Review: Soirée masculine – Four guys and four guitars at Palais Montcalm
By Job Patstone
On the evening of March 18 at Palais Montcalm, in downtown Quebec City, we were treated to a show which is part of a series entitled ‘Vitrines sur la Relève’ that translates pretty much as Windows on new Talent. The idea is to present new up and coming artists to the Francophone music scene, and to inject some fresh talent onto the digital airwaves. The session we saw was called ‘Soirée Masculine’ for the obvious reason that the four entertainers were all guys with their guitars. All four presenters write, compose and sing their own material.
First up was Arnaud Lilian, a young chap from France who was unnecessarily apologizing for his French accent, and who turned out to be quite a comedian as well as a singer. He caressed us with his ballads mostly based from his upbringing in his hometown and will soon be finishing up his first album entitled ‘Rue de Verdun’, a song which we had the pleasure of hearing during his 20 minutes of stage time. Arnaud was alone with his acoustic guitar accompanying himself like a true professional.
Second on stage was Matt Boudreau, who hails from Northern New Brunswick. Matt immediately took hold of the stage and the audience with his bilingual light rock music, forcing me to suggest that the organizers of the show didn’t keep the best for last. The MC for the evening compared Matt to a Francophone version of Bruce Springsteen and she pretty much got that right. Matt was accompanied by a second guitarist, Tommy Bulger and together they rocked the audience with their synchronised tones and at times combined voices to impress us all with Matt’s original and impressive deep toned compositions. Boudreau might be a common surname in Northern New Brunswick but the one tagged as Matt will certainly be making a name for himself in the near future.
After a short intermission we came back to the third entertainer who hails from Thetford Mines right here in Quebec, named Marc-Antoine Beaudoin. Marc-Antoine not only pounded out his ‘pop-folk’ sound on his guitar but, also garnished us with an amazing ballad accompanying himself on piano. To help Marc-Antoine, not that he needed it, was his girlfriend Roxanne who had a special way of playing a drum covered with a dishcloth to help muffle the sound so as not to overpower the strong voice and guitar playing of her favorite singer. Marc-Antoine’s song entitled ‘Motel Balmoral’, a song inspired by an actual motel in Thetford Mines, was one of the highlights of his presentation.
Last up was a Quebec singer called Vincent Dupont from the Etchemins area of the province. Vincent, who is only 22, has the privilege of already having some airtime with a song called ‘Album Photo’ which has been making the radio circuit in and around Quebec. Alone with his guitar, Vincent treated us to several of his newly written tunes where his impressive guitar playing wowed us all. Vincent sings in both French and English and is also working on his first album soon to be released. A couple of songs to watch out for are, ‘Je serais la’ and ‘Restless Nights’ (a song he adapted from a country music show).
We wish good luck to all four of these new talents, and expect to be hearing more from Arnaud, Matt, Marc-Antoine and Vincent in the coming months.
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