Audience on its feet
Servat reigns

Concert extract

An audience of 4,000 turned out for Gilles Servat's show "Ne touchez pas à la blanche hermine", (this means something like "Hands off the White Ermine" , the ermine being a key symbol for Brittany) for Sunday night's closing evening for the festival.

They really like their Gilles, and they also know him off by heart. The 4,000 spectators lost no time in joining in with his first song "Sur la route de Quimper", and carried on clapping through "Où le monde est celtique, and "les canards sont bleus". Hundreds of couples cast loving glances at each other as the romantic numbers got going.

One young woman spoke about his "irresistible charm", but her neighbour chimed in saying that he was more like "an enormous teddy bear". Whatever he is or isn't, Gille Servat sings to a faithful following. Muriel the presenter set the tone for the evening, (to an imagined accompaniment of violins) : "Like a firework display bringing the festival to an end.. I would like to thank Gilles Servat for his musical colour sketches";

The Breton bard, however, appeared unaffected and flinging the micro around his head like a lasso, launched into "L'Hirondelle", "blanche au ventre et noire aux ailes". As night fell, his beautiful deep voice was in its element. At the same time delicate and yet unwavering, he sang "Moulins de Guérande", and then "Le Pays" from his last album.

The next song was in English, and adressed to his Scottish firend Rob. He was there in his kilt, and bearing his clan's flag. This evening we are definitely "en famille". A whistle solo from Ronan Le Bars with Nicolas Quéméner on guitar. Servat's seven musicians are, as usual, perfect.

Servat makes a plea for Breton culture "On va tous chanter en breton pour faire plaisir à M. Chevènement". The audience heartily voice their agreement. The minister's ears must have been really burning...

At the end of the concert the audience didn't want to leave. After his second encore, Gilles came on stage with his daughter to a standing ovation. He sang the hymn of his youth "Yaouankiz ma Bro". The crowd were finally satisfied, and moved off to the fest noz and the last performances at the Off... quite understandably hoping to make the most of this last night at the 76th festival de Cornouaille.


Ondine MILLOT.






Voice trembling with emotion, Gilles Servat is brought back on stage for a second encore. His daughter came with him.

Among Gilles Servat's excellent team of musicians were Nicolas Quéméner (guitar) and Ronan Le Bars (Uillean pipe).

Copyright Technopole Quimper Cornouaille France-Ouest 1999