Unpredictable Provence 2

Sunday Morning.  The LSH wants to go to Forcalquier later, to see the festival that’s going on there.

We’ll just run up to Reillanne market first.

A flying vist.

Just to get some household stuff we need and a few bits of fruit.

Yerrah we won’t be long…

We heard it starting up as we finished our dealings at the big houseware stall.  A distant OOM-PA-PA and some trumpet sounds, coming from the direction of the Café du Cours.  We had said we’d go for a quick coffee there with friends before we went home.  Quick?  HAH!  We were unprepared for the madness that is Pekno Parade.

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The musicians were still arriving in dribs and drabs as we sat with our friends.  They came skipping down the street in time with the music, instruments in hand and just joined right in.  It was downright impossible not to get caught up with it all.

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I abandoned all attempts at conversation with our friends as I found myself head-nodding… toe-tapping… swaying with the music… clapping hands… dancing on the spot as only us Irish can do!  See that “APPLAUSE” sign under the drum kit?  Believe me, there was never any need to flash that around!

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They started off playing in front of the Café, as cars drove up and down the main street of Reillanne beside them.  Have a look and a listen…

The band is made up of a large group from the Drôme region, augmented on this day with a few extras from Apt.  Their love of music is plain to see, every one of them oozes music and dance from every pore of their being.  They clearly love getting together and their passion is infectious.   They played for nearly two hours, with musicians swapping in and out as they needed to draw breath – literally!

Bit by bit, they took over the pedestrian crossing, dancing and weaving their way in and out of traffic, standing back to let cars through whenever a traffic jam developed.  Staff had to wind their way through the band as well as the usual traffic hazards as they served customers on the terrace, across the road from the café.  Watch out for the guy in the purple t-shirt in the next clip – he’s the owner of the café – and a dark haired girl wearing black – she’s the waitress.  They just took it in their stride!

I challenge you to watch this and not find yourself smiling!

Finally, we finished up with a half-hour set from this duo, plus drummer.  These guys are regulars at Reillanne market.  I love to hear (and see) them play, they’re so very lively!

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I have no idea how that guy dances wearing that big tuba thingy (I think it’s called a helicon), but he does – he has to keep up with his very energetic partner, who never, ever stops moving!

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If you want to find out more about Pekno Parade, you can visit their myspace page, or there is a bit about their history here – if you can read French!

Irish readers : Do you think this was what De Valera meant by “comely maidens dancing at the crossroads?”  Is his Utopian vision of Ireland actually alive and well and living in Provence?

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