June 16, 2012

Concert blasts anthems of the Quebec student movement as Montreal's first major festival of the season wraps up

Loco Locass in action
RY Montreal Bureau

The closing weekend of the FrancoFolies de Montréal, the first major festival of Montreal following the Grande Prix Forumla One race, saw audiences go wild to Quebec musicians Loco Locass and Algonquin rap musician Samian. The activist hip hop group wrapped-up their show with chants, flag waving, casseroles and then welcomed the spokespeople of the student movement on to the stage to preform together an extended version of their hit song  Libérez-nous des libéraux (Liberate us from the Liberals) for over fifteen minutes.

The Youtube of this high-energy close of their act is below, and if you are interested in a front-row view of the show, click here.  The inclusion of Samian, the group said, was not just to again join forces with this  outstanding young artist but also showed that Aboriginal struggles and rights must be part of the Quebec perspective for sovereignty.  Samian, who helped host last November's Aboriginal People's Music Awards, has preformed across Canada and internationally and recently become an outspoken voice against the Quebec government's Plan Nord and its impact on First Nations communities.

It appears that the Charest Liberal's are already trying to silence certain pro-student groups from the some of the huge music and cultural festivals that entertain the people of Quebec during the summer. Nevertheless, political comments and slogans, the ubiquitous and supposedly subversive red square, and even a few pots and pans have regularly sneaked on to stage at the ten day FrancoFolies.

Launched in 1989 as celebration of French-language music, the festival brings together the best of Quebec music with artists from Europe, Africa and around the Francophone world. The FrancoFolies regularly attract over 500,000 people into downtown Montreal for mostly free concerts that run from the early afternoon into late at night.

The continuing student night demos, now at 53rd consecutive protest for accessible education, have also marched around the concerts. Well-known Quebec musician Robert Charlebois welcomed the night demo at his free open-air concert and banged a pot himself.

One group that certainly didn't preform however was Mis En Demure (which roughly translates as put on Judicial Notice).

The outspoken radical basement guitar rock band was officially banned from the Fête Nationale celebrations in Quebec City on the express wish of Premier Charest. "What they told us is, if we, Mise en Demeure, were to play the show, organizers were going to get their funding cut," a band member told CBC news. "We stepped down because we did not want other bands to miss out on exposure."

A band album poster of this radical anarchist group also caused a sensation when the Montreal police leaked the fact that an image had been found in the bed room of MNA Amir Khadir's daughter during a police raid of the house. The band poster features her father re-mixed into a classic painting from the French Revolution.

But it seems that an already inflamed political situation and the widespread popularity of the many musicians and artists who have come out against the tuition increase has prevented the Liberal's from censuring other artists -- so far. As expected, the crowd at the Loco Locass concert overflowed, and was broadcast via giant TV screens to an audience around the corner from the main stage grounds. CTV reported the crowd at 80,000 people.

In a bold and symbolic move, the musicians -- who were also promoting their new album satirically titled Le Québec est mort, vive le Québec! (Quebec is dead, viva Quebec!) -- asked the entire audience to sit down for a minute of silence for the death of democracy after Bill 78, and the more general death of Quebec social values. You can see the result and watch the full show here:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular stories