Fulbourn Arts

Arts events in Fulbourn Cambridgeshire

La Planche a Laver


La_Planche_a_Laver“La Planche a Laver” take Six Bells by storm.

Wednesday night saw the French quartet play before a packed and enthusiastic audience at the “Six Bells” in Fulbourn.

It was their final performance on the group’s short tour of the UK in which they played at Amersham Jazz Club and at Barry Palser’s 50th Anniversary of the Savoy Jazz Band together with three additional performances in Cambridgeshire.

Barry was instrumental in bringing the quartet to England having first heard them at the well known Brittany jazz festival held at Chateauneuf du Faou.

The group is interesting in that it is uses an unusual combination of instruments with Babu Vallet on baritone saxophone, Armel Amiot , banjo, Gilles Veron, clarinet and Michel Cousin on washboard, bells, blocks and cymbals.

Hence the quartet’s name, La Planche a Laver;… washboard! They were formerly known as Clarinet Marmalade but wanted a more French sounding title.

The programme on Wednesday night was wide ranging but essentially with its roots firmly in jazz. They played Petit Fleur, a number played originally by Sidney Bechet and latterly made famous by Monty Sunshine in the 50’s. Creole tunes such as Jambalaya and old jazz standards such as Wild Cat Blues were included in a two hour programme.

A highlight of the evening was Michel Cousin leaving his washboard, taking up drumsticks and beating the rhythm on the table tops, beer glasses and plates on the tables in the audience.

It was a memorable night.

For more information on the quartet their website is laplanchealaver.free.fr/indexE.html from where an excellent CD called Mettez Y Dehro can be obtained.

John Hunter

10 September 2009.


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Fulbourn Arts is a group set up to organise and promote arts events in the village of Fulbourn, Cambridge, UK. New members of the group are always welcome, as well as additional volunteers we can call on to help manage events.

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