Le Hot Club de ma rue at the Vieux Bureau de Poste

Le Hot Club de ma rue at the Vieux Bureau de Poste

Main pic: Olivier Pépin, Mathieu Deschenaux, Martin Tremblay, and Felicity Hamer – Le Hot Club De Ma Rue – at the Vieux Bureau de Poste, St-Romuald, 14 February, 2015.
All photos credit: Caroline Fournier/LifeinQuebec.com

Saturday 14 February saw the Quebec region playing host to Montreal jazz manouche band ‘Le Hot Club de ma rue‘ and an opportunity for them to showcase their latest CD (their 3rd) an EP and Felicity Hamer, their new lead vocalist.

The Vieux Bureau de Poste in St-Romuald on the South Shore was the venue for the event.

14th February – St Valentine’s Day, just another day in February, or a regular Saturday night out – whatever you want to call it, those who ventured out in the cold were warmed up by this talented four-piece hailing from Quebec’s largest city.

The swing and jazz scene in Montreal is legendary – a breeding ground for great music and dedicated fans of the genre.

Hot_club_de_ma_rue_VBP3The jazz manouche (also called gypsy jazz, gypsy swing, or hot club jazz) style of music has always enjoyed an underground following, so the setting of the Vieux Bureau de Poste was perfect. Reminiscent of an illicit den from years gone by.

The music, the ambiance, the look and feel – perfect. Just perfect.

The 4-piece, consisting of Felicity Hamer on lead vocals, Martin Tremblay and Olivier Pépin on jazz guitars & Mathieu Deschenaux on bass were back in the area for a third time.

Well, most of them were. The guys in Le Hot Club de ma rue have been together for 10 years now, and they were clearly delighted to be back in St Romuald.

Explains Olivier Pépin ”We have a loyal following in Montreal, but we love coming a bit further afield. It’s great for us to see so many people here this early. This is the first time we’ve taken this particular show outside of the Montreal area and tonight we’re presenting Felicity Hamer, our new singer.
Tonight we’ll be performing all the songs from from our new EP and a few more from the repertoire.”

8pm and the show begins in front of a packed house. Standing room only at the back. I’d estimate about 100 or so here. The venue is small, intimate, and you’re really close to the band.

That’s exactly how shows like this should be – you can feel as if you’re part of it and they’re playing just for you.

Felicity Hamer, complete with beaming smile, great hair, and prominent arm tattoos, addresses the audience ”Thanks for coming out tonight and joining us for Valentine’s. We hope you’ll love what we’re about to do. Oh, and we’ve closed the windows to keep the warmth in.”

Right from the first few words of ‘Heartaches’ the first song on the night and on their new EP, this show was electric.

Brilliant, mesmerising emotional voice from Hamer, and Deschenaux expertly working the bass for all it was worth.

Guitarists Pépin and Tremblay added to the sound. My word did they know how to play.

Together they have the right formula and in bringing Felicity Hamer on board as the lead singer, they’ve hit the jackpot.

The first 10 songs ended all too soon – I wanted it to go on, so much fun was I having.

After ‘You’d be so nice’ Hamer informed us with a wink and a smile, that there’d be a break of around 15 minutes or so, and she’d be in the corner with her bandmates and their new CDs.

In between signing copies and chatting to fans, I managed to grab the lead singer for a few words.

LifeinQuebec.com: ‘So what made you want to come and sing with these guys?’

Felicity Hamer: ‘They approached me and I’ve been with them for around 6 months now. I was playing in a couple of other bands around town and my busiest project had disbanded. Knowing I had a bit more availability, they brought me on board.
We’ve all known each other for a while from the music scene in the province, so we weren’t strangers.
I’ve always wanted to sing jazz professionally, I’m excited to work with these guys, and this is much better than singing all these wonderful old standards in the shower”, she smiled.

The second half saw a further 11 songs and just before the superb, imaginitive interpretation of Bjork’s ‘It’s oh so quiet’, Hamer informed us it would be the last song of the night.

Cue pantomime hisses and boos.

‘Ok, ok, it’s negotiable’, said Tremblay, trying and failing miserably to hide a grin.

‘It’s oh so quiet’ belted out with energy and brashness. And then it was over. They left the stage to thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

So they came back for an encore and treated us to ‘Sonora’, another tune from the new EP and ‘When I get low‘.

Le Hot Club de ma rue perform material both English and French.

$20 entrance fee for 23 songs in a great venue.
I’d say that’s value for money.
Set list:

First half
Heartaches, Russian lullaby, Quelle histoire, Si tu savais, Besame mucho, Passion, La main dans le sac, I love you, Petite fleur, You’s be so nice

Second half
Everything I’ve got, Stardust, On the sunny side of the street, Place Chauvin, Indifférence, Sur la corde raide, Seul ce soir, Lover come back to me, Broken hearted melody, Them there eyes, It’s oh so quiet

Sonora, When I get low

Hot_club-de-ma-rue_cdLE HOT CLUB DE MA RUE EP
Heartaches, Si tu savais, La main dans le sac, Stardust, Russian lullaby, Sonora

Priced $10 and available where all good music is sold.

This Quebec music offering is available for purchase at:

Tel: (418) 204-4325
info @ livrestroiscanons .com
Quebec City English bookstore 

How to find Livres Trois Canons:

When you get to the car park at Place Naviles you will see a Second Cup, SAQ, and a TD Bank.
We are in the basement and the entry doors are between the bank and the coffee shop.
On descending the stairs you will see the bookstore in front of you.

In addition to stocking many thousands of new and used English books, Livres Trois Canada proudly supports Quebec musicians and singers by offering their music for sale in store.

About Author

Andrew Greenfield

Andrew Greenfield moved to Quebec in 2009. He is part of the team responsible for the publishing company behind LifeinQuebec.com and Life in Québec Magazine. He has been involved with online and print media since 2001. He is passionate about cricket, is a qualified coach, and his real ambition is to start a cricket team in Quebec City – something he freely admits is probably beyond him. Follow him on Twitter @GreenfieldAndy

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