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Folk stuff in Normandy

Jack Campin 04 Apr 14 - 02:32 PM
Bert 04 Apr 14 - 08:31 PM
Monique 05 Apr 14 - 01:49 AM
Jack Campin 05 Apr 14 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,matt milton 05 Apr 14 - 06:34 AM
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Subject: Folk stuff in Normandy
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 02:32 PM

I might be going to a wedding in Bethune, Normandy in late June/early July.

I can't find any reference to any local music I might find interesting. Iron Maiden are playing in Arras a bit after, but I've managed to avoid them in three continents so far and would rather not spoil my record. Local information I can find suggests the main source of entertainment is looking at war graves.

Is Normandy a traditional music desert?

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Subject: RE: Folk stuff in Normandy
From: Bert
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 08:31 PM

Not at all. I used to have a book of Normandy Folk Songs, but I lost it in a divorce. Try to find a bookstore when you get there.

Normandy Folk Music had a great influence on England, with tunes like "The bear went over the mountain".

Make time for a side trip to see The Bayeux Tapestry, if you haven't seen it before.

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Subject: RE: Folk stuff in Normandy
From: Monique
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 01:49 AM

Jack, you'd better look for "Nord-Pas de Calais" region where Béthune is. link 2,

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Subject: RE: Folk stuff in Normandy
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 04:47 AM

Thanks Monique! very useful links to a wide range of music.

I'll see if I can look round bookshops - I generally do that wherever I go anyway.

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Subject: RE: Folk stuff in Normandy
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 06:34 AM

Can't comment on Bethune per se but my parents have a house in a tiny village called Bois Jean, is in the Pas De Calais region. So I know the region very well, having been going there at least once a year for, ooh, about 15 years.

If the weather's good – and it should be in late June/July – I can recommend going to the coast. Le Touquet is quite touristy, but a great place to spend an afternoon sitting in a bar eating a plate of moules frites and drinking a cold beer.

They often have free music in the summer, quite often blues and jazz.

Not much use to you if you don't have a hire car of course...

I'd suggest having a look at the listings magazine for the area, which is called OuQuandQuoi a bit nearer the time...

There's also opalenews, which is probably more useful as a website, as you can search specifically for events relevant to Bethune:

I did once go to a folk-dance night in Etaples, which was interesting from a music point of view, but me and my girlfriend did feel a bit left out. Everyone there clearly knew each other very well and the dance-calling instructions were a bit too rapid, even for my pretty good French.

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