August 1, 2021

In Rouen, the Rush Festival rehabilitated in an intimate version

“For over a year, we have done and defeated so much that it’s still hard to believe. ” Friday June 11, shortly before the first of the three evenings of the Rush Festival, in Rouen, Jean-Christophe Aplincourt, director and programmer of 106, a hall labeled contemporary music scene, is in any case delighted. Canceled in 2020, Rush, organized by 106, is one of the first festivals of this 2021 resumption. It does not take place on the Rollet peninsula where, between the 106 theaters and outdoor facilities, several thousand people can usually circulate, but in five places of the Rouen heritage: the Flaubert Museum and the History of Medicine, the Ceramics Museum, the Historial Jeanne-d’Arc, the Pierre-Corneille high school and the Aître Saint- Maclou, an old ossuary.

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It was only in mid-May, with the announcement of new deconfinement rules, that this new Rush could be finalized. “The sites had been chosen, the increase in gauges made the festival viable. The dates have been pushed back a week to take advantage of the 11 p.m. curfew. And 80% of the planned artists were able to shift. “ Ten concerts a day of about fifty minutes each, seated audience, from a few dozen to around 200 people. And an essentially French pop-rock, song, electro, rap and world music poster, including several groups from Rouen and its region. In the future, Rush should come back in full force, but we suggest that this intimate format be renewed in parallel.

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In the garden of the Flaubert Museum, it is the discovery of Louise D., Rouennaise aged 18, who sings in English or in French her compositions and covers (including 10 000 Brasses by Radiosofa and Like the rain by Akim Amara). Accompanied on acoustic or electric guitar at low volume, it gives a great vocal confidence. Her sources, including Nick Cave, Elliot Smith (1969-2003), Mark Lanegan, will tell us quickly at the end of her concert. Rather dark universes, which seem to irrigate her approach, and yet there is light in her interpretation.

Surf music in cobbled yard

He is succeeded by guitarist and singer Johan Asherton, who came with guitarist Stéphane Dambry – of great finesse in the use of effects, touch – and bassist Loïc Kohler. A Parisian for a long time, he has lived in Rouen for ten years. Passiontide, his last album to date – he has about twenty since the end of the 1980s – was released in June 2020. It is played almost in full. Johan Asherton’s deep voice combines the elegance of Bryan Ferry – the trio picks up Take a Chance With Me of his group Roxy Music -, the depth of Leonard Cohen, the nonchalance of Kevin Ayers. All this, captivating, expressive.

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