Goguettes concert by Patrice Mercier, with Clémence Monnier
Monday, 11 April, 7pm at Le Caillou
It is said that in France, everything starts and ends with songs. It is a fact that for the past few centuries, songs have accompanied the political and social evolution of our country. Among all singing traditions, one stands out in particular: the goguette. Starting from the end of the 18th century, at a time when newspapers are scarce and not every one can read, the goguette's importance is considerable because it spreads information. What is a goguette ? First and foremost, it is a meeting place where people sing. Second, it is the singing tradition that these meetings are witness to, and that is keen on recycling well-known tunes as accompanying music to fresh texts, typically about current events. In other words, one takes a song, discards the lyrics and replaces them by one's own lyrics. A few years ago, at a time when the art of the goguette had all but disappeared, a new wave of goguetteers appeared. Patrice Mercier, who was for some time part of a comedy show for French television, belongs to this new goguette wave that follows the tradition of Clément's Temps des cerises or Pottier's Internationale.
During this concert, you may recognise some famous tunes that belong to songs authored by Francis Cabrel, Daniel Balavoine, Michel Jonasz, Renaud, and even, it took some cheek to throw away their lyrics, Georges Brassens or Allain Leprest. You will also observe that Patrice writes about the unavoidable and challenging themes of modern life: internet, consumer society, school, the right to die with dignity of modern religious conflict... It is almost always funny, sometimes tenderhearted... but always strikingly well written.
Patrice is accompanied by Clémence Monnier, an expert musicologist, specialist of French songwriting under the Ancien Régime, who is also, as you will find out, a wonderfully ressourcefull piano player.
How to reach Le Caillou from IMB:
- Take the tram, Line B, direction "Bassins à flots", change at Hotel de ville for Line A, direction "Thiers-Benauge" and get off at Jardin Botanique.
- Walk along Avenue Abadie for 200 meters; you will pass along the church Sainte Marie, then along the glasshouse of the botanical garden, both on your left hand side. Turn left for Le Caillou.
Wednesday, 13 April, 2pm
A bus will drive us from the Institut de Mathématiques to Château La Louvière, where we will visit the cellars and taste wines. We will be back at about 5pm.
Wednesday, 13 April, 8pm
Restaurant Chez Jean, 1 place du Parlement
How to reach Chez Jean:
- Take the tram, Line B, direction "Bassins à flots", and get off at Grand Théâtre.
- Walk towards the river for 100 meters, turn right in rue des Piliers de Tutelles, then left in rue Parlement Sainte Catherine until you reach Place du Parlement.