“Remember to move what your mama gave you. »
Posted at 10:00 a.m.
The least we can write is that Clay and Friends, valiant ambassadors of “Verdun’s popular music”, got off to a flying start. The irresistible groove of Move your thang could have legitimately been the highlight of the show, somewhere on the encore. But no: the dancing success of the summer of 2021 was going to launch the festivities, in what looked like both a position statement – there is urgency! – and a prescription for the rest of the evening.
“We are the funk of Quebec”, launched halfway through the play the not always modest – why be in full glory? – Mike Clay, in his matching tropical shirt and shorts.
Thursday evening, the charismatic quintet has forgotten nothing of its recent EP Agua (2021), and very little of its revamped version Extend’eau, published on June 10. As a launch gift for this “first official album”, the troupe treated themselves to the biggest crowd of their career so far. “It’s one of the most beautiful moments of my life”, said the singer of about thirty years, visibly moved.
“The slogan of the album, it solves 90% of life’s problems: ‘Drink some water, call your mom'”, explained Clay in front of a decoration of aquatic flora, before biting into the subtly anti-racist Chocolate in symbiosis with the black singer Hawa. “Everybody / Loves chocolate / If it’s white / Or it’s black”.
Among the eight pieces ofAguà Extend’eauonly song for sad people, a poorly represented public on Thursday evening, was put away. Because, whether it’s “tears of gin, tears of joy”, It’s only water, came to sing Louis-Jean Cormier, faithful to the studio collaboration.
This encounter between two artists, but also between Antônio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova and a chorus by Pierre Barouh, sums up well the “popular music of Verdun”: a quilt dotted with French references and Latin sounds.
The tasty pop-rock-casual group Comment Debord, or at least two of its representatives, has also joined forces with Clay and Friends to extend the collaboration on stage. Lovely Day.
However, it was singer and backing vocalist Claire Ridgely who replaced Marilyne Léonard on Cardin. “I’m on the plane with Charlotte Cardin / If we crash, yeah, it’ll just be about her. “We are 4 Junos and 13 MTelus from being Charlotte Cardin,” joked Mike Clay, whose band has twice filled the enclosure on Saint-Catherine Street.
On stage, Clay’s proposal is magnified by Clément Langlois-Légaré’s guitar roars (Romeo), Adel Kazi’s beatbox and drum machine prowess (Name On It), the jams led by bassist Pascal Boisseau and the unstoppable keyboard of Émile Désilets.
Given a human tide with a high family concentration, we forgive a few slightly childish artifices: shark inflated with helium during big ideasappeal to the left or right side of the crowd, stretching mic effect, etc.
Swaying and nostalgia
Sweat and Smoke, “a little ballad of Brazil”, was also offered live from a bathtub placed on stage. Sadly, the murmurs of the dissipated crowd buried the words. She pulled herself together to send thousands of iPhone “fireflies” flying.
What Onda, Cheese (normally with Kirouac and Kodakludo), OMG have been particularly successful in galvanizing the most timid hips. The teeming EP Grouillades also gave material to dance. Outraged Romeothe guys took there Gainsbourg and That’s all, filed as a reminder. Some, like us, must have wondered where Josephine.
On a few occasions, Clay and Friends have gone further – which is still pretty close – in their discography, i.e. in EPs Conformopolis (2017) and The popular music of Verdun (2019).
Unsurprisingly, the group picked up their first real success there at the end of the concert, the anthem of escape Going Up the Coast, “a song that changed our lives”. The audience joined in with “Na na na na na naaaa”. And Mike Clay to board an inflatable raft to sail above the crowd.
An opportunity to see how much the “popular music of Verdun” has made waves in the past five years, from rue Wellington to place des Festivals.