Communicating through the language of music

French Festival


Rocking: Kwak performing in the City. dh photo by Anand Bakshi

The French rock band Kwak performed in the City recently and going by the enthusiastic response they received you don't have to be French to enjoy their music.

John Lennon once said that “French rock music is like English wine” and most music buffs in the City may agree with him. Not because French rock music is bad but because most Bangaloreans know very little and follow even less of French rock scene mainly because of the language factor.

However, this was about to change in some measure for the audience that gathered together to rock to the tunes of the Kwak as they played and sang their hearts out at the Alliance Francaise last weekend.

As part of the French Festival spreading awareness of popular French rock music through a series of concert tours, Kwak is currently on their second tour of the country performing their latest hits and introducing their newest album Malice en la Demeure (Malice in the House). 

Kwak was formed in 2002 after which they performed at various venues largely in Paris and the west of France. The band members consist of Damien Tartamella on lead vocals/harmonica, Julien  Joubert on guitars/vocals, Xavier Hamon on ercussions/drums and Guillaume Le Nost on bass guitar, flute and vocals.

French wine may still be the best and British rockers still continue to dominate the rock scene whether they are golden oldies like The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd or current toppers like The Killers and Coldplay, but French bands seem to be gathering their own following quite widely, cutting across linguistic and cultural barriers.

“I have heard Kwak on their last tour and I feel that the band itself has evolved quite creatively in the international youth scene. They have a unique funky rock groove that gets to you easily,” said Sundar, a fan of the group.

Simple melodies, lively tunes and that wonderful sounding language, French, meld together into a pleasing mix of contemporary rock and traditional French music guaranteed to make you want to dance or at the very least get interactive with the beat. Their curious name Kwak  apparently comes from a word which refers to the sound that you make when you play a wrong note, on the harmonica or the clarinet. It is also the name of a popular Belgian beer.

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