From Monday, July 27 to Wednesday, July 29, Abitibi-Témiscamingue welcomed the band Bon Enfant who performed 3 times in 3 different cities during a tour orchestrated by Au Pays des Pick-Up and a variety of partners. This tour of Abitibi marked the beginning of a long, 2-week trip across the province for the band. “It went really well! It’s a great way to start our tour!”, says Daphné Brissette, singer and founding member of the band, the day after their last show in the region.
In the formula chosen for this year by Au Pays des Pick-Up, the band performed in locations that we could call surprising, even atypical. In addition to Le Cabaret de la Dernière Chance (which replaced the park of Cléricy because of storm risks (gosh darn this unreliable weather!)), the band performed in Amos’s Parc Lions and Val-Senneville’s Parc BMX which were transformed into temporary stages for an evening of good living and celebration to the sound of queb franco rock inspired by the late seventies.
According to Daphé, this type of unusual venue can lead to a bit of insecurity, since, contrarily to shows programmed at a festival, where we usually expect a crowd of music lovers and fans of the band, it is harder to know what to expect in a context like this one, where people sometimes come simply because they happened to be near, or they were pulled there by their curiosity. “Many people discover the band as well… but that’s a good thing!” Nevertheless, the also mentions that those shows create a peculiar proximity with the audience, a connection that is easier to establish during shows in remote regions, a reality she was able to feel over the last few days, notably in Val-d’Or: “The weather was great, there was a sort of village festival ambience where everyone knows everyone, brings their children… It was really fun!”
If the people of the region consider themselves lucky to welcome musicians from across the province, Daphné explains that this gratefulness is reciprocal: “We feel privileged as well to be able to play this far from the big cities. It is great to have access to the entirety of Quebec, to be able to go to those places and to live from our music. It is really a two-way street”, she insists.
Bon Enfant is currently the main project of Daphné Brissette (Canailles) and Guillaume Chiasson (Ponctuation), who are joined by Étienne Côté (Canailles, Lumière), Mélissa Fortin (Canailles) and Alex Burger (solo project), who also have their own musical projects, which, according to Daphné, only makes the band richer, by allowing each member to thrive musically and to bring their own creative baggage.
As the band released its first album right before the Great Lockdown of 2020 (it deserves to be capitalized, no?) and used the obligated break of the pandemic to write the second album, they had been looking forward to returning to the stage for a long time. Their passage in Abitibi thus marks the happy beginning of a first, real, long tour for the band, who can only rejoice at the turn of events: “It’s only getting bigger. Among ourselves, everything is going great, we are working very hard so that everything is enjoyable, so that we always want to continue. It is a fire that you have to feed all the time. The public’s reaction is there, we are really spoiled, the crowd is receptive and we simply have no choice but to give them more.”
To the question, “Will we see you again?”, Daphné answers with enthusiasm: “I hope, it’s in our plans! For sure, if we can come back to Abitibi, we will jump on the opportunity!” Take notes, festival organizers!
GET READY FOR WHAT’S COMING
Au Pays des Pick-Up will continue its endless spreading of musical happiness as early as mid-July with the charming Ramon Chicharron and his irresistible latin beats. From July 13 to 16, in La Sarre, Val-d’Or, Laverlochère (Bidoune for people in the know), and Cloutier, get ready to allow yourselves to lose control of your hips and to get lost in the dance.
Photos: Jeanne Perrin