Issue 4 5/98

FolkWorld Live Review

Tri Yann - the Breton Folk Rock Legend

March 1998, Kehl Stadthalle

By Michael Moll

Not many bands can claim to have been around for 30 years, and nevertheless still having a fresh approach to their music. Tri Yann are one of those few.

Tri Yann; photo by The Mollis They are crazy, these Breton musicians. Just look at their clothes - strange costumes, pseudo medieval, well if you can call a rain hat medieval... But it's good fun to see this band live - they have a really special performance, and still do great music.

Tri Yann are today a Breton Rock band with lots of Breton and medieval influences. The line-up includes medieval instruments like crumhorn, a special kind of bagpipes, harp and bombarde on the one hand, electric guitar, drums and bass on the other. They do great hamony singing; the songs are mainly in French with one or two English ones inbetween.

The three main figures and founding members of the legendary band, the three Yanns, Jean-Louis Jossic, Jean-Paul Corbineau and Jean Chocun, are still around fronting the band. And it's not just the music that attracts the audiences, it's also the stories (at this concert partly in French, partly in - badly/funnily read German) and the show. They are all not only brilliant musicians, but also brilliant comedy actors.

Tri Yann; photo by The Mollis

What I personnally found fascinating at this concert - that took place in the German town Kehl which is just besides the French border, a few miles away from Straßbourg: The audience that went to see these old and grey musicians was very young; I would say that there were very few older than 30. And these guys were real fans - with flags etc and knowing all the songs, and going wild when Tri Yann sang a church hymn a capella! When Tri Yann played An Dro's the audience danced in the traditional Breton way to it - and Jean-Louis Jossic once decided to leave the stage to dance with them instead of playing with the band...

It seems that Tri Yann have somehow found a way into the new generation. It is a good feeling to see that. And it is stunning to hear that during Tri Yanns first German tour since years, nearly all halls were filled - with average audiences of 700 people!

I enjoyed the Breton evening - if they come near you, go and see them live!

Tri Yann Photos by The Mollis

Latest CD: 'En Concert'
Homepages of Tri Yann: One, or another
German tour contact: Hans Braun

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