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Lewis del Mar, Blaenavon & Isaac Gracie

3 bands, 2 collabs, 1 cover, confettis everywhere, a lot of happy faces, a flying birthday cake and an unforgettable 50th Soirée de Poche that you can now watch on Arte Concert.

I’m not going to explain why one of our sound directors was dressed as a tiger, nor how Seon from Lewis del Mar ended up wearing aforementioned tiger costume after the show. I’m not going to tell you how many times we had to mop our office floor the next day to clean the weird confettis and cake mixture it was covered in. Nor how said cake did some kind of back flip, miraculously landed on our production manager’s hand, and then less-miraculously landed on my face, our director’s face, our boss’ face, and more or less any faces that was close enough to be reached.

What I can tell you though, is how the three bands we had invited to celebrate our 50th Soirée de Poche wanted this anniversary to be a memorable moment. How Danny, Seon, Drew, Nick and Max from Lewis del Mar played all their songs like they never did before, the latter even swapping his drum kit for a drumpad he spent a whole day programming. How Blaenavon went full acoustic, Frank and Ben succeeding each other on the upright piano, Harris standing behind a minimal drum kit. And how Isaac Gracie, whom we already filmed earlier last year, started his set outside, without a mic, and closed it with a special version of “Last Words” featuring Blaenavon’s Frank and Lewis del Mar’s Danny.

I could tell you how proud we were when we saw these three bands talking and playing together. The joy we felt when we watched Thomas Baas painting some of the Soirée de Poche posters he’s been drawing for us so kindly since 2008, live on our office wall. The shambolic bliss that filled the room when Lewis del Mar, Blaenavon and Isaac Gracie covered all together “Creep” by Radiohead, while everyone was singing with them on the top of their lungs.

Yes, I could tell you how the smiles on the audience’ faces got bigger and bigger while they were discovering three bands whose music carried us all year, and how happy we were when we saw the growing smiles of these nine musicians whose spontaneity and talent got our heads spinning that night.

But if I’m honest, the best way to see and feel all this is to watch the film we made of it, turn the volume up (and put a tiger costume on).

Photo : © Loll Willems