Bourges 2009 !

In 2009, I covered the festival for a couple of newspaper in the United States. My assignment was to investigate  “the new underground trends of French Music”….Litttle did they know about the festival and how eclectic it is.

As I worked with France 3 interviewing Kezia Jones that year, I realised how much this incredible musical event brings to the French Youth.

Eventhought I had photographic assignements, I could not help but carry around my little video camera and when I got back to the office, I decided to share some of these moments with you…

In 2009, for the 33rd anniversary of the festival, the weather was ideal and the variety of musical talent was immense. There were 66,800 tickets sold, 40 shows, 800 professionals, and a global frequentation of 220,000 people.

Along with my camera, my sound recorder and the program of the performances, I started to walk and I gradually became immersed in the ambiance of the festival. I began to feel the subtle nuances, to hear the sounds and stolen discussions. It was a moment in time that had no real imprint. I knew the feeling and it was at the same time familiar and foreign.

The first note of music rang out and signaled the beginning of a Printemps in its new form. Grace, Piers Faccini and Ben Harper opened the festival and 6,000 people attended. Through my experience with large crowds I have learned that a concert can be very different depending on one’s proximity to the stage. I danced and smiled my way through the audience so that I could fully absorb the mood and the feeling of the performances. I searched for the rhythm and the energy and it came over me like a flood.

It is important to keep in mind that music is a very personal matter and everyone experiences the same artist or musical trend differently. This intimate perception depends on one’s personal history, taste and culture. The fact that each individual approaches a performance differently is what makes a live show so unique and special. Since the musical interviews did not happen, I would like to share with you some pieces of my project, sounds and images that I have captured. Hopefully, through the lens of my camera, I can share with you  my own experience of the 33rd Printemps de Bourges.

The performances I attended :

Official Festival :

1- Grace – Pier Faccinni – Ben Harper and relentless7

18- Sammy de Coster – Victor Demé – Matthieu Boogaerts

22 – Mansfield Tya – Emily Loizeau

11 – The Von Bondies – Stuck in the sound  Lucy and the Popsonics

19 – Frida Hyvonen – Larin Grimm – Sophie Hunger

3 – Arthur H – Anais – Ayo – Amadou et Mariam

27 – Misja Fitzgerald Michel – Kyrie Kristmanson – Mélissa Laveau – Jouyaté – Keziah Jones – Toots and the Mayals – Patrice

14 – 80 Kidz – Battant – Shini Osawa

28 – Coeur de Pirate – Luciole – La grande Sophie

21 – Scary Mansion – Susanna Wallumrod – Bonnie Prince Billy

5 – Rock’n Beat Party – Izia – Birdy Nam Nam – Laurent Garnier – Miss Kittin and the Hacker – Solange Lafrange


Festival «off» :

Senor Holmes @ “Home”

Carmen Maria Vega @ “la scène des tontons”  in the garden-

Funky town @ “Espace découverte du Printemps” –

L’herbe Folle @ pub des jacobins-

Lenny et l’horchestre Tournée générale @ dans une sombre ruelle –

Dandy Freaks @ Living


Piers Faccini – “A home away from Home”

I discovered Piers Faccini two years ago…After hearing some of the tracks of his first album “Tearing Sky”, Piers’s voice reminded me of Nick Drake, his poetry, and ballads were the one of an inspired artist and I was looking forward to hear him again in Bourges.

Piers came to the festival with his latest album “Two grains of Sand”, and was kind enough to allow me a filmed interview and a song “A home away from Home”. Filmed in the Palais Jacques Coeur, the small ITV that follows the song reveals a warm soul, and an extremely talented musician.



Senor Holmes – Harry et Quito @ home

Senor Holmes has been touring for almost 10 years now with their “Roots Caraibean music”… The rythm of Harry’s Jumbe and Quito’s guitar is at the border of many influences from Afro-Latino to Rap, reggae and ballads…

Beautiful melodies and yet undiscovered from the main stream music scene (they auto produced their 2 first albums), Senor Holmes is one of the many jewels that you can run into if you come to Bourges, and if you can find them.

This little clip was shot with Martine Garrel before their concert. The first song comes from Guy Conkuete “Tous ensemble” followed by a short ITV in French of the 2 musicians and a live version of “Jacko” another great song from their second album …
Be tunes and make sure to visit their web site for future performances.



Carmen Maria Vega – Rock France

2009 was Carmen Marie Vega’s second year in Printemps de Bourges and the launching of their first album. I first saw them perform at the pub “Les trois petits cochons” in 2008 in front of a difficult audience and I thought Maria, the lead singer, was incredibly talented to put up such an impressive show and I knew Iwould certainly see her again.


In 2009, She came back to Bourges, at the  “Scène des Tontons” (translate “Uncle’s stage”) for a special evening with Guests. This Bar/restaurant/concert hall, transformed itself during the printemps and builds a stage in its back garden. It’s almost impossible to access to it as it is one of the sweet small intimate stage of the festival where you can confortably get an afordable glass of french wine or a cool beer, listening to the various performances. The bar is always filled with fun people, and the stage is a succession of really fantastic bands of different kinds.

Carmen Maria Vega is a 3 person’s band Max Lavegie, Alain Arnaudet and Carmen Maria Vega. Carmen has an amasing stage presence and a theatrical voice, the lyrics and melodies composed by Max transforms the group into a spectacular venue. Carmen is a liar, she even admits it when she pretends she is “misogyne” 9Woman hater). At the border of “Musette”, she makes fun of the world we live in by making fun of herself, pretending all kind of things. Her voice can not let anyone indifferent.

Here is an improvised video clip and a short interview of the Group :



Coeur de Pirate – Folk Canada

The one and only, beautiful, extraordinary «melowoman», Béatrice Martin, alias «Coeur de Pirate», signed her first album that year and came to the Printemps with her label. A young and very talented artist, a gifted pianist, a charismatic singer with a fairy voice. To listen without moderation. She recently won the 2009 French music award.



Bonnie Prince Billy

Printemps de Bourges 2009 – Folk USA –

The legendary Will Oldham alias Bonnie Prince Billy or Palace, has delivered over 20 albums in the past 15 years. Right after “Beware” a beautiful album, the inventor of Post country neo neo folk Psycho blue grass brought us his sublime music to the printemps this year. Here, he is performing with Susanna Wallumrod a Norwegian voice.



Matthieu Boogaerts
Matthieu Boogaerts and Piers Faccini have both signed with the same music label that I have always admired “Tot ou Tard“. Therefore, I was able to meet Matthieu for a few minutes the day after his great performance in Bourges.

Matthieu came to Bourges with his latest album “I Love you”, hard to describe and not to feel the memory of the intimacy of the new music of words that Matthieu excells in. The brilliant artist plays with words, feelings and melodies like a bee on a flour, he mesures every step and the result is absolutely astonishing. Judge for yourself by going to his latests videos and samples on line.
In the meantime, here is the short stolen interview of Matthieu in between two performances.



I want to finish this small review mentioning Misja Fitzgerald Michel forits amasing guitar work on Nick Drake, I was blown away by the talent of this great musician.

My last concert of the festival was at the «Living», a small bar with great venues every year. Exhausted and tired of so much music in a short period but theDandy Freaks were just what I needed : costumes, energetic music, vitality with a scenic presence that will blow anyone’s mind.

The beautiful keyboard diva would change costume every 3 songs…

A l’année prochaine !


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