Les Batinses

Les Batinses

 Québec, Quebec, CAN
BandFolkRock

Inspired and explosive, Les Batinses happily give purists a run for their money by putting out a new breed of traditional folk music. Virtuosity is the name of the game as the musicians stretch the musical boundaries of their craft.

Biography

And so it began…
Back to where it all began…

Quebec City, 1994. Four Laval University students roamed bars and faculty parties with their tin whistles, mandolins, guitars and shoes… However, it was not until Yvon Legendre joined forces with Christophe Garenc, Francois Morrissette, Matheiu Girard and Todd Picard that the band became a serious project. Les Batinses started visiting Traditional Music festivals such as Memoires et Racines, Le Festival International des Arts et Traditions de Quebec (FIAT), La Grande Rencontre and La Grande Viree, and even hosted events here and there around La Belle Province.

There are memories of the hot nights at Le Café Theatre Les Fourberies…and it still remains a mystery how the floors of Le D’Auteuil survived the pounding of hundreds of feet to the music of Les Batinses. Today Le D’Auteuil remains closed because part of the foundation collapsed… It was during this period that the group made their first recording in response to an invitation to Europe. They brought the cheerily titled cassette ‘Minuit Trois’ to France, where to their immense surprise, they did the opening gig for the Dubliners in Plozevet, Bretagne! And there were more great things to come…

Summer 1997. Saint-Jean Baptiste National Day is a celebration you cannot miss. As Les Batinses prepares to hit the giant stage, Fred Lebrasseur dares to join in and kick it seriously. Christian Noel takes charge of the band, convincing them it is time to make a real record, and at this time Andree Bilodeau arrives to grace Les Batinses with her incredible voice and fiddling talents. Winter 1998 sees Les Batinses’ first independent release, an acoustic recording that breaks the traditional barriers of folklore. Charivari proves that their vision of music has widened considerably.

1998-1999. Les Batinses appear more and more around the province, now without Yvon. They continue to compose, traveling from Gaspesie to Lac Saint-Jean, and visiting the Laurentides. The work is taken more seriously and practice sessions are tighter, bringing the band to realize the pre-production of a future album.

2000. Breaking boundaries! A new baby named Tripotages came this year. Les Batinses are signed by Mille-Pattes Productions, a new company created by the one and only La Bottine Souriante! Pieces form this opus were performed over sixty times in Quebec, and the band flew to Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur, where they freaked out to see elementary school kids slamming around and trying to bodysurf… Months later, a calmer but drunker audience awaited them in Saint-Pierre on Miquelon’s French island, near Newfoundland.

2001 was a generous year. In January Les Batinses performs in Scotland at Glasgow’s famous Celtic Connections festival, one of the biggest celtic festivals in the world. This same year, Christophe leaves the band. Jocelyn Guilmette replaces him, trading uillian pipes for violin and saxophones. They then go back to France as special guests for Bordeaux’s Fete du Fleuve. Big success! Someone even told Todd that Johnny was shit compared to him. Hmm… They come home for the summer’s great festivals – Le Festival International D’Ete de Quebec and Les Francofolies de Montreal, and then it is back to Europe for that famous September of 2001… Playing in Spain for the first time, Les Batinses meet an agent that will organize many tours to come.

With the passing time, the music changes. Les Batinses research more traditional Quebecois songs and airs, and include folkloric pieces form other parts of the world. Continually inspired by their numerous musical influences and tastes, they spread even wider to obtain what some call ‘trashditional’ and ‘funkloric’ pieces.

In the air and on the road, 2002 is exigent. From the studio to tour, Les Batinses have the wind in their sails. They play about 75 concerts on two continents and four countries while preparing their third record. In January they have their second tour in Scotland and England. In February they are off to Florida, followed by Louisiana and then Texas in April. Then they make their first real tour of Spain, and arrive home just in time for another celebration of Quebec’s National Day. The summer is completed with a first visit to folk festivals in Ontario and British Columbia, one being the famous Vancouver Folk Festival. Fall follows with another tour in Spain and a return home to put the finishing touches on their third opus, L’Autre Monde. Launched in October, in receives dithyrambic reviews that propel the band to play over 15 shows in December.

Les Batinses keep on traveling around Quebec during 2003. The main event is the summer’s Sonic Weave Tour, organized by the Arts Council of Canada. Les Batinses traveled to Europe with five other Canadian formations, where each presented their works in front of German, Italian, Polish, Chzeck, and Austrian audiences. During these numerous trips, the sextet discovers that by communicating to the audienc

Discography

EAUX-DE-VIES (2005)
L’AUTRE MONDE (2002)
TRIPOTAGE (2002)
CHARIVARI (1997)
MINUIT TROIS (1996)