Sunday, July 21, 2013


At the Festival de Poupet
This blog post is more about the occasion giving rise to the nomenclature of its title than about the Antilles. In fact it is not about the Carribean islands at all, but rather the coinciding of my 16-year-old-indie-music-loving niece's visit to France and shepherding her to a performance of her favorite group, Vampire Weekend, at a small and relaxed outdoor music festival in an out-of-the-way agricultural area. 

The instant of actually selecting today's title occurred well before the event, yours truly thinking that the pun would fit nicely if I were to photograph the attendees' attire, because "indies" refers to a set--or perhaps a subset--of people tagged as being independent. Independent that is, as far as I can surmise, in choices of music, attire and other cultural affects. With the exception of the above photo of the back of someone's pretty head, my project to photograph French indie fashion plates fell far short of my intentions. A good deal of the Vampire Weekend concert goers seemed to be locals of all ages who were either looking for something to do or who simply wanted to show support for their community's major summer event. A number of them, however, were donned in very practical and comfortable pedal pushers. All were pleasantly surprised by the intimate encounter with the sophisticated  New York band.
The Festival de Poupet is a month-long annual musical festival featuring a variety of performers held in what's called the Théâtre de Verdure, an amphitheater set outside the rural village of Saint-Malo-du-Bois. It's in the Vendée and not to be confused with the Brittany seaport, Saint-Malo. Fortunately for me, because I left the insect repellent in my hotel room in Cholet--the first large town within a 20 km radius of the hillside event--the area around the bandshell was carpeted with artificial turf. And, despite the standing only designation on the festival's website, there was some bench seating available toward the back of the viewing area. My niece, however, luckily counted among the mostly female fans who lined the edge of the stage. This is a music festival where proximity to performers and visibility is prime; entry is limited to no more than 3,000 persons. For Vampire Weekend, the crowd was divinely small--only 1,300.
I used to have a skirt that matched the stage backdrop which hid the pastures behind.
Lead singer Ezra Koenig, polished but at the same time très bon enfant. Interesting sounds and lyrics come from this well-trained band of former students of music.

un anti-insecte; un anti-moustique:  insect repellant, mosquito repellant
bon enfant: good-natured, easy-going
écarté, insolite:  out-of-the-way

©2013 P.B. Lecron

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