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Vandaveer

Vandaveer is a musician who covers a lot of ground. We already saw him play twice this year. On the first day of summer, he came back to Paris alone, without his sister–but he did not forget to bring his humor, his warm voice, and his melodious ballads.

When we started filming, Vandaveer walked, rocked by the banjo, throwing his voice beyond the street. Behind a high wall, alongside the Petite Ceinture, was a wedding party. We pushed the iron gate open, and Vandaveer barged in the middle of a group of pétanque players with rosé bottles half-empty on the table and kids frolicking among the amazing bric-a-brac. The late afternoon sun came to caress the playful chorus of “Roman Candle”. In front of this unlikely and surprising audience, Vandaveer wasn’t flustered: he ignored everything, laughing at this bizarre opportunity to have an audience.

As soon as he finished singing, we left as swiftly as we had arrived. We couldn’t do more–otherwise, the fine and flimsy charm we created would have dissolved.

In the streets near la Flèche d’Or (where he would play later that evening with his mates from These United States), few people were interested in Mark, that strapping lad who inspires respect without being a show-off. It was the Fête de la Musique, and the neighborhood already resounded with the sounds of young drummers born after “Nevermind” was released, jazz bands livening up little squares, and terraces with sound systems on maximum volume. Still, Vandaveer was there to tangle with the audience. The crowd asked for an encore at the very end of his show, after he played “Roman Candle”, that little tune that lodges itself in your brain. Because even by himself, he does the work of a whole band.

Barefoot, Mark and his mates wandered on the streets of the 20th arrondissement. They even tried to sing in a church’s neve. Then–what could be more natural than talking about the street on the street?—he started pacing, walking along terraces to catch the attention of passers-by, trying to make his voice resonate in that little area of Paris. The guy covers a lot of ground, we tell you.

Last Summer, Vandaveer left to record his new album. Tonight, at la Flèche d’Or, he’ll share the songs on stage. Then he will go to Rouen, Lille, Toulouse, and Bordeaux.

(Translation by Nora)