I went to Beleuvenissen again in July

I don't dare to book expensive tickets for big festivals this summer, not knowing in advance how awake and fit I'll feel and if my belly would cope heat and loud music and standing up for long.

But Beleuvenissen, the free concerts going on in the city center of Leuven each July Friday evening are closeby and easy to reach (and enable you to leave at any moment if you don't feel well).  So I went to see some Folk concerts in the beginning of July, some French chanson the week after,  the third Friday I slept (the "special" program usually doesn't make me very enthusiastic) and last week we went to see some "best off" concerts.

At folk I was very curious to see "Altan", an Irish folk band which I learned to love (with 2 songs at least) in Canada many many years ago.   My host father in one of my host families in fact always played a Celtic compilation late in the evening before going to bed.  That celtic music grew upon me and was the root of my love for folk.   Altan was one of the bands on that CD but since then I had not really heard from them again.

So it was quite cool to see the route cause of my folk love on stage, bringing indeed very traditional Irish/celtic music. Nice!

On the vismarkt, the Dutch "paganfolk" group brought very tribal sounding folk which I could appreciate very much. Haha, in fact I was a little disappointed that they were not Belgian so I could not spend a "made in Belgium" post on them :p.

However we soon moved to the Old Market Square to see my folk heroes "Urban Trad".  I was quite positively surprised to see them on the program this year since they had quit a few years ago no?   There was no sign on their website of a reunion or announcement to start touring again, yet there they were  with all their friends they often partner with e.g. the Belgian/Galician group  Ialma.
The square was cosy filled up but not quite packed at all and the sound didn't convince in the back part of the square. So I had the feeling that most people were enjoying a drink with nice company, having the music as pleasant background noise but there was no true engagement with the stage as I am used to when going to see Urban Trad. A bit disappointing though.  I had the feeling there live reputation was a bit lost...or maybe I wasn't in the best mood and expecting too much from them?  Only at the very end with some of their biggest hits, some more link with the public seemed to take place.

The 2nd Friday we went with a visiting friend to go and listen to French Chanson. While we were having a nice but extremely slow served meal on the Old Market Square we were surprised not to see the announced Isolde Lasoen to climb on stage but a pretty good Latino singer.  Nice...but a bit odd in the theme of French chanson?   It wasn't the only square where the theme was used very losely: on the Hoogeschoonplein our one-time Eurovision winner Sandra Kim was performing...in English. I guess that the fact she's a native French speaking  Belgian was close enough to schedule her tonight.
Jo Lemaire with her ever impressive voice was more like it at the Vismarkt, but we got back in time to watch Gerard Lenorman.   The name didn't ring a bell at all, but many of his hits surely did   "la balade des gens heureux"  , "si j'├ętais pr├ęsident"  etc etc are all classic sing-alongs that managed to set the square on fire.  Turned out we were standing next to group of drunk big fans , dancing away to the music of this famous French chansonnier.  

The last time we went to Beleuvenissen this year was a "best of" evening.  

For the 2nd time in 3  years, I watched Buscemi performing on the Vismarkt   , nicely fitting in the hot temperatures with his tropical sounding dance music.  Very nice.
Nevertheless i also hurried to see the end of the performance of the big Mr   Raymond Van 't Groenewoud , one of the biggest musicians in Belgium.

I truly love living in Leuven on Friday evenings in July...all this top music, just around the corner, all in pleasant cosy atmosphere.  I love it. this 25th edition surely was well done again.


Brian Miller said…
nice...sounds like good times to me...i dont know many or any of the singers you mentioned but...live music always is best for me...smiles

hows that baby coming?

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