Hello, hello? Il y a quelqu’un? Is anyone there?
If I haven’t written many blog posts recently it’s because 2017 has been another up and down sort of year for Chantimor.
You may remember that in 2016 we said goodbye to Ian, Anwyl & Dave and when we started 2017 we had no idea that we would lose another two members.
In May we said « au revoir » to Geoff, who moved back to the UK, and in October we said « au revoir » to Terry, who moved to Le Charente.
Terry & Geoff
At the same time, our Skipper, Mike, was pole-axed with a nasty bug which put him out of action on and off throughout the season.
Things were not looking good and it was touch and go if Chantimor would survive. We couldn’t commit to long term projects, not knowing if we would have enough shantymen & a musician to do a proper job.
BUT! Ta dah! To the rescue came Mel with her guitar and then, a few months later, Pierre-Henri with his melodion.
Both of them bring great voices to the group too (although they’re far too sophisticated at the moment – but we can soon rub off some of their polish with a bit of rough ol’ shanty singing! 😉
So Chantimor lives to sing another day!
If you follow our Facebook page: Chantimor56 you will have seen some of our exploits this year, but for those of you who don’t, here is a round-up of what we got up to this year:
MAY: We kicked off the year in Vannes at the Semaine du Golfe. We sang in the streets and at Paddy O’Dowd’s Irish bar at the Port. Geoff & Terry were still with us at this point. It was Mel’s first outing with us, and Pierre-Henri had not yet turned up.
It was an unbelievably hot day in Vannes and we struggled to keep out of the sun by huddling under the awning at Paddy’s Bar.
After singing for several hours, we took ourselves off to the local Indian Restaurant and said goodbye to Geoff.
The Vannes line-up: Mick, Mel, Mike, B, Martyn, Geoff & Terry
JUNE: Our friends at Les Mercredis Musicaux at Concarneau invited us to share their spot inside the city walls at La Fête de la Musique. It was a lovely warm evening.
JULY: We were still six British ex-pats at the Pardon of Melrand
Bieuzy line-up: Bronwen, Mick, P-H, Mike, Martyn, Terry & Mel
AUGUST: A second time at Bieuzy in the morning (they love us….. and we’re cheap!!) then a quick démontage of all the gear to hop over the county line to La Chèze for an afternoon concert.
The new boy is getting the hang of it & is starting to look the part.
La Chèze summer line-up: Moi, Martyn, P-H, Mick, Mike, El Tel & Mel
Then came this year’s Pièce de Résistance: (The Cherry on the Cake seems a reasonable translation – the Main Event, the Show Stopper…) The Interceltic Festival in Lorient.
Interceltic Line-up: Bronwen, Martyn, P-H, Mick, Terry & Mel. And a sound guy provided by the Kernow/Isle of Man stage. Brilliant.
We all had a great time!
SEPTEMBER: An unplugged gig at Lanvaudan.
Mike, Mick, B, P-H, Terry & Mel. This was Terry’s penultimate gig with us.
Then came the time to say goodbye to Terry Brenchley (aka Sir Terry to his other group, Hartigan’s and Scurvy Dog to his compatriotes in Chantimor.) Here he is, second from the left below, fiddling with Hartigan’s…
… and expounding on something or other with Chantimor.
We’ve done our bit, so Martyn, Bronwen & Pierre-Henri rehydrate while watching Hartigan’s perform.
Terry & Mike set up for Terry’s last hoorah with Chantimor.
Back to La Chèze for a chilly gig (and smelly – how were we to know that the brown stuff we set up in wasn’t mud?)
La Chèze winter line-up: Mick, Mel, Bronwen, Martyn, Mike & honorary Brit : Pierre-Henri
Finally, the last performance of the year: CHANTI -NOËL! Leading the carol concert in the Chapel of Saint Mérec.