Centre for Contemporary Arts: 24th January 2014

After being fortunate enough to win tickets to see BBC Radio 3’s late night concert live at the Celtic Connections Festival, I was not disappointed, especially when it was two members from Barzaz who opened the evening.  Both Jean-Michel Veillon’s and Gilles Le Bigot made a staggering opening.  Even though they were without a few members due to flight complications, their two man Fest Noz, who are usually joined by a fretless bass player and a singer, certainly got the party feeling started.

For those of you, who are not accustomed to a Fest Noz, it is similar to a Ceilidh and literally means Night Feast in the Breton language.

With gorgeous Breton nuances glimmering throughout each piece, this flawless and clean performance was delicately played with virtuosic talent.  The combination of flute and guitar lured the audience towards the mesmerising enchantment of the traditional songs they played which are traditionally danced to.  It is within this type of music you get a real sense of identity and can make the fundamental connection between the music and the place that it comes from.

There was a particular song that stood out to me.  I have since found out that it is called Parrez Lok Malo.  This is a beautiful piece which was tentatively played with a graceful tone by Jean-Michel Veillon with accompaniment from Gille Le Bigot on guitar.  Clearly, this group is experienced and very much comfortable performing, with their relaxed persona adopted by their captive audience.

Having being introduced recently to the wonders of Breton music, this was most definitely a feast for the ears, allowing them to sit in the gluttonous musical atmosphere that was an invigorating and enchanting beginning to a very good evening.


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