Hadleigh Folk and Acoustic Music Nights hosted another weekend of French music and dance form 6th - 8th April, attracting well over 100 people from all parts of the country. Our main guests, La Chavannée, have been responsible for some of the best interpretations of traditional music from Central France for the last 50 years.
The Friday evening folk club concert started with Gwendal Moële and Bof! singing and playing songs from Brittany and Central France. They were followed by a trio, Dave Shepherd (fiddle), Jo Veal (clarinet) and Anna Pack (accordion).
The evening ended with a brilliant performance from the legendary band, La Chavannée, from the Berry-Bourbonnais region of central France. On this occasion there were 8 members of the band: Maxou Heintzen and Patrick Bouffard and six members of the Paris family - Frédéric (accordion, bagpipes, mandola), Manu (bagpipes, flute and trumpet), and singers, Eveline, Catherine, Mathilde and Gabrielle.
On Saturday morning there were music and daace workshops in the Ansell Centre, followed by an evening bal. The evening started with the Prêt à Danser musicians led by Dave Shepherd and Emma Hardy. They are a local group who play for a regular French dance session in Colchester. Bof! continued with a mixed repertoire of French and Breton dances, some sung by Gwendal Moële; Shepherd Pack and Veal followed with their beautifully arranged instrumental dance music. One of the high points of their set was the clarinet trio of Jo Veal, Anna Pack and Frédéric Paris (see below). The evening ended with another superb performance by La Chavannée which included five or six numbers sung by the sisters Mathilde and Gabrielle Paris.
Sadly our French guests had to leave very early on Sunday morning to return for work on the Monday morning, but about 50 people stayed on for a music and dance session in the Ansell Centre on Sunday afternoon.