The Left Bank comes to Loch Awe!

Writeup kindly provided by Tony Graham.

The Rive Gauche, the Left Bank of the Seine, came to Loch Awe on Sunday 23rd June, with the arrival of Les Trois Blondes. The trio, comprising John Burns (lead accordion), George Burns, his brother (2nd accordion) and Fergus Wood (drums and compere) specialise in “bal musette”, the traditional café music of Paris. Their stage name is a play on words and means “three pints of lager”-la biere blond.

Les Trois Blondes played a varied set of waltzes, polkas and foxtrots, the Burns brothers each demonstrating their virtuosity on the box.  Among the highlights was their version of “C’est Si Bon!”  – It’s So Good, made famous in the 50’s by Maurice Chevalier.  Fergus Wood, the drummer, gave a witty, and very helpful explanation of the history of bal musette and introduced each number with an anecdote which helped the audience put the piece in context. Other highlights of the set included Sous le Ciel de Paris – Under the Parisian Sky, straight out of Maigret, and the mysterious Le Triste Sourire – The  Sad Smile. The Blondes also included their rendition of Hazel’s Musette, with its origins not in France but in Shetland.

The set concluded with Les Blondes reverting to their day jobs as a Scottish Ceilidh Band with a selection of jigs and reels.

After the performance, the audience were treated to a delicious cream tea, which rounded off a perfect Summer afternoon.  Perhaps only missing un verre de vin rouge ou une blond!

As ever St Conan’s Kirk served as a stunning backdrop to the performance. The Friends of St. Conan’s are to be congratulated not only for their work in restoring this architectural curiosity but establishing it as a cultural centre in the heart of Loch Awe.