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  • Writer's pictureLa Nouvelle Orléanaise

Hop Pop Hop Festival - 2023

Back and Forth: Clément, Valentine & Margot

It started with an email from the Astrolabe, the Orléans contemporary music scene. For this 8th edition of the famous festival dedicated to musical emergence, the Hop Pop Hop Festival, which would take place on 15 and 16 September, the organisers were looking for volunteers.

I love music, I love concerts, so I asked for a certification to interview artists. I listened to excerpts from each band and submitted my selection. Among them, the folk group Back and Forth, composed of Clément, Valentine and Margot. If the members of the group are French, the songs written in English and the presence of the harmonica, in addition to the guitar and percussion, take us straight to the United States. Through their catchy and touching songs, they tell us about their travels, their encounters, their experiences and their moods. There is no need to understand English to feel the sensitivity and vulnerability of the artists.

After some research, I learned that they come from Argenton-sur-Creuse, in the department of Indre (where my parents are from), which aroused my curiosity about the musical genre in which the group is inscribed, but also about the choice of English in their songs.

It was at the Hotel Dupanloup that we met on 15 September, the day they were to perform at the Salle de l'Institut. Exclusive interview with this talented and touching group.

And find pictures of the event at the end of the article.

Back and Forth! Or when the music world meets the writing world.

LNO: Hello everyone! I would like to know more about the origins of your trio, about how Back and Forth was born. Clément: Originally, we were a duo. Valentine and I met in high school and we used to play music together. She would sing and I would accompany her on vocals and guitar. Valentine: In 2017, a few years after we met, we decided to create a group. Then, music took an increasingly important place in our lives; we played more regularly and composed our own songs while continuing to play and adapt other artists' songs. This led us to perform in public for a whole summer! The reception we received encouraged us to continue on this path. Clément: In 2019, Margot, my sister, joined the adventure. The group gathered momentum. Margot: Clément and I were cradled in music all our childhood. I can also sing and play guitar, and I learned to play drums for the band. LNO: In your songs, you sing in English. Do you have a history with English-speaking countries? Clément: My sister and I have travelled quite a bit in the past. For my part, I went to work on farms in Canada and the United States. In California, the young people I was on the farm with were part of the counterculture movement. When we had free time, we played music together. Margot: And I had the opportunity to go to New Zealand for a year thanks to the Working Holiday Visa. Valentine: I didn't travel but I learned English partly through music. This language seemed to us to be the most natural to express ourselves. LNO: Why the band name Back and Forth ? Clément: There are two meanings. All three of us are people who procrastinate a lot; we have difficulty making decisions. And then, it is difficult for us to be of our time; we navigate between the past, the present and the future. LNO: You released an EP with 5 tracks in 2020. You will release your first album of 7 tracks in January 2024. What evolution is there between the two productions? Margot: In the upcoming album, the arrangements are richer thanks to the addition of an electric guitar and drums. Valentine: In the EP, we can compare our songs to acoustic ballads, with a much refined folk style, whereas in the album, we open up to other styles. LNO: How do you feel about being part of the Hop Pop Hop Festival? Valentine: We are very happy! This is a chance for us, and the Salle de l'Institut is magnificent! Clément: In recent years, we have already had the chance to perform in various places in the city, such as the open-air dance hall La Bamboche in Olivet, the multimedia library, in Saint-Jean-de-Braye, as well as the Astrolabe, in Orléans. Margot: It's a beautiful city! We hope to have time to visit and enjoy the Festival.

Concert at the Salle de l'Institut.

Find more about Back and Forth on their website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

And now, here are some photos of the Festival. I wanted to highlight the artists, but also the volunteers, all those without whom the Festival could not take place. Thank you for offering Orléans and the people of Orléans the opportunity to attend quality concerts in the heart of the city.

We start with pictures of Campo Santo and the Bishop's Garden - with also a beautiful photo of the cathedral. Admire the colours!

Now, pictures of the groups Hippie Hourrah, Etran de l'Aïr, Ben PLG, Gilla Band, DJ Démontage and Nana Benz from Togo.

We continue with some members of the security and sound teams.

And now pictures of some volunteers.


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