[EN] BCUC: The darlings at this year’s Trans Musicales, France’s foremost music showcase festival


Official festival artwork by WAR!

BCUC are the darlings at this year’s Trans Musicales de Rennes, a festival that has built its reputation on unearthing and showcasing innovative new music acts from around the globe for nearly forty years now.

Last year, Parissoweto had a chat with Jean-Louis Brossard, festival director, about his penchant for the South African acts that he’s been adding to his festival line-up over the years (TBMO and Okmalumkoolkat in 2015, Tumi Mogorosi in 2014 to Prophets of Da City as far back as 1995). Known for endlessly exploring what the music world has to offer, J.L.B leaves no corners unturned, and reacted warmly to our suggestion that he listen to the Sowetan afro-psychedelic outfit BCUC.  Fast-forward to the 2016 edition of the festival, and BCUC has not only been selected to play, but they are also Mr. Brossard’s self-proclaimed favourites. Their arrival in Rennes next week comes a month after the band unleashed “Our Truth”, their latest EP, released in France on digital and vinyl by Nyami Nyami Records.

We caught up with Jean-Louis recently, this time around to find out more about BCUC’s upcoming stay at the 38th edition of Les Rencontres Trans Musicales de Rennes.

BCUC at the FoodZone in Soweto. June 2016. Photo credit: Jeanne Abrahams

PARISSOWETO:  What drew you to BCUC?

JEAN-LOUIS BROSSARD:  When you sent me the CDs I was immediately drawn to their sound. There is something very original in their singing and percussion playing. I think it’s a rather unique band. I went to check out some videos and got an idea of what they could be like live. And also, I saw that their line-up had changed; they’ve switched their guitarist for a bassist and I actually find it much better, it adds a lot of groove. And basically, they’re my favourites at the festival this year ! [laughs]

This is why I’ve invited them to spend the Wednesday through to Sunday at the Trans Musicales. We’ve got them lined up to play at what we call the mayor’s reception, which will take place on the Wednesday and where there will be elected representatives giving speeches; Beatrice and I will say something, and the mayor of Rennes will also be speaking, followed by drinks and petit-fours. And each time I bring a band along! [Last year] it was the Thai group Khun Narin, and this year I chose BCUC.

On Thursday they’re doing a show in a prison, at the Men’s Prison in Rennes, and then Friday they will have a day off. Even though I’m going to try and get them to play after a dance show at Le Triangle that night. I’ll see if it’s possible. And then, of course, on Saturday they will be on stage in Hall 8 at the Parc des Expo. It’s going to a big moment!

What are your expectations?

I think the band will really work… and I am rather happy because when you introduced me to BCUC I immediately thought of Antoine Rajon [music promotor at Metiola Records/Nyami Nyami Records] – they didn’t have any agent working with them yet, not in France anyway – and he really loved it. He met them while he was in South Africa and decided to manage them. And he even released their [latest] album*… now that’s quite extraordinary! [laughs]

Can you tell us a little bit more about the prison gig?

We organise a show for the prisoners. We did this at the Women’s Prison up until two years ago and now we’re organising it at the Men’s Prison. I’m unable to say how many detainees will attend the show, but in any case, it’s always something very special; the show is followed by a discussion between the musicians and the prisoners.

*Our Truth – BCUC (Nyami Nyami)


∇  Saturday 3 December 2016, Hall 8, Parc Expo // Les Trans Musicales, RENNES

∇  Tuesday, 6 December 2016 , 13h00 @ Université de Paris XVIII, Campus de Villetaneuse // Africolor, PARIS

∇  Tuesday, 6 December 2016 20h30 “BCUC invite SHABAKA” @ La Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues // Africolor, PARIS

∇  Wednesday 7 December 2016, Université de Paris XVIII, Campus de Bobigny // Africolor, PARIS


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