After two days of very hot weather, Thursday was a bit cooler, and rain threatened during the evening. But the combined efforts of the bands playing that night and the enthusiastic crowd kept the worst at bay, and after a bit of rain in the early evening, the sun came back out to shine on the 45000 heads gathered at l’Asse. The weather made it a lot more bearable, the rain stopping the dust from rising up in the air.
A long way from Wednesday’s heavy metal, Thursday was definitely calmer, the evening kicking off with two reggae concerts. A regular at Paléo, Tiken Jah Fakoly played his politically charged albeit slightly repetitive music to a good crowd in front of the main stage. Clad in his traditional garb and sporting a long staff, he sang of peace, love and the colonial ravages of Africa. He finished off with a slightly cliché cover of Bob Marley’s “Get up Stand up “.
Photos above – C. Nelson-Pollard
The highlight of the evening was Sharon Shannon‘s amazing accordion skills. I grew up listening to her music, so when she was announced at Paléo, I was really excited! The result was an evening where reality exceeded my expectations! Although her actual concert was later on under the Dôme, she was scheduled to play a more intimate set on the small stage of the “Tour Vagabonde”, the replica of the Globe theatre set up in the middle of the Village du Monde. It is not only a good place to get a beer and escape from the sun (or the rain, depending), but also hosts small 20 minute sets of bands playing during the evening at the Dôme.(Find the program here)It’s a perfect way to rediscover a band in a more intimate setting, or to get a second chance to see a band you missed because you were eating a waffle on the other side of the festival, or trying to watch three other concerts at the same time!
Sharon Shannon was absolutely amazing, and came on stage with the widest smile ever, greeting everyone in her fast and high-pitched Irish accent. Enchanting the crowd gathered in front of the stage and at the railing in the galleries with her agile accordion skills, she kept smiling in the most amazing way to every body. In this magical wooden setting, she looked elf-like with her wide grin and white dress. She seemed absolutely delighted by the venue, and would obviously have kept playing for more than twenty minutes, if she’d been allowed to. Short video below.
Bursting with joy and wonder
She was on stage later on with a whole band, and it was hard to decide who was having the most fun, the crowd dancing to her enchanting reels or her watching the crowd and obviously loving every moment of it. Someone had brought along a large number of coloured balloons and the kept bouncing up over the crowd. It made for a very nice scene, but was slightly more annoying when quite a few of them started bursting with quite a loud bang! Her only reaction to that, was a genial “oh, those balloons sound quite like fireworks don’t they?”.
“It’s been great playing at this amazing festival! I’ve never seen anything like it before!” she exclaimed towards the end of the concert, before adding “its been great, yuhoo!” Her presence and boundless enthusiasm were very refreshing. Such a generous person, she seemed to have the utmost pleasure being here, and kept clapping along and making huge grins and thumbs up during the great solo by the guitar/keyboard player, getting her kicks from the reaction of the crowd to some parts of the solo. A heart-warming concert that did a lot of good to everyone’s ears and soul.
Dancing at a 40 person party during Massive Attack
Ditching the massive crowd ready to listen to Massive Attack, the band who created trip-hop, I ended up at la Ruche where Vladimir Spoutnik was playing. This wacky DJ played some great and slightly cheesy music to dance to, halfway between a DJ set and a theatre show, often coming out into the crowd to make people dance, while his very serious security man tried to keep a straight face on the side of the stage, even when showered with confetti. Wearing a shirt several sizes too short and hair plastered back on his head, with a smoke machine decorated like a rocket and “A trip to the moon” by George Melies projected on a screen behind him, Vladimir Spoutnik created an engaging and rustic atmosphere. Kids and adults of all ages enjoyed his show, and the intimate and magic setting of the Ruche, while 40000 people were dancing to Massive Attack in front of the main stage. It’s part of the magic of Paléo to create the possibility to go from one to another so easily, giving everyone what they’re looking for. Vladimir Spoutnik performs every night at the Ruche, mostly during the last concert on the main stage.