While Les Rencontres Trans Musicales was taking over every other corner of Rennes last weekend, a plush theatre by the city’s airport was playing host to a rather special event. Kütu Folk is an artist led record label based in Clermont-Ferrand, and is the home to such delightful acts as Kim Novak, Soso, St Augustine, Evening Hymns, Leopold Skin and The Delano Orchestra. It’s a label renowned throughout France not only for its consistent output, but also for the care and attention attributed to the creation of its physical products which appear in hand embroidered cardboard sleeves. To celebrate the work of the label, Les Rencontres Trans Musicales invited a whole host of acts from the Kütu Folk family to take over an extremely comfortable theatre, L’Aire L’Ibre.
Each night began with two sets from artists on the label, before all of the bands took the stage to form a ‘Kütu Folk supergroup’ who would then reproduce a song from each artist in the catalogue. Incorporating like-minded artists from France, the US (former Minus Story and Shearwater man Jordan Geiger) and Canada (Evening Hymns and SoSo) the shows truly felt like a family affair. A five day run in the same place clearly created a special bond between the artists and their energy, engagement and enthusiasm most definitely transferred to the audience. Once St. Augustine had brought the crowd to their feet to sing along to his sprightly indie-pop workout, the audience remained standing for the rest of the set, with the joy of the artists lending the show a feeling of communal catharsis.
One of France’s most successful and original indies, Kütu Folk are more than worthy candidates to have hosted this special series of showcases at this highly prestigious event. With the new year promising a whole heap of new releases from the label’s outstanding roster, it’s only a matter of time before the name ‘Kütu Folk’ becomes as celebrated here in the UK as it already is in France.
Have a listen to what exactly it is that this marvellous label produces either by downloading a free sampler or by listening to the stream below.
By Ro Cemm and Francine Gorman
Photographs provided by Les Rencontres Trans Musicales.