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Breton festival puts unknowns on stage

Article published on the 2010-01-01 Latest update 2010-01-05 14:21 TU

Malawian, Swedish, French combo The Very Best live on stage at the Transmusicales(Photo: RFI)

Malawian, Swedish, French combo The Very Best live on stage at the Transmusicales
(Photo: RFI)

France’s Breton Festival Les Transmusicales was there to cheer up the French town Rennes during the rainy month of December. “Les Trans’ ”is renowned for its eclectic line up from all over the World and has a tendency to feature relatively unknown bands, some of which go on to become  quite popular a few years later.  They include Nirvana, Dizzee Rascal, Justice and many more.

World Tracks: Les Transmusicales de Rennes

01/01/2010 by Marjorie Hache

Despite the festival becoming bigger and bigger, it has refused to become mainstream with artists performing stemming mainly from independent scenes. Festival goers must brace themselves for little sleep as the festival begins on Wednesday and goes on until Sunday with most nights finishing around 7 o’clock in the morning.

The town of Rennes also embraces Les Transmusicales fully with fringe festivals such as “Les Bar en Trans”  emerging around the same time. This means other local unsigned artists perform in small bars dotted around the town.  Indeed the bulk of the Transmusicales festival gigs take place at “Le Parc des expositions” which is composed of huge plane shelters which make great concert venues.

This year’s line up had musical genres from across the World, some politically engaged some there for the fun, some extravagant some not making it difficult to put an actual label on the festival.

This year's line up featured The Very Best, a fabulous Malawi, French Swedish combo who stormed the stage with the track The Warm Heart of Africa. Esau Mwamwaya and Hugo told RFI they were extremely excited about playing their first proper french show while Frenchman Danton Eeprom seemed rather nonchalant about Les Trans' despite it being his first time. He describes his music as "an egocentric view of what he needs to survive in this cruel world." Right….  At least he planned to have the audience’s feet bleeding by the end of the night.

French electronic music producer Danton Eeprom hiding in the bushes at les Trans'Photo: RFI

French electronic music producer Danton Eeprom hiding in the bushes at les Trans'
Photo: RFI

BLK JKS, pronounced Black Jacks are an über cool progressive rock band from South Africa. They’ve been touring the United States a lot recently and were tired but happy to make it to the festival.

Meneo... with clothes on !Photo: RFI

Meneo... with clothes on !
Photo: RFI

Les Transmusicales also saw a lot of interesting collaborations. Long term collaborators Meneo who’s members are from Barcelona and Guatemala, like to make up stories during interviews. For example they told RFI they met thanks to networking site Craigslist. Their music sounds like an odd mix between electro and Video Game sounds and they will get naked at the drop of a hat.

Argentinians Fauna and TremorPhoto: RFI

Argentinians Fauna and Tremor
Photo: RFI

Also over from South America and Argentina in particular were two bands:  Fauna and Tremor who were touring together with their mix of electronic traditional South American music and Dub Soundsystem. They remained enthusiastic despite playing at 7am on the final day of the festival.


Finally les Trans' wouldn't be les Trans without another pleasure on offer : the Gallette Saucisse, a local delecatecent which is basically a sausage wrapped in a pancake.


Bon Appétit for the eyes and the ears.

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