Le Vent Du Nord are a progressive folk quartet from the French speaking area of Quebec in Canada. Accompanied by a number of special guests this was always going to be one of those special Celtic Connections gigs. It certainly was just that!
The packed standing audience at the Old Fruitmarket on Saturday night, 17 January, had a longer than expected wait for the start of this concert with the band taking to the stage some forty minutes after they were billed to do so. However, that was soon forgotten the moment Le Vent Du Nord started playing.
Right from the outset these guys showed why they are gaining worldwide acclaim. They play with an energy and enthusiasm that compels the audience and has them dancing and swaying in what soon becomes one massive party.
The fact that most of the singing is in French matters not a jot to the adoring audience. Who needs to know what the lyrics are when the music is so captivating and played with such voracity. The variety of instruments played by this quartet, including the mighty hurdy gurdy, showcased the wonderful musical talent of these infectious guys.
The concert, billed as Misses et Messieurs, had a host of female talent including Emily Smith, Julie Fowlis, Sharon Shannon, Patsy Reid, Megan Henderson and Christine Hanson. Each of the aforementioned guests complimented the music and style of Le Vent du Nord, turning an already excellent night into a quite superb one.
In fact at the start of the encore, Julie Fowlis, Sharon Shannon, Emily Smith and Christine Hanson performed their version of The Parting Glass which was quite breathtaking. You could have heard a pin drop in this wonderful venue and feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
As stated previously, the songs were predominately in French although the guys could speak fluent English and used their humour to entertain the crowd further.
With over 1,000 concerts under their belts Le Vent du Nord (translated as The North Wind) gave a highly polished performance that left the vast audience well satisfied but still wanting more.
If I have one complaint, it is that through no fault of the band, the performance started 40 minutes late and no announcement was made to explain why. It transpired that there was another concert in the adjacent City Halls which could not be disturbed as it was being recorded. This should surely have been avoided and at least an explanation given to the audience who were made to stand outside the hall on a particularly cold night. Many people had to leave before the end to catch public transport home.
Le Vent du Nord are: Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers and Réjean Brunet
Presenter @ Celtic Music Radio