The Cantou de Floirac, one of the smallest concert halls in the Lot, is back in service

The Cantou de Floirac, one of the smallest concert halls in the Lot, is back in service

the essential
She has seen concerts go by, the little vaulted hall of Floirac. Then, the Covid forced her into silence. On November 12, she will return to the concerts that made the reputation of Cantou de Floirac

A flight of steps sinks under the town hall of Floirac. It is the entry of the artists of Cantou. Six times a year, thanks to the association Le Cantou de Floirac, this communal space is transformed into a mini-concert hall. At least, before Covid. Because the concert scheduled for November 12 will be the first organized there for three years. In particular, there will be Les Boulenvrac, “quality foutraque”.

The March 2020 concert canceled the day before

Leaning on the bar, secretary Annie Maurel and president Vincent Laveissière remember: the 2020 season was to reopen on March 14. The concert was canceled the night before. Then there were the confinements, the curfews, the health pass. Not to mention the health of the groups. “We thought they would be in the starting blocks when we called them, remembers the president, but it was complicated, they told us: the bass player has stopped, one of them has gone to carpentry, another to the kitchen“.

The curtain is of little use for the concert hall, but carpets on the stage and a fabric sky improve the acoustics

Because Le Cantou de Floirac did not sit idly by for three years. For years, he had been thinking about doing an outdoor concert. Circumstances forced his hand, but did not make it easy for him. For the concert scheduled for July 3, 2021 in Montvalent, “there was rain so we fell back in front of the village hall”. Three months later, the association had more luck on the Pouzals site in Floirac. On the bill: Johnny Montreuil. In front of the stage: 300 people, triple what the vaulted room can hold.

In the Lot before Hellfest

Another memorable moment of these Covid years, on June 18, in the hamlet of Barrières in Miers. “There is only one inhabitant left, it is on the road to the dolmens, near the archeosite of Les Fieux, says Vincent Laveissière, there have always been people for millennia but never a rock concert” don’t roll”. The preparation was daunting, in the middle of a heat wave, the “enormous” evening. Among the four bands on the bill was Dätcha Mandala, invited to Hellfest a week later and whose song “Janis” was one of Rolling Stone magazine’s twelve June singles.

The programming of the Cantou indeed aims for quality: only composition groups, which the public has (almost) never seen, but also artists who are just starting out or genres that are a little difficult. “We are stuck with a rock label but it’s not just that”, pleads Vincent Laveissière. The price remains low: 6€. In Miers, admission was even free. A way for the association to return the support it received from Cauvaldor, which is also helped by the department and Floirac.

A live recorded in 2018

Passionate, Vincent Laveissière remembers almost all the concerts since he was at Cantou, ignites for Bagdad rodeo, High Jack brothers, Thomas Sarrodie who released a live album at Cantou in 2018 or Géraud Bastar and Lux ​​bas -funds, “so that’s international class too”. It recounts the arrival of eight reggae artists from The Tuff Lions on the tiny stage, evokes a group of disabled people Les Improbables. Then enjoys an anecdote with the Swedes of The Riven: “At meals, we always serve rocamadour, I explain what it is and the singer says to me: I know, I sell it in Stockholm”.

One concert in 2020, two in 2021, four this year. Next year? “It will not be eight”. No more than six, the limit without an entertainer’s license. Maybe four. Everything will depend on the energy of the volunteers. Because programming, displaying, hosting the artists, making them eat then preparing the room, “it’s rock’n’roll”, slips Annie Maurel.

From one cantou to another

The cantou is the hearth in Occitan. It’s hard not to see the majestic fireplace that sits at the back of the Floirac stage. On the other hand, we could miss the loophole on the same wall. Yet it is thanks to her that the place was discovered, says Annie Maurel: the owner of the neighboring cellar saw a vault in what was only a space filled with rubble. The cellar has been cleaned, its vault consolidated.

The loophole between the two cellars.

The loophole between the two cellars.

In 1974, a festival committee was born which notably organized concerts there. Forty years later, it has become an association, Le Cantou de Floirac, to continue the concerts, three in spring, three in autumn, while a festival committee has emerged and offers other appointments. As for the Cantou hall, communal, it also hosts theater performances and private events.

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