Year after year, Crazy Week in Nice does not disappoint, thanks to a superb location, an eclectic programme, and some top musical acts.
It has definitely become today one of the not-to-be-missed festivals on the French Riviera, and after just two nights, it is already clear that the 2014 event will once again be a huge success.
After Simple Minds (pictured above) – yes, they are still around! – who brought the house down on Wednesday with their classic rock and 80’s landmark hits, the jam-packed Théâtre de Verdure was in for another great performance the following night, this time with British band Morcheeba. Different era, different atmosphere, but still the same enthusiasm among the audience.
The trip-hop pioneers have been around for nearly twenty years and with 8 albums under their belt, gave the audience a nice mix of “oldies but goodies” and more recent songs that displayed all the musical talents of the two funding brothers, Paul and Ross Godfrey, and the smooth voice of their lead singer, Skye Edwards.
Dressed in a white feathery dress she “made herself” and with her hair pulled up in an ersatz mohawk, Skye has quite a hypnotic presence and it is hard to take one’s eyes away from her. She was obviously having a lot of fun performing last night, interacting with the audience, taking pictures for her Facebook page, jumping around, and her laughter was contagious.
Aside from attracting popular artists of the moment, the great strength of the festival is that it provides an opportunity for young talent to shine. After ALB and Miss America on the first night, the audience on Thursday had a chance to discover the electro/pop/rock sound of the very promising local band, Ninety’s Story, made up of Florian (17), Guillaume (16), and 20 year old David.
Afterwards, it was up to one of the musical revelations of the past year in France, the Toulouse-based Cats on Trees, to show an ecstatic crowd that they clearly deserve all the praise they have been getting lately. The French duo has been making music together since 2007, but really grabbed the attention of both music critics and the general public when their catchy tune “Sirenes Call” hit the airwave six years later. Without much “tralala” but just a piano, a drumkit and the gentle voice of Nina Yohann, they created a unique and melancholic yet uplifting and energetic vibe.
After a break on Friday, the festival continues this weekend with among other acts, the French rock band Skip the Use on Saturday and famed guitarist Joe Satriani on Sunday. If you have missed the action so far, have no fear — it is not too late yet to jump on the bandwagon. A few tickets for both nights are still available.
All photographs © Mike Colquhoun