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Vintage Victor songs thrill fans again in Seychelles

Vintage Victor songs thrill fans again in Seychelles ( The known entertainer in his own right and columnist, Derek Savy, has given the thumbs up to the Patrick Victor Special 2 and said that it was another resounding success.

Numerous fans were again mesmerized by a vintage performance from the musical icon. The Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel&Casino put on its sparkling dress to welcome back the maestro last Saturday, March 31. It was a fitting accolade for an artiste whose songs and tunes have become an integral part of oh-so-many generations. Patrick Victor’s staying power in our country’s music industry is unmatched. His songs captivate various moods – from nostalgia to patriotism, with a strong dose of romance and a potent whiff of poetry. And finally, Patrick is having a lot of fun in sharing these intense moments with so many people who are enjoying every minute of his shows, to the point that last week’s audience wanted the show to go on till dawn. A particular group of fans shouted for the show to start all over again!

This performance marks another milestone in Patrick’s musical career. With two similar shows already under his belt, this humble and kindhearted virtuoso embraced the warm evening in a very relaxed mood, interacting with his musicians, performing guest artists, and adoring fans in a very genuine and spontaneous fashion.

The program kicked off just after 9:00 pm with a tribute to Aldabra. A short clip of Patrick on the island, singing his ballad (a song composed without Patrick even setting foot on the island before) was introduced by Maurice Lousteau Lalanne, himself a seasoned champion of this “joyau de l’humanité.” This was followed by the screening of a trailer of “Lost Monsoons,” a documentary in the making that illustrates the plight of this fragile ecosystem and its people under the current scourge of piracy. As this powerful message sank in, the curtain opened to a live performance of the song with the haunting harmonics of the Andy Wirtz choir and the genial voice of the star backed by “Island Vibrations” from Praslin.

The tribute to Aldabra was already one of the strong points of the show, which left the audience in awe, as it is the first time the song is performed in such a captivating glow. The pace was set when Patrick cued in with “Later Ini,” an anthem that reinforces our country’s pedigree as a nation at the forefront of nature conservation. Then on came Jean Quatre who accompanied Patrick on several tracks off his Frazil album with his melancholic saxophone to the rapturous applause of the audience. There were several subtle moments on these songs with various instruments, such as the lead guitar and mandolin playing in tandem with the sax.

The first guest singer on stage was 14-year-old Keisha Valentin who also had a message for humanity with her rendition of “Fizi Zouzou.” It was a real heartwarming performance, considering that she was down with the flu that week. She was followed by Alex Marie; another young performer discovered only recently who interpreted “Parol” in his own cadenza.

In a slight change of set, Patrick reappeared to illustrate the story of “Solin,” with a mise-en-scene designed to portray the beauty, elegance, and sophistication of our “hot blooded” island women. The song was accentuated with several local beauties in colorful attire (by local designer, Natasha), parading the catwalk with grace to the beat of the song. This interlude ushered in Jude Beaudoin, who hit the right notes as he got the crowd rocking in their seats on a spiced-up version of “We Came From Africa.”

With the crowd hanging on to Patrick’s every poetic line with bated breath, he moved closer to the audience in a more intimate set with his acoustic guitar in the company of Hank Didon on percussions. This set of soft, romantic ballads kicked off with Patrick smoothing out the edges with “La Limyer Fler E Ou” to the thunderous applause of the audience singing along, already connected in a transcending daze.

The star was then joined on stage by a fascinating duet – Wendy&Monette Dorby, two aspiring singers – harmonizing beautifully on “Pti Parol.” Another rising star from Praslin in the person of Stephanie Lepathy appeared out of nowhere to join Patrick with a gut-wrenching interpretation of “Zoli Lanmour.” Her sweet melodious voice really captured the true essence of this beautiful ballad.

A poignant air of nostalgia settled in as the star welcomed Dana Ally on stage. A household name back in the days of “Still Waters” (a band that Patrick even played in!), it was obvious that the veteran lead guitarist still possessed his Midas touch! It was also a dream come true for Patrick who had always wanted to share the limelight with this icon of Seychelles music. They jammed on “Sa Ti Lepok” and were joined in a guitarfest by Sidney Monnaie as they gave “Lerwa Séga” a new swinging, pulsating twist.

The upbeat tempo was sustained when Paul Meme then took to the stage and illustrated his versatility with a warm zouk version “Pa Telefonn Ankor” followed by a duo with Patrick on “Koko de Mer” in praise of the island he now calls home. In fact, it was a fitting tribute to the numerous Praslinois talents that graced the evening.

Then came one of the most powerful renditions of “Mon Ankor Mazin Ou,” delivered in a stunning voice, with much poise and stage presence by Vanessa Juliette. She is definitely a star in the making with a great future in store.

Patrick then ushered in a series of sing along tunes. It was amazing to see so many fans in the audience singing in unison to a selection of their favorites such as “Shila,” “Retourn Praslin,” “Mon Debat Pou Mon Rezor,” “Pou Touzour,” “Zimaz Oubliye,” and, of course, the beloved “Mon Bizou,” which sparked goose bumps as the majority joined in the chorus and verses. Patrick was accompanied on stage by other guests such as Genevieve and the beloved Rosanne William who put on a stellar performance with “Ou Ankor Kontan Li.” She truly portrays the limitless and timeless range of Patrick’s songs that appeal to a wide audience spanning several generations. The ever patriotic “O Mon Pei Cheri” got everyone on their feet as they joined in with an air of patriotism and nostalgia.

In the full swing of the euphoria, Patrick then called on Selwyn Edmond who was itching to sing “Margerit”… and he delivered as per expectations.

Patrick then introduced the members of “Island Vibrations” who broke into their own version of “Later 7 Kouler.” The band got their break and turned out to be the perfect fit for any Patrick Victor show when they accompanied the artiste for the “Retourn Praslin” edition last December. In fact, they can play practically all the songs that Patrick has ever composed! Praslin took pride of place on Saturday with several guest performers and the scintillating trio of dancers that hail from the land of the coco de mer. It was a perfect showcase for this bevy of talents, setting the benchmark for a new trend in terms of choice of entertainment and above all the “musicianship” displayed on this night to remember.

“Sega Pionye” and “Zwe Sa Lanmizik” came out as the two favorite tunes for an encore. By that time the fans were dancing the night away among the tables, with a daring lady fan marching onto the stage to personally express her heartfelt appreciation to her idol.

The curtain finally came down with Patrick and his guitar giving us some “Bouldenez Dan Divan” to which the band improvised and joined in effortlessly. Despite the wee hours of Sunday morning, the crowd wanted it to last forever.

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, who personally attended part of this latest musical show by Patrick Victor, said that Seychelles had entered the age of cultural tourism and that it was resorts like the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel&Casino and GMs like Ken Choo who are leading in this development. “We know that we have the best in sun, sea, and sand holidays, but this is not enough anymore. Seychelles has a rich culture, because we are a melting pot of cultures achieved from our historical past but so apparent today as we live in total harmony with each other. This is why we can put forward our unique blend of culture and promote it as one of our unique assets,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.

Derek Savy said a big thank you to one and all who contributed to make the 2nd edition of the Patrick Victor Special a huge success. Big up for Ken Choo and his team at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay who transformed the venue into such a spectacular setting! Special mention to the technical crew of Mike Cedras, stage manager; Eddy Thelemaque, sound engineer; Ralph Mathiot, lights&special effects; Andy Wirtz and his choir; and the ISeyco Team of David Savy&Gilbert Pool for the opening trailer. Not forgetting the talented musicians, Hank, Bertin, Stanley, Tony, Hanus, and Cliff - you guys rock and have established yourselves as THE touring band of the maestro!

PHOTO: Patrick Victor / Photo by Nicolas Shamlaye


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