I am into folk...at beleuvenissen

It's july and it was Friday...so it was "Beleuvenissen" in Leuven. And traditionally the first friday is in the theme of folk.

My love to folk started during my exchange in Canada. In my ghost family Ronmark, my host dad had the habit of playing some quiet celtic music before going to bed. There were a couple of CD's that I soon knew by heart and that I learned to appreciate very much. It was also in Canada that I heard for the first time the concept "to fiddle" as opposed to playing the violin. There were a lot of fiddlers around.

Back in Belgium, I discovered Urban Trad on the festival in Ghent : I didn't knew their name then but they kept me dancing at Sint-Jacobs until the end of their concert :-). From pure celtic music I learned more about Irish folk and other folk. When I went for the first time to the folk festival in Dranouter I loved the charm of this easy going festival immediately. And in the mean time, all of Flanders is living in a "folk revival" with phenomena like 'boombals' being a real hype and a lot of excellent Belgian folk groups selling well.

So it's no surprise that I've been a regular visitor of Beleuvenissen 'folk' as well :-). How can you spend a better night than to walk around in the great historic setting of Leuven from stage to stage with everywhere international folk groups performing.

The crowd out there wasn't too big yesterday evening, probably still due to the cold weather and the uncertainty whether it would stay dry (it did). But the trough folkies showed up and at the stage of KV Express they needed no more explanation when and how to dance a "tovercirkel", "a scottish", ... Hmm the many boombals are clearly having its influence, if it continues like this those folk dances will slowly become cultural heritage ;).

Sophie Cavez is pretty amazing though. She is the accordianist of Urban Trad but started her own folkball group as well. In March she also participated in the choir concert where I played the flute as well and apparently she cannot read any music, so I heard. She would be a total auto-didact without any schooling. Wow that's amazing. That day she definately made me feel like an amateur (which obviously I am...I can only play simple things after studying a lot and cannot improvise at all, whereas she just fills in gaps with music just like that...it just flows out of her accordion).

Anyway, it was a great evening with some big Belgian folk groups but also Irish folk etc... What I missed this year was a group of Galicia. I really like Galician folk music and there was none this year. Oh well, you can't have it all.

Urban Trad Sons of Navarone

The Oude Markt (old marketsquare) in Leuven


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