’re looking for some Asian food, then head to the Quartier de l’Orient. No need to present a great favourite of the festival, the Paprika, a delicious Indian food stall.
This year’s discovery of the festival and great favourite is a small stall in the Quartier Latin, (near the Détour),called “La Gallette de la Paix” (the cake/bread of peace). This Israeli-Palestinian food stall serves the most amazing falafel I have ever tasted. The bread is cooked on location, and then topped with hummus, tomatoes, tahini and falafel balls, for a very tasty treat. It’s great to be able to find good home-made food with an super ethical background to it. So I can only urge you to go and have a great serving of peace and chickpeas.
If you’re looking for the ultimate indulgence, then head to Rapp (the confectioner from Prangins)’s stall, for a “doigt de fée”, an éclair that comes in several flavours. If your craving for sweet and sickly food is really strong, then ask for an extra topping of melted chocolate (milk or dark chocolate).
Did you miss a show you really wanted to see, or want to relive a great musical moment? Some of the concerts are filmed and broadcasted live on the internet. You can also watch the full concerts here.
The weekend will be very hot, so remember to drink enough when wandering around the grounds. Look out for the free fountains across the festival.