The coast is rough, strewn with driftwood and black basalt pebbles. Gigantic waves heaving and crashing on it, fierce and confident like the rougail dakatine from Ti Carri.
Up dans les hauts de Saint-Pierre, le Kerveguen is a strange building, unfinished, industrial, looking like a soviet factory. Inside the venue it feels like the engine room of a cargo, the sound is booming, echoing against concrete, electrical cables, ventilation ducts, artificial smoke, darkness.
Au coucher de soleil, the audience shows up, 450 people start filling up the room, packed. Someone warns us that the ventilation system is not working. Two lone fans on the wall desperately try to stir up the air, but without much effect. Sofy Mazandira opens the show, and the heat rises slowly. As we climb on stage the temperature is already nearing 40°c and keeps climbing. The audience is soaking wet, so are we. The instruments keep slipping out of tune. People are dancing to the maloya beats nevertheless, their clothes drenched in sweat. After an hour and a half of playing under these subtropical conditions, the oxygen gets rare. Headaches. Dizziness. Intense exhaustion. As we walk out of stage, Harry the percussionist, who has been jumping and laughing and shouting and pounding on the drums like a madman, suddenly drops to the floor, out of breath and almost out of consciousness. But the audience, unaware, is still mercilessly clapping and calling for an encore. Rosemary and Christine get back on stage and sing their duet, Lespwar, making it last till we get our senses back. We dedicate the final song to our downed fellow Harry, still knocked out by the gig.
Funny how the worst technical and material conditions give birth to the most intense, unforgettable concerts…
Later in the night we reach our home in Saint-Leu and literally dissolve into the moonlit dark waters of the lagoon, letting all the exhaustion wash away.
Moriarty on tour: Kerveguen, St-Pierre (Ile de la Réunion 01.03.2013)