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Alliance Francaise présents


+ guests

The evening will be partly sang and partly narrated by Gilles’ wonderful raconteur talent and will emphasis the connections between the two countries an opportunity to discover the close Irish connections and inspiration through songs and stories.

Gilles Servat, singer-songwriter, extraordinary poet, one of the leaders of the Breton folk music movement, author, internationalist, gifted with a rich, resonant, expressive voice, and an equally compelling gift for associating himself with the best in celtic music over the last thirty years….

Servat, native of Brittany, France, is also the adopted son of Ireland and Scotland, whose folksongs he has both translated beautifully, and sung in their original. That is, even those immune from the lure of the French language or the mysteries of the celtic tongues will find room for Servat’s interpretations of “The Lake at Ponchartrain” (in French) or “Raglan Road” (in English) from his most recent CD, “Comme je voudrai” (“as I will” or “the way I choose”).

In fact, the song title itself is a tribute to Servat’s internationalism: “I will sing the way I choose, I will sing just what I choose, and in the language that I choose.” His most famous song, “La Blanche Hermine” (the white ermine), a song of passionate Breton nationalism, was misinterpreted by right-wing groups to the point that he had to issue a counter-CD, “Touche Pas à la Blanche Hermine” (keep your hands off “La Blanche Hermine”). He has sung with Algerian pop star “Idir,” Irish folk enchantress Karen Matheson (of Capercaille), Irish traditionalist Ronnie Drew, the incomparable An Triskell harpists, the twin Quéffeléants, and, of course, Breton folk-rock superstars Tri Yann. His music spans traditional Breton folk songs, to new songs in Breton, to angry songs of political protest (most recently, an anthem against the oil tanker “Erika” that created a “black tide” on Breton beaches), to breathtaking, exquisitely written original poems in French set to equally perfect music.

This event is supported by Storytelling Southeast – a 5 day multi-disciplinary arts festival from 26 to 30 September.


Whelan’s Indie DJ from 11pm til late or you might even catch the end of the weekly Trad Session in the front bar (9pm, Free).