Monday, 26 July 2010

Raph Dumas & The Primaveras Live at Les Palais des Rois de Majorque, Perpignan

Raph Dumas & The Primaveras is a project put together by one Raphaël Dumas. It fuses traditional Catalan music with funk grooves and modern electronic trickery. The collective are a powerful force, offering the type of fusion that actually pushes boundaries and crosses cultures. In a live format, Raph and his electronic devices are accompanied by a funk outfit and a Cobla. A Cobla is an eleven piece Catalonian group that play traditional instruments.

On the 22nd of June 2010, Raph Dumas & The Primaveras performed an outdoor concert at Les Palais des Rois de Majorque in Perpignan. This formidable venue was constructed as a home for the Kings of Majorca in the thirteenth century. It is a place of historic significance and plays an important role in Catalonian culture to this day. The gig was part of a summer long programme of free music concerts for the people of Perpignan and surrounding areas. It was attended by four generations of Catalonians, who were sat in the temporarily erected stands. The backdrop to the stage was the magnificent main building of the fortified castle.

The concert was held together by musical lynchpin and powerful sax man Alex Auge. Standing midway between the Cobla and the funk outfit, Auge held both sets of musicians together. Dumas then combined the grooves from both outfits into one homogenous sound. The first half of the gig relied on the more traditional, Cobla heavy arrangements, such as a touching version of Muntanyes del Canigò. As the concert progressed, there was a greater emphasis on funk and electronic sounds. Highlights of the funkier material included the bold Week End and fun Le Chanson Douce. The music was lapped up by the crowd, impressed with Dumas’ take on the music of their heritage. It must be remembered that Perpignan is in the heartland of Northern Catalonia. The music was followed by a bonfire and an impressive display of light projections onto the wall of the castle.

It was a joy to see one man’s vision of fusing the traditional with the modern work with such impressive results. Seeing The Primaveras play a hometown gig in such a historic setting made the evening’s entertainment even more special.

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