Frequent guestposter Mark sees the great Béatrice live

The Francofolies de la Rochelle, founded in 1974, has the finest setting of any popular music festival in the world. In an amphitheatre holding 12,000, created in France’s most attractive historic port, a town with 1,000 years of history, it now hosts the best of Francophone pop over five days. Every performer wants to be invited there, and the quality is very high.

Coeur de Pirate was first here in 2010 when she only had her original album. Five years on, her repertoire is bilingual, her appearance more mature, and her versatility unsurpassed. While some stars need large bands, light shows and nightfall to stun (and Julien Doré’s show was certainly stunning later that evening),

Béatrice came on in daylight, with little build-up, and with a band of four. New is a female keyboard player who acts as her backing singer. The others are unchanged – Renaud Bastien, now lead guitar, Alexandre Gauthier, bass, and Julien Blais, drums.


The Francofolies impose a tight schedule on singers. Sunday 12 July 2015 offered us no less than five acts, starting with Rose, then CdP, Véronique Sanson, Julien Doré and finally the old rocker Hubert-Félix Thiefaine who came on after midnight. The ‘Monte le son’ summary has extracts of the sets by Doré, CdP and Rose here in that order.

Béatrice was given one hour only, on at 19.20 hrs and off at 20.20. In that time she delivered no less than sixteen songs. She didn’t rush her show – it just progressed smoothly. She didn’t have time to introduce her band individually.

Francofolies officially bars audience filming of performances, which doesn’t stop them all but means only two songs filmed close-up have reache dYoutube. They convey the style of her set and the atmosphere well.
Coeur de Pirate’s set list, 12 July 2015

1. Ocean’s Brawl (then short welcome)
2. Our love
3. The Way back home
4. Golden Baby
5. Pour un infidèle
6. Undone
7. Drapeau blanc (new song introduced)
8. I don’t want to break your Heart (first use of extended stage)
9. Place de la République (filmed from a distance)
10. Francis
11. Ensemble
12. Verseau
13. Adieu (she held up two fingers at the line ‘tu fait l’amour à deux poussées’ !)
14. Crier tout bas (new song announced)
15. Comme des enfants (with audience participation)
16. Oublie-moi (used extended stage)

The last link shows how fast she and band had to wave farewell; This clip is the best daylight close-up of Béatrice in open-air festival performance that I have seen.

Five songs were in English – all from the as-yet unreleased ‘Roses’ album. About half were sung at the keyboard, the rest standing. (Unlike Véronique Sanson after her, she did not bring on a piano.)

See a good amateur film of CDP at Les Ardentes in Belgium, a few days earlier, singing her majestic new song ‘Crier tout bas’.

CdP’s hair is now magnificent – long, blonde, no longer swept back over her right ear and hanging on her left (which was her style in past years to play piano at right-angle to the audience).

An interview with Patrick Simonin of TV5 Monde is here.

So how did Coeur de Pirate compare with the big draws of Véronique Sanson and Julien Doré? They both had larger bands, backing singers, light shows and longer on stage. Béatrice delivered more for less, under a time limit, and looks very comfortable on stage before huge audiences.

Written by guuzbourg

French girls, singing. No, sighing. Making me sigh. Ah.