The French fort at Saint Malo saw post-punk's Shame play a blistering set on the second stage at La Route du Rock Festival last night (17 August).
Largely taking place across two stages at Le Fort de Saint-Père fort in Saint-Malo, La Route du Rock also features a beach stage by the walled city seafront, and an opening party at the festival’s year-round live venue La Nouvelle Vague.
The festival almost completely eliminates choice, giving the crowd a non-stop 6pm-4am programme that alternates one act at a time between the main and second stage. It’s a confident, and completely justified, statement about the organisers’ taste - and it’s worked for more than 25 years.
So entering the stage to the fairground blasts of The Vengaboys’ ‘We Like to Party’ was about the most rebellious thing Shame could have done, bringing the remnants of a tasteless time to a festival that prides itself on its timeless taste. Tops came off and mic stands became accessories as they gave their all through a charged set that touched on highlights 'The Lick' and 'One Rizla' from debut album Songs of Praise, as well as some equally savvy and spiteful brand new material.
The crowd lapped up every minute of a set that had none of the refinement, restraint or mystery provided by the rest of the day’s bill - one that included the relatively low key Grizzly Bear, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Limiñanas. By the time the band had finished, even the crowd had broken a sweat for the first time today.
For their part, The Limiñanas turned their lo-fi recordings into an outstanding rich and layered performance, with a line-up of guest musicians joining founding members Lionel and Marie to open the main stage. It was the perfect smokey soundtrack to see off the last of the sunshine.
But the surprise of the night for visitors was the reception for French legend Étienne Daho, well known to the local crowd thanks to a massive pop career spanning more than 30 years. All the 20-somethings on the front row swapped places with their parents to watch Étienne channeling Depeche Mode, backed by a buff band, dry ice and futuristic mood lighting. Finally, Chilean band Föllakzoid closed up, churning out dark and chugging Krautrock until 4am for all those still standing.
La Route du Rock continues today. Check their website here for details.