Sunday, November 21, 2010


Saturday, 20 November 2010

So we saw the French band Karpatt last night.

Over the past two weeks, I've tried unsuccessfully to go to an event sponsored by the Alliance Francaise (they've had several recently), and it was nice to finally make an event.

It was at a fancy German restaurant called Tre Kronor, which is across the street from my apartment building. It started at 8; we arrived at 8:30. I went with Sophia and my friend R and her daughter.

The band was on a small stage, there was a small dance floor in front of them. The dance floor was already getting crowded (with women, no men dancing!) and the tables were all booked. Although it was a bit crowded, there was still plenty of room for us to push our way up front.

The band consists of four members--a drummer, a lead singer/guitarist, another singer and guitarist, and a bass player. They were very lively and very good with the audience. I strained my ears to listen to them when they spoke French, and was pleased that I understood some. The lead singer, Fred, spoke in English, too. An audience member came on-stage to translate what they said into Russian.

They were very good with the audience, sometimes coming onto the dance floor to dance with audience members. The lead singer saw my friend's daughter and improvised a song to her, "I love the little girl in the pink dress."

They had a routine about a fly--the bass player played his bass to sound like a fly while the two guitarists pretended to follow it around the room with their eyes. The lead singer pretended to catch it, debated killing it, and then let it free. The whole thing was synced pretty well, the sound of the fly buzzing corresponding with what the other two were pretending that it was doing.

They also made noises to the beat of the music and had the audience repeat it -- hums and other rhythmic sounds. When they saw the children, they also meowed to the beat and the audience meowed back!

They sang one song in Russian, that they had either written or someone had given them. They also sang the "Champs-Elysees" at the end and really wanted the audience to sing part--but we were pathetic and didn't know the words.

A French boy who looked maybe 12 or 13 years old came onto the dance floor and started doing some amazing footwork--absolutely fantastic. The lead singer saw him and pulled him on stage to dance. At first the boy seemed nervous but then he got into it. It must have been a great experience for him, to dance on stage.

The audience cheered so much that they performed one song for an encore. Then, we kept on cheering and hollering, that instead of a song, he sang a quick ditty in English--telling us where we can buy their CDs and how to find them on the Internet.

Then it was over.

We found the lead singer, Fred, signing autographs; he recognized my friend's daughter as the girl in pink to whom he had sung; and he signed his name on the back of a business card for her. Then Sophia wanted an autograph soon. The girls ended up with 3 autographs each, and they are quite happy with that. And it wasn't until we were in the parking lot, leaving, that I remembered how to say my ABC's in French--I had tried to explain how to spell my friend's daughter's name, but it came out wrong each time.

It was a fantastic evening--great music, a good experience for the kids, and listening to the French language.

I have to visit France again!

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