Some of France’s finest musicians and cultural tid-bits graced the gardens of Werribee Mansion for the 2013 instalment of So Frenchy So Chic.
Many of the artists were flown from negative temperatures straight onto the So Frenchy So Chic stage to burn it up.
Despite dealing with difference of time and temperature, the guys from Revolver were happy to be in Australia playing to a new crowd. Telling us they had always wanted to see kangaroos (which were sadly lacking) and found the crowd to be “very warm, welcoming and like to dance a bit.”
There were couples dancing on the mansion balcony as Melanie Pain glistened in the sun and yelled “Bonjour Melbourne!” in her charming accent. Melanie is a former member of Nouvelle Vague who do sexy covers with pretty lyrics. She continued this tradition with a fun and flirty cover of Blur’s ‘Girls & Boys’.
Most songs were sung in French, but even if people couldn’t understand a word, they still lapped up the melody and opportunity to dance. First on stage were Parisian band Revolver, who despite being über-French, write their lyrics in English to suit their 60s-pop feel.
“Music is a language by itself,” agree the boys from Revolver. “The lyrics are important but it is the honesty and emotion behind it that anyone can hear and enjoy.”
French pop band Revolver
Catering company Egg Unlimited, who supplied fresh picnic hampers to thousands of hungry- dancing francophiles, pulled up in a van that had “it’s the small things” written on the side. This motto sums up the atmosphere created at the festival populated by people in love with all things French.
While the aesthetic of an Italian mansion alongside the state’s rose garden is grand and decadent, it was the minutiae of the festival – like the salted caramel or the buckets of lavender placed on hay bales between picnic rugs – that made So Frenchy So Chic a stand out.
There was definitely a feel of the French countryside; children ran through flowerbeds and peeked through greenhouse windows while parents laughed and sipped champagne in the sunshine. The parallel stage and historical mansion sandwiched a bustling crowd, and had a symmetry reminiscent of inner Paris – sans central water fountain.
With everything from face-painting to Parisian pop, the festival organizers did a fantastic job of utilizing a large and beautiful space and catering to all age groups and tastes.
If you missed this year’s festivities you can pick up a copy of the So Frenchy So Chic album here. Listen to it while eating By Josephine’s macarons in your backyard. C’est Bon!
Images By Wanda Chin