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Seychelles "Bonzour La Digue" musical show referred to as a musical milestone

Seychelles "Bonzour La Digue" musical show referred to as a musical milestone (Forimmediaterelease.net) Derek Savy, the feature writer last week published in the TODAY Newspaper a review on the Bonzour La Digue musical show by Patrick Victor.

Derek Savy writes: It was exactly two years since Patrick Victor made a promise to the Diguois to bring his concert series to their beloved island of La Digue. And on Saturday, August 17, he lived up to his word in a truly grandiose fashion, crowning the island’s 15th August Assumption feast with an exclusive production in the most spectacular setting of the “Grann Kaz” at L’Union Estate.

The virtuoso of Seychelles music etched yet another milestone in our musical history with a first ever performance that not only made the people of La Digue proud, but set the benchmark for generations to come. The “Bonzour La Digue” show was tipped as an impassioned connection between the island’s numerous fans and the maestro. After several weeks of preparation, guests were treated to a repertoire of Patrick’s famous tunes, peppered along the way by some amazing voices from La Digue. And the unquenchable longing of the numerous fans, both locals and tourists alike, turned the show into a musical pilgrimage that lasted more than three and a half hours…and the crowd still wanted more.

Following the unprecedented successes of the Mahe and Praslin editions, the La Digue version of the Patrick Victor Special was truly captivating and magical. Under a moonlit sky showered with glowing stars, L’Union Estate and its “Grann Kaz” were transformed into a movie set, complete with a stage at its steps; playing host to some of the most amazing performances by guest artists and the star himself.

Guests indulged in a typical local creole buffet served to the beat of moutia drums resonating with the “Mardillo” chants around a bonfire by the beach. As a build up to the much-anticipated show, two local folk guitarists, Desire Niole and Robert Morel entertained the crowd to some acoustic numbers. The evening was slowly building up to an atmosphere reminiscent of the bygone plantation days, where an eclectic mix of people would converge to celebrate our cultural heritage.

Intro&Acoustic set

Jean Quatre, the pumped up sax man opened the proceedings from the crowd a little after 9pm, belting out a moving instrumental version of “Redampsyon” with the full backing of “Island Vibrations,” the multi-talented band from Praslin. The atmosphere was satiated with rhythm, spices, colors and surprises as the awestruck audience welcomed their favorite melody maker to rapturous applause – as Patrick made his appearance on the verandah of the “Grann Kaz.”

The show kicked off with an acoustic trio set of ballads with Patrick accompanied by Stanley Monnaie and Bertin Telemaque. The audience was already ecstatic to the presence of their idol as he cruised through those classic love songs such as “Mon Ankor Mazin Ou,” “Zimaz Oubliye,” “Zoli Lanmour,” “Lanmour Ki Pli For Ki Tou,” connecting with them immediately as he effortlessly mingled with his fans who were already primed to sing along.

There were so many touching moments throughout the evening and the electric vibes pulsating through the venue was a true testimony to Patrick’s ability to move people with his poetry and heart- wrenching melodies.

Patrick then gravitated to a fully orchestrated set accompanied by the band, breezing through some numbers from his last album “Frazil” with the likes of “Pa Plere,” “Eski Ou,” “Boul De Nez Dan Divan.” By that time the audience was completely captivated, wildly applauding every single song, which was interspersed by little anecdotes from the star. He made reference to La Digue being a bastion of our cultural inheritance, holding our traditions in its cusp.

Rhythm&Spices

The show then moved up a gear with the more rhythmic tracks as the audience was already in a party mood, swaying to and fro – ushering in a real concert ambiance. Patrick’s trusted hand, lighting and sound whiz-kid Ralph Mathiot pulled an amazing trick, transforming the house backdrop into a party prop with some amazing lighting effects that lit up the night sky and modulated the atmosphere. The maestro reminisced the days of yore when the “moutya” played a vital part in our manifestations and the “kanmtole” denoted our colonial heritage. The crowd also interacted with the artiste on the fact that the venue had an emotional link to himself with his role in the film, “Goodbye Emmanuelle.”

The set was then transformed with the arrival of two local Diguoises sega dancers – Nicoletta Radegonde and Annamick Adrienne, who mesmerizing the audience with some gyrating moves. As the repertoire built its crescendo, the crowd started rocking and dancing away to the surprise of the performers. It was party time! Patrick paid tribute to our ancestors with pulsating numbers such as “Sega Pionye,” “Lewa Sega,” “Dans Moutya, Bwar Baka” and the crowd was in euphoria. A trio of moutya drummers – Andreix Rosalie, Jude Bibi and Teddy Adrienne - who were enthralling the audience with their vivacious beats, joined Patrick on stage to add the extra zest to those rhythmic numbers.

Guest performers add flavor

Patrick then pulled back to introduce some of his guest performers. First up was Kieran Socrate who gave a heart-warming rendition of “Dan Mon Rev” to the delight of the crowd under thunderous applause. The band’s lead singer Paul Meme then gave his zouk version of “Pa Telefonn Ankor: with the public on their feet, joining in the chorus.

Stanley Monnaie and Molly Ladouceur also did their fellow Diguois proud with their own renditions of songs from the island. But undoubtedly the surprise package of the evening was the stellar performance of senior citizen Rosanne William with “Ou Ankor Kontan Li.” She is the doyenne of the guest performers, illustrating the timeless range of Patrick’s songs - appealing to a wide audience that spans several generations.

A rare gem then took the stage by storm. Gilla Jeanne, (a talent discovered by Patrick sometime back, singing at the La Digue church), blasted through “Mon Bizou;” interpreting this classic number with a gut wrenching voice, in her own inimitable style – sounding like a cross between Whitney Houston, Rihanna and Macy Gray!

Turning back the clock

It was finally time to close the show so Patrick treated the adoring fans to the “Sega Medley Popouri” and the all-time classic “Zwe Sa Lamizik” which came as a pleasant surprise to the fans who increased the tempo with their own sing along. And they went wild as those rarities were given a new twist, turning back the clock to the early days of our cultural renaissance.

The interaction with the crowd was truly absorbing as Patrick challenged them to come on stage to perform a “kontredans” – a contest which two couples took in stride, proving that the tradition is alive and well on La Digue.

Well-known Diguois personality Hensley Constance stepped on stage to thank Patrick on behalf of his fellow islanders for such a stellar performance, contributing a milestone in this Cultural Revolution and setting a distinctive benchmark.

The long goodbye

But the adoring public wanted more! It was already past the two solid hours and it seemed that we were in for double time! The encore turned out to be an exclusive improvisation session as the audience were dictating the proceedings and decided that the evening was far from over. Numerous more requests for songs were entertained for a further hour and a half. By then, several members of the audience invaded the stage to converge on their idol for a photo opportunity to immortalize this momentous occasion and take home some souvenir snaps.

“Le moman tinn arive pou dir orevwar” … and the crowd ordered their own version of the popular song, transforming the lyrics, turning it into “Retourn La Digue” to the surprise of the maestro himself who played along.

The night’s performance indeed confirmed how much of an icon Patrick Victor is to the people of La Digue. He is truly a son of this island where his rare talent and well-established legacy is warmly cherished. His shows have toured the islands, culminating into the most spectacular and colorful version on La Digue.

Credits

The production team extends a big thank-you to one and all who contributed to making the “Bonzour La Digue” a roaring success. Special mention goes to Tessa Fanny as the executive producer and coordinator, the technical crew of Frank Agathine– sound engineer, Ralph Mathiot – lights&special effects and the talented musicians from “Island Vibrations” – Bertin, Stanley, Tony, Hanus, Cliff and Paul who have firmly established themselves as THE touring band of the maestro!

Part of the proceeds to this show goes towards a special trust fund – “Prepar La Relev” - The Patrick Victor Foundation. It was an undeniably unique emotional experience for everyone present. A first for La Digue and Patrick Victor and indeed the very first time the island has witnessed a spectacle of this magnitude. It is finally a long-time dream that has crystallized for the artiste.
The immense success seems to have ushered in a new tradition as Patrick contemplates making this an annual event to provide the Diguois with yet another platform to celebrate their August 15 Assumption feast in grandiose style. Rendezvous next year!

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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