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Rock en Seine 2009

Oasis bust-up doesn't stop the last party of the summer

by Daniel Finnan

Article published on the 2009-08-29 Latest update 2009-08-29 18:03 TU

One of the stages at Rock en Seine in Saint Cloud near Paris(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

One of the stages at Rock en Seine in Saint Cloud near Paris
(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

After a fight, in which Liam Gallagher reportedly smashed his brother’s guitar, Oasis pulled out of the 2009 Rock en Seine festival. Noel then announced he was quitting the Mancunian band and Madness stepped into the breach to entertain the masses with their mix of British ska.

Culture in France: Rock en Seine 2009

29/08/2009 by Daniel Finnan

This year is not the first time the Parisian festival has been hampered by British acts pulling out at the last minute. Last year Amy Winehouse disappointed French fans by pulling out, but the organisers were happy to refund punters a share of their ticket price if they missed out. It is not clear whether the same will happen for Oasis.

The crowd at Rock en Seine for Madness(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

The crowd at Rock en Seine for Madness
(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

Shortly afterwards Noel Gallagher announced he was quitting the famous Britpop band. Meanwhile, back on the festival site in Saint-Cloud, organisers were resolute in making sure the show would go on. And Madness stepped into the breach.

They followed up their afternoon set with an equally energetic performance. Earlier they entertained the main stage with their trademark naughtiness which included clambering on the scaffold, and hoisting their saxophone player above the stage like an acrobat.

The audience reacted in kind, with brief bouts of crowd-surfing, before leader singer Suggs gave a warning about the horse chestnut trees and falling conkers – much to the bemusement of the slightly confused French crowd.

Other acts enjoyed the atmosphere and more besides, “its pretty good, they’re a really nice audience, and the grub was nice,” James Hunter told RFI.

The grammy-nominated English R&B musician and soul singer, originally from Colchester, went down well.

Rock en Seine(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

Rock en Seine
(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

“There’s lots of things I like about France – the food, the people and they still make better films than we do,” says Hunter. “We’ve just done Spain, which was nice,” he added.

Some of the other British artists were equally as pleased to be spending time in France. Just Jack straddles the dance, pop and hip hop genres and has hits such as Starz In Their Eyes.

“We just played a couple of hours ago – it was amazing,” Jack Allsopp told RFI. “I think French people seem to get the music, easily as much as people in England, maybe even more,” he said.

He's currently getting ready to do a European tour for the launch of his new album. Although he thinks he could move to France in the future.

“Maybe to Montpellier, because that’s where I stayed in the south of France, because its pretty much guaranteed sun, and that’s nice,” said Allsopp.

An open-air exhibition at Rock en Seine(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

An open-air exhibition at Rock en Seine
(Photo: RFI/Daniel Finnan)

And he was not keen to leave the French capital.

“My band have gone back on the bus to England, I’m staying here over the weekend with my girlfriend, because she’s never been here before,” he says.

There's lots more to come during the rest of the weekend, including, The Prodigy, MGMT, Macy Gray and Klaxons.

Rock en Seine runs until 30 August.

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