Saturday night was strongly focused on French-speaking singers, with hearthrobs Frero Delavega playing for the younger generations and Alain Souchon and Laurent Voulzy for the older people. These are not exactly my musical cup of tea, so I spent most of the evening away from the main stage. Frero Delavega’s soupy kitsch rendition of a Pink Martini song was enough to send me on my way. Most of the interesting bands playing at Paléo play on the smaller stages anyway, so it is always interesting to go and discover some new bands in slightly more intimate (or at least, human-sized) venues like the Club Tent or the Détour.
Significantly less commercial and closer to home, Nyon-based Aliose were back for the second time on stage at Paléo. I have been following this band for quite a while, and it is always very nice to get to see them live, and being successful doing what they love. The original duo, Alizée and Xavier were joined on stage by a drummer and a guitarist, giving more punch to their beautiful songs. They also use a very special instrument called the hang drum – a Swiss instrument made by a man in Bern, and who has a two-year waiting list! The Hang drum looks slightly like a flying saucer, and makes a truly ethereal sound. It was a great concert, despite the sound from the concert on Les Arches invading the tent at times, which was a bit of a pity, and a bit of bad organising on the festival’s behalf.
The Détour saw two rather interesting electro-pop projects grace its stage throughout the evening, first with Mansfield.Tya, a female duo who create a oneiric and baroque brand of pop, with a synthesiser and violin. Their universe is dark and mystical, and they wove their spell under the tent at the Détour. In a somewhat similar vein, Flavien Berger was on later in the evening. A true one-man band, he creates layered tracks, pulling us into a slightly disquieting but dreamlike universe, somewhere underwater or in a magical place. He finished the concert by inviting up on stage lots of people from the crowd, and when the last song ended, after thanking everybody, he discretely slipped away through the smoke and the people.
Slightly more grounded and dynamic, Turbo Sans Visa got the Dôme dancing to their fusion of traditional Breton music, African rhythms and Balkanic groove. The two singers/MCs where on fire, and got the crowd dancing with gusto, even teaching everyone to dance the “Zumbavotte”, a mix between Zumba and Gavotte (a traditional folk dance), a fusion much to the image of the group!
Later on on the same stage, Northern Irish band Altan shared their love of the Celtic tradition, playing old tunes, and singing in Gaelic. The lead singer was very enthusiastic and kept praising the crowd and crying out “yehee”, leading me to wonder if this amazing and heart-warming enthusiasm(similar to Sharon Shannon) isn’t a cultural trait from Ireland!
My last two discoveries of the evening were Soom T, a Glaswegian rapper who performed under the Détour with her all-female band. This last fact shouldn’t be anything special, but sadly even today in 2016, most musicians you see on stage are men! Rapping and singing at an impressively speedy tempo she delivered a high-octane concert. Much more human and real than the Chemical Brothers who were playing on the main stage at the same time!