Goulamas’k released their sixth album Rabia & Poësia last week. The sound is ska-punk reggae-tinged rock sung in French, Occitan, Catalan and Spanish.
The song ‘Miseria’ caught my attention when they debuted the song on YouTube weeks earlier. The video is pure genius, and again Angel was the mastermind behind the vision of the video. It tells a story about a factory closing leaving many out of work. Goulven Gonthier again the artist behind the lens with his unique perspective of the world. Pure art.
There are a great many instruments that bring an added depth of colour to the feel of this album and its powerful protest. Accordion, bagpipes, drums, bass, guitar, trombone, trumpet, flute, oboe and a few that don’t translate into English nevertheless are inherently strange instruments that are from this region resurrected by the band.
During the Press Release we asked the panel of Goulamas’k members and the manager Claudie many question about the inspirations of this band, my favourite song and why they choose Catalan and Occitan languages to sing in. The question came up if they were indeed a politically driven entity, but the answer was no. They are preserving the languages through music; Fred grew up with these languages so it is a natural evolution for him to hold on to them. Claudie did mention how being the only women in the group was difficult only when they choose not to bath. Many people Skyped during the Press Release question session from all over Europe. It was very entertaining.
And I asked the question we were all thinking, Is Yadu planning to wear more clothes in the next video…. the answer was he has no plans. And yes I totally embarrassed myself asking the question and they made sure I turned three shades of red! Yadu, you are an original. I still love your fish soup from the soup fete in Puisserguier! Big <3
What is next for this group? The answer was unclear. When they find inspiration they write a song. When they have enough for an album, they produce one. Flo mentioned they want to write music in all sorts of different languages, perhaps even English. Oh I like that idea!
What is the next video for this group? After this they go on tour and have no time until after the busy summer months. Either way, I am personally looking forward to the creative collaboration of this talented group of musicians.
After the questions, Goulamas’k FunFair treated us to a concert! Their high energy band rocked into the night!
One thing I love about southern France is the way they support their musicians; the government and the citizens. To be a musician is not frowned upon as in North America as a career where it is considered more a hobby unless you are among the lucky few.
Here it is viewed as a talent that needs to be cherished and displayed. The government even supports unemployed musicians with benefits when they do no work. They have programs to find work through different local venues that find paying audiences and lastly many play for free during festivals. French music is something very special, and many people develop their style over years and years of playing the festival circuit. Tourists love this part, as in many countries bands are not allowed to play in the streets.
Festivals are loaded with talented musicians, some famous in the region and all put on a memorable show. I always try to buy a round for the band. They are seriously underpaid compared to the North American equivalent.