Well, it's been one year since the last Ancerville southern festival. We left last year with CALIBRE 12 and the german band FLATMAN, and during all this saturday 21th of April, we got the rain (the downpoor) to accompany us as we are going through France from the West to the East. But when we're in love we don't count on (it's well known !), and as usual we would like to arrive soon enough to greet the bands and listen to the soundchecks. First : Hogjaw, the band that had the honour to close the evening, isn't yet here at 17 h, playing the night before in the Netherlands. In fact, they will arrive only around 18 h. Then we meet again our Arizonians (is it the right word for people from Arizona ?) that we left in Cognac in May 2011. Kwal, JonBoat seem to be fit and so Elvis. Two stages are set up and will allow Natchez to intervene with an acoustic set.

20 h 30, here we are ! After some beers, everybody is ready and REDNECK (the local band) opens the evening with a set made up of classic rock tunes. 21 h : The DUKES (not from the Hazard County but from the St Dizier's one !) are on stage where they will alternate tunes in french and in english. Their clear sound Strato and Les Paul brings to us a good blues rock for this band that begins to raise its profile.

NATCHEZ played acoustic for the event and had to fill the space-time during the bands' backline changes on the bigger stage (once again a real proof of modesty and humility from the musicians of the Champagne), and had to play during two sets about ½ hour each. They even took the opportunity to play a new title ‘’A toi de jouer‘’ that will appear in the next album, a double CD in the recording, that will be released at the moment of a special evening at the end of September for the 25 years of the band. This Festirock confirmed that this band ensures serious and becomes a reference in the french rock from now on. We can also notice that the friend Marie Elise sang a title with them, and it's the occasion to add that her album recorded with Natchez is from now on available. Double record topicality in 2012 for Natchez, who spoke from the CD crisis ?

Then SWAMP shows up on stage and I notice that many people amongst the audience can't wait for this super french band « Tribute Lynyrd Skynyrd » to come. The band from Lille will give us a set during almost 1 h 30 that will enjoy the many Southern Rock fans present that evening in Ancerville. A show that starts with « That's How I Like It » and that visits all the great standards of the band from Jacksonville, from « Workin' for the MCA », to « Saturday Night Special », « On the Hunt », or « Simple Man », with a very particular appréciation for « I Need You » : Swamp really gives the thrill to the people in the hall at that time !
If I could have a wish, I'd like to see a keyboards player added to the three SWAMP guitarists, but well… Easier to wish than to fulfil I imagine ! The band also confirmed that it has to move on very soon to self compositions to offer us a Southern Rock album, a change of philosophy not as easy as it seems, but anyway we are impatient to listen to that !

Midnight : HOGJAW go in on stage, and first observation, it's loud, and even very loud, and the audience was bluffed. Those guys are really professionnal, they can play and the audience will appreciate. Icing on the cake, we were traeted to the title sung by the drummer Kwal, « Road Of Fools » from their last record Sons Of The Western Blues released in January. Otherwise, Jonboat is so imposing (close from two meters) that his Les Paul guitar appears like a toy. He tooks it all with his voice sometimes a little in the Danny Joe Brown range.


HOGJAW's rough style did the job in Ancerville since 350 people attended to this superb evening, the sixth in this style, and appreciated. Hat off to Olivier and his organization team who make a wonderful job. Don't forget that this kind of evening can only be realized thanks to passionnate volunteer workers ! We have to thank them and we already can't wait for seing the seventh in April 2013.

Philippe Archambeau

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