Friday, 6 December 2013

Gilles Servat: Je dors en Bretagne ce soir

While enjoying the acts at the Trans Musicales event in France, this song by Gilles Servat is one that I find sticking in my mind.

Admittedly Rennes might not be the most rural part of Brittany, but none the less this is where I find myself.

The music of Gilles Servat may be very diffferent to the music being showcased at the Trans Musicales event that's on at the city, but music has been one of the key elements to Breton identity, and Servat has been at the forefront of this.

This song originally appeared on his 1973 album L'Hirondelle.

He has been releasing work since his 1970 debut La Blanche Hermine, performing in English, French and Breton.

He's long been a campaigner for Breton language and culture, and stood up to the Front National's use of his song Blanche Hermine in his 1998 live album Touche pas à la Blanche Hermine.

His work has included French interpretations of songs by English-language songwriters like Christy Moore, whose La Quinta Brigada he performed, as well as Ewan MacColl's Dirty Old Town, under the title Vieille Ville de Merde.

Servat remains a big presence in the Breton music scene, with a live schedule that artists more than half his age would welcome, and  his most recent alum being released last month.

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