The Redhillbillies, in the persons of Jo Lee and Tom Vowles, with John Adams of the Wrington French Connection twinning organisation, and some of their hosts, arrive to perform at the Villeneuve-lés-Béziers music festival. Photos from Antoine Garcia, Service Communication of the Mairie
Redhillbillies at Villeneuve – A report by John AdamsSummer came late to the South of France this year but right on cue for the Soirée Musicale in our twin village Villeneuve-lès-Bézers in the south of France - and the perfect setting for the headline performance by Tom Vowles and Jo Deane of the Redhillbillies on 22nd June. [Photos <http://www.wrington.net/webarchive/2016/redhillbilliesvlb/>]As the sun dropped behind the mediaeval buildings, the floodlights came up on the music stage set up in the central Place Michel Solans. In the warm dusk the festival started with ‘Le Coeur des Guitares’ – 21 acoustic guitarists providing a range of up-beat Spanish dance music – followed by various other musicians providing a remarkable range of music.Then Jo and Tom took the stage and, from the first number, were on top form a mix of country rock and ballads. The square teemed with locals revelling in the warm summer night and, before long, was alive with impromptu line dancing, young people jiving, and an appreciative audience beating time and sipping drinks under the plane trees. As the local paper said the following day Tom et Jo ‘had shown the full range of their talent with the superb guitar and banjo playing’.Putting a play-list together earlier that day, Tom and Jo had sought a quiet rehearsal space under the impression that they would provide about 40 minutes of music. Such was the demand that they were still playing well after midnight. The evening had began with aperitifs and an excellent seafood supper on the square in front of Les Enfants Terribles, a popular stop for Wrington visitors. Winding down after the event, those with energy remaining joined Tom and Jo at the excellent brasserie La Crémade beside the Canal de Midi for post-concert refreshments.A tremendous visit and we all hope there will be a repeat …. Watch this space (but please don’t tell Glastonbury fans – there could be a mass exodus next year). The event was organised by the Villeneuve Mairie and we thank them as always for their warm welcome and generous hospitality towards the contributors. Finally, a special thank you to Jo and Tom for making this tremendous contribution to the twinning relationship.The committee is putting together a programme of events for the winter months and this will be published shortly. To join the association contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> or just turn up at an event and join at the door (£5 pa per member or £10 pa for a family membership).