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Blogging Bluesfest 2013: Medhi Cayenne Club

By François Levesque on July 10, 2013

Those that live on the Gatineau side of the river and like to dance party probably already know about Mehdi Cayenne Club. There’s a party groove to their sound but there’s also sentiment in their prose. This is how they describe themselves, in French, on their site:

Punky Funk POW-WOW. Pour rêver, danser et réfléchir. MCC, c’est le calme et puis la tempête: un papillon qui s’enfuit de la prison dans sa tête.

To dream, dance and think. Mehdi Cayenne Club is calm and stormy: a butterfly leaving the prison in its head. If this has peaked your curiosity, read on to discover more about MCC courtesy of Mehdi Hamdad.

How would you describe your sound?

Sounds like Edith Piaf and Jeff Buckley in a David Lynch movie.  That being said, no style is the style. Style is crystallization – we’re into fluids!

I’d say the sound is full of will to live and tenderness… Some call it world-pop songs, next thing you know it’s called trashy art-punk. Who gives a fuck? I’m romantic.

How long have you been playing music, and how has your sound evolved in that time?

Olivier Fairfield and I met in 2007 – we’d both been hired for some 2-year touring project. In late 2009, at the Harvey’s fast food stop on HWY 401, I nervously asked him if he wanted to play some songs with me – I’d been putting on shows for a few years and wanted to make an album. Pow! MCC was born. Over different seasons of the band, the sound was enriched by Usman Ali Khan, Pierre-Luc Clément, Philippe Charbonneau, Pascal Delaquis, Jamie Kronick… (Chad Kroeger never returned our calls).

The current outfit with Olivier Fairfield and François Gravel feels like I’m wearing nothing at all. It’s great.
Compact, concise, deep, sexy…

I feel like an Archie comic evolving into a Caravaggio painting. Ambiguous scenes, dramatic lighting. You could cook a meal to this music, walk up a mountain, make voracious love… Maybe even all three at once!
Cheers for evolution.

What are you hoping to get out of your Bluesfest performance? Fans, adoration, festival experience etc.

It’s our second time at Bluesfest, and it’s always an honour. These people set the standard: kindness and professionalism, yes sir.
Paul Symes (Blacksheep Inn owner) is the one who trusted us enough to invite us – heck, he even went to the store and BOUGHT our CD! Whose face wouldn’t melt in appreciation? And of course, the cherry on the sundae (or Saturday, as it were) is basking in the sunlight and love of music with tons of people smiling and dancing! I told you, I’m a romantic.

Are there any other bands on the bill you’re excited to see?

There’s tons of other bands I’m excited to see. That’s like asking someone what their favorite crack pipe is. But I’ll be extra-elated to see Death Grips perform. And Björk. And… OK, better stop here.

What’s your ultimate summer song?

Well, my head is a year-long gridlock of weird sounds and rhythms – but I must embarrassingly confess that I listened to George Harrison’s cover of “Set on you” about 20 times a day this month… On a playlist between Debussy and Death Grips.

Check MCC’s The Boat live.

Mehdi Cayenne Club play the River Stage Saturday July 13 at 2:45pm.