“Escale en Canal Lirou” festive nights, fun days




As part of the summer solstice the local musicians came out to celebrate in Capestang after 7:00pm on Sunday evening. The perfect setting along the Canal du Midi where boats dock, you could see their guests sitting on deck sampling local wine from the venders set up in kiosks down the road. Most eat their dinner and listen to the entertainment in the warm southern sun.

There were a few local product merchants and crepe sellers to round out the town’s celebration. A group of local children ran around in the fields below playing between the long grass and trees. How many bug bites will Daniel come home with? I tried not to worry and enjoyed the music.

Three Capestang locals were on the stage in front of the tourist office. Chairs and benches were set around for seating and a floor to dance on directly in front.

Our entertainment consisted of: one man whom plays professionally in a large orchestra who held his tuba on the end of the stage, the guitar player that floats between bands perched on a chair made up the book ends framing the pretty lady in the middle holding her posh accordion preparing to sing.

They had a cool folk sound and the lead had a rich throaty rasp in the low notes that made their sound hip.  I loved how the accordion blended with her voice and the brass played low against the string guitar’s twangs.

She wore a simple elegant sequin dress with no shoes. Her boyfriend the tuba player in the photos went in between instruments and played the tuba, trumpet and guitar during the show. The lead also took her turn on the guitar for a few numbers.

They were playing traditional songs that everyone but us knew the words too. We were told they were not an official band and as such they had to stick to popular traditional songs. Is this the rule in France? Not sure if it was a personal choice or regulated law. Nothing surprises.

After the hour-long show everyone clapped and they bowed to the audience.

Then a group of striped shirt people bounced out of the crowd and into action playing instruments as they walked. It was our local folk band climbing on board a canal barge to sing for the crowd below. They have a fun, free vibe, and all the people in the group truly enjoy the music they make together. We have seen the familiar faces many times around town performing at events as well as some members have kids in the local elementary school with Daniel and Angelina.

After a full day in the sun, swimming in the pool and the evening festival until after 9:00 I dragged the sleepy babes home for bed, as Alfonz and Adrian joined a group to watch the soccer match in the square.

The sunset after 9:30pm and again the photos were incredible.

The sun was still setting as I snuck in an evening swim and the stars started to peek out of the deep blue sky that faded to black. As I felt the cool water against my body, I floated on my back and looked towards the heavens. How many painters came here to study just for the famous light and looked towards the same sky and felt the energy that lives here. Does everyone feel creative here I wondered, and does everyone feel this at home?

Salvador Dali, Leonardo Da Vinci, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre August Renoir and Vincent Van Gogh all lived and breathed in this divine light that warms the trees before sunset in a golden stream low and deep. They too saw the same moon high above peering down at them on the summer solstice.

The path to the region has been beaten down before us. I am starting to realize why.


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