Quebecois Music

De Temps Antan at the Rogue in Vancouver BC, 3/2/2014

When you go to Canada for two consecutive weekends, Internets, you tend to get behind on posting stuff to your blog. Which means for you that I got delayed posting my writeup of the MOST excellent concert by De Temps Antan at the Rogue. But I’m home again, and posting again, so here you go!

Previously in our adventures with Festival du Bois 2014, yours truly got to chat with both Éric Beaudry AND André Brunet after the close of official festival events on Saturday night! And y’all may recall that SOMEBODY got a little creative with how he did his signature on the inside of my copy of Ce monde ici-bas!

So what happened? Full concert blow-by-blow behind the fold!

Once Dara and I left the grounds of Festival du Bois, our task was to get to Kitsilano in time for meeting up with friends for dinner near the venue. Fortunately, even though we got a little turned around coming out of the park, and turned around again initially getting on the Skytrain going in the wrong direction, we made it to Kits without being too late. By the time we reached the sushi place that was our intended destination, userinfomaellenkleth and userinfosiestabear had already arrived! They’d snagged us a table and saw us coming in, so we were able to sit right down.

It is important to note, O Internets, that these are the very same userinfomaellenkleth and userinfosiestabear who’d been with Dara and me at the Rogue for our Le Vent du Nord concert adventure in 2012. And since we’d done our delightful double wedding ceremony the day after that show, this meant that the De Temps Antan show this year was falling SQUARE on our second anniversary of that ceremony. At the very same venue that Le Vent had played before. This was, in a word, AWESOME. <3

But they weren’t the only friends due to meet up with us. Because when Dara and I had come up to Vancouver back the previous August for Great Big Sea, I’d done a lot of enthusing about DTA at my fellow GBS fangirls Kate and Angela (same name as me, yes)! And they decided they wanted in on this show with us. So they met us at the sushi place, and to my delight, the other Angela showed up with what she described as an anniversary present for me and Dara: a dozen of the Bagels of the Gods, i.e., the rosemary rocksalt bagels from Siegels! Because Dara and I wouldn’t have time this trip to make it over there ourselves. ALSO awesome. By which I mean TASTY.

Anyway, we had ourselves a delightful dinner and soon enough strolled over to the Rogue, which was just a couple blocks away. It was raining, but that was okay–we had a nice sheltered porch to stand on as we waited for the venue to open up. We wound up being the first in the queue, which was fun. And we could hear the band sound-checking inside.

We didn’t have long to wait, either. Once they let us in, I claimed my and Dara’s tickets, and we quickly found two other folks we were looking for–Ginny and her husband Gary, who’d offered to let us sit with them at the table they’d had reserved! We wound up actually spreading out across two tables, because unlike the Le Vent show back in 2012, there was less dance space this time. And I wanted to be close to the dance area they’d set aside over in the corner, on the expectation that I would frequently be getting up to boing.

I hadn’t realized we’d be getting an opening act, though he turned out to be in theme for the evening: a guy named Marc Alexandre, who turned out to be an Anglophone Quebecer who’d transplanted to Vancouver. He called his brother Eric up on stage to play with him on a few songs as well, describing him as, quote, “the best kazoo player in Vancouver”, unquote. I daresay that’s a pretty tall order, but the guy was good on the kazoo.

Marc and Eric Alexandre

Marc and Eric Alexandre

I was pleased that les frères Alexandre did do at least a little bit of stuff in French, given their Quebec origins. Not quite enough for my already sharply whetted appetite for French lyrics, though. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait too long either for De Temps Antan to take the stage!

Dara leaned over to murmur to me wryly that Éric looked like he’d had that nap, because he looked perkier on stage during this show than he had earlier in the day back at the Festival. It was also possible that somebody might have thrown a bucket of water in his face. Either way, he and André and Pierre-Luc were all in fine form as the first set got started–and I knew I had a hit on my hands when, a few songs in on the set, Kate leaned over to nudge me and ask, “What’s the lead singer’s name?”

“Pierre-Luc,” I answered. I shall not quote what Kate told me in reply (since Certain Persons might actually read this post), except to note that, aheh, it was highly complimentary.

(ETA: Angela says she’s pretty sure this was actually her question, not Kate’s, but nonetheless: highly. Complimentary.)

I will however note that I might possibly have said something along the lines of bouzouki players being more my speed, at which point Angela opined of said bouzouki player, “He looks like an elf!” DING DING DING WINNAH.

AND! I should note that when I didn’t get up to boing, I frequently tried podorythmie in my seat. And I wasn’t the only one, either. It was partway through the first set when I looked over and realized that Dara was also making with the feet. She did podorythmie more often than I did, in fact, quickly figuring out the tricks you have to learn about how to balance yourself properly on the chair and how to do it so you don’t wear out your leg muscles.

Here’s what we got for the first set!

  • L’américa
  • Intrinifor
  • Pu d’argent
  • Dimanche dernier
  • Set
  • Adieu donc cher cœur
  • Valse St-Sévère
  • Another set

If you listen to “L’américa” on Ce monde ici-bas, there’s quite a bit of extra firepower to it than what De Temps Antan by themselves bring to the stage–they’ve got extra voices and instruments in there. But that said, it’s a nice strong set starter, and it’s one of the rare opportunities for Éric to sing something with some punch.

“Intrinifor” is a favorite of mine and it was great to hear it here, even if I haven’t quite managed to figure out where all the turlutte parts show up. You may rest assured, however, that I did my best to belt out those parts when I could find ’em!

And since this was my third De Temps Antan show, I rather inadvertantly revealed that I’d already started anticipating the boys’ jokes. They started in on the intro for “Pu d’argent” (including saying something about “the next tune talks about squirrels”, which I’m sure made sense to me at the time though now I can’t remember what that was about), and by the time they got to Éric’s joke about how you didn’t need money for friends, you just needed…, I promptly yelled out, “Facebook!”

This got the boys to look wryly in my direction and I think it was Pierre-Luc who was all “We have one friend!” He called for a show of hands as to who else had them friended on Facebook, which brought the total up to six. Har. And after the song was done, they advised that friending them on Facebook would remain free for the rest of the week!

Next up came “Dimanche dernier”, from the first album, which is another good strong Pierre-Luc number. Lots of mouth harp and bouzouki slide goodness. Yum.

Then there was an instrumental set (see my previous commentary re: REALLY needing to recognize these boys’ instrumental sets by name better than I currently do), and a joke about this kind of thing being a “good wake-up call at 5am”.

And ah yes, then was “Adieu donc cher cœur”! In which André introduced Éric as “our nightingale”, which pleased me immensely. (Yes folks, in Quebec trad, you can get male singers introduced as nightingales! I’ve heard this applied to Jean-Claude Mirandette of the Charbonniers, too.) And I was very happy to be able to point this out to Kate and Angela as my favorite song on the new album.

Then came “Valse St-Sévère”. In the intro for this André began to talk about how he’d written this for his wedding, at which point Éric innocently inquired, “Which wedding you talking about?” André’s prompt reply: “The present wife!” And oh my yes this was lovely. (Still working on trying to learn this ‘un; I’m able to play most of the A part, but the B part is eluding me. There are some bits that go too low for the ranges of my flutes.)

Then a second instrumental set, and finally, a set break!

When our MC for the evening came back up on stage to introduce the second set, he made a joke about how the show was being sponsored by a power company. Which was appropriate, because if you wanted to sponsor power, this band was indeed a good choice! And as the set was getting started, it took the venue staff a few moments to turn off the music coming over the PA system. This prompted André to do a bit of impromptu rocking out in his chair.

Second Set

Second Set

It was deeply satisfying, by the time the second set got underway, to have quite a few folks boinging up for the faster numbers to dance. Kate and the other Angela joined me regularly, and once or twice we even got pulled into actual dancing by the others in the immediate vicinity. This was huge fun, and maybe someday eventually I’ll learn how those steps actually work! For that night, though, it was more than enough to just be able to be there, be bouncing, and singing at the top of my lungs when I could.

During the break, too, I boinged back to the bar to get some cider. It was I believe at that point when I wound up telling the lady selling drinks the backstory for this being my second visit to the Rogue and how the place was special to my heart. That got me a big smile out of her, and she seemed stunned that I’d come all the way up there from the States. Awww. <3

For the second set, we got just about all of my top favorite songs by these boys, including:

  • Set
  • La maison renfoncée
  • Set
  • Jeune et joli
  • La fée des dents
  • La turlutte du rotoculteur
  • Mépriseuse de garçons
  • Grand amuseur de filles
  • Pétipétan
  • Encore

“La maison renfoncée” is an excellent Pierre-Luc lead song, as I believe I’ve said before, and it’s one of the standout tracks on their second album. As per usual, he rocked it right up here.

“Jeune et joli”, also from the second album, got us some more unexpected wryness out of M. Beaudry! When one of the other boys translated this title for us, saying that it meant “young and pretty”, Éric promptly put in, “Thank you!” LOL.

“La fée des dents” went over quite well with my group, and Dara even recognized it from all the times she’s heard me playing it. Always a pleasure to hear this one. And I might possibly have been singing a bit of a made-up accompaniment towards the end. *^_^*;;

And OH MY YES: “La turlutte du rotoculteur”! I’ve enthused about this one a lot already on this blog, and as always, huge fun to see it performed live. Particularly when I could sing along. I might possibly have cried “YES!” when Éric fired up the opening salvo of this.

I do not remember having previously heard the explanation for what “Mépriseuse de garçons” is about–which is to say, a guy who drinks a lot getting nagged about it by his girlfriend. HAR. Why do I get the feeling this is coming out of real-life experience? I shall have to dig into the lyrics; looking at ’em, in the PDF the boys provide on their site, I’m seeing quite a bit to challenge my fledging translation skills. And since I can’t immediately find a translation for “mépriseuse” but I can find “méprise” as meaning “mistake/error”, I’m suspecting “mépriseuse” is, very roughly, “a woman who misunderstands”. Snerk.

But! Then we got “Grand amuseur de filles”, about which I have also previously muchly enthused. I was able to belt back at least some of the response lines here, though mostly this song was all about trying to snap pics of the stepdancing stompoff. Which is hard for my camera fu, people. This is the closest I got to a usable pic, and I suppose I can take the liberty of interpreting this as André and Pierre-Luc phasing in and out of another dimension, perhaps one made entirely of rhythm and awesomeness.

Stepdancing Stompoff

Stepdancing Stompoff

Last but most assuredly not least, “Pétipétan”! Which got a lot of us on our feet, and Kate and Angela told me they’d been looking forward to this one in particular since it’d been featured in the promo video the boys had posted a few days prior to the show, and which I’d promptly shared over to my own Facebook wall.

And we got a final instrumental set for the encore!

When the lights finally came up, the boys didn’t take long to come out and chat with a bunch of us. This was the point at which I finally seized the opportunity to corner Pierre-Luc and ask him if he’d sign the CD, since I had gotten the other two boys to do so the night before. And I guilelessly chirped at him, indicating the (aheh) addition to the photo on the inside of the sleeve, “André told me to tell you Éric did that!”

At which point Pierre-Luc, rogue that he is, promptly added his OWN addition to the photo.

Signed, "Enhanced" CD

Signed, “Enhanced” CD

It was simultaneously surprising and delightful to be able to introduce my group to the boys, too. André in particular was startled to learn that there were two Angelas in my group, which seemed one too many Angelas for him to keep track of, and he made jokes about a song called “Angela”. I also told André that I knew Kate and Angela from Great Big Sea fandom–and that Quebec music and Great Big Sea were very tightly intertwined in my heart, since my first Quebec music concert had been La Bottine, at that same first concert where I saw GBS. And once I reminded André which concert that had been, since he was in La Bottine at the time, he remembered it!

And after we got done talking all around, I got a hug from the lady from the bar. And I must also award 50 points to House Martin/Botting, since Ginny and Gary very kindly offered to give Dara and me a lift back to Geri’s place in Burnaby–which saved us another long trip on the Skytrain! AND, Gary even gave me a copy of his book, as a gift from one author to another.

All around a highly enjoyable evening, and it was a great pleasure to introduce my friends to the boys who’ve rapidly become my second favorite Quebec band, right behind Le Vent du Nord! And I’m pretty damn sure this won’t be my and Dara’s last visit to the Rogue–particularly if they keep scheduling awesome concerts in proximity to Festival du Bois!

As I write this, the aforementioned other Angela has just shot me a present on Facebook: some of the pictures she took during the show. And hers came out rather better than mine did, so I’ll include a few here!

Many thanks to all hands at the Rogue for putting on an excellent show–and to the boys of De Temps Antan, comme toujours, merci beaucoups, les gars!

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