This Thursday night, Les Hay Babies and Les Hotesses d’Hilaire, two of the biggest bands in the province’s vibrant Acadian music scene, are joining forces for a collaborative performance that is unlike anything either group has undertaken in the past.
Unlike a “typical” show in which each act would perform its respective set, the two bands are sharing the stage for the entire duration of their performance, allowing them to perform their own material while also serving as the back-up group for the other band.
The bond between the two groups runs deep. Not only have the two groups shared a practice space over the course of the last four years as they charted their respective courses they also share band members – Mico Roy counts himself as a member of both bands.
“There is indeed a lot of history between the two groups,” affable Hotesses d’Hilaire frontman Serge Brideau says. “When we came up with the idea of playing a show together, we were definitely interested in doing something a little special to give those coming out something to look forward to, something that we haven’t necessarily pursued before. There is also quite a repertoire of music between us; I think it’s going to be quite a special night.”
Hay Babies member Vivianne Roy likens the relationship between the two bands as being more familial than anything else.
“There’s always been a bit of a classic gang mentality between the groups, a one-for-all and all-for-one kind of thing,” Roy says. “Taking on a show like this is exciting because it allows both bands to do something a little different. It’s nice to know you’re heading into a show with a bit of a different agenda than playing your standard show.”
The last 12 months have seen a flurry of activity from both groups.
Earlier this year, Les Hotesses d’Hilaire were the recipients of two East Coast Music Awards – Group Recording of the Year and Francophone Recording of the Year – for their third effort, Touche-moi pas la!
This past September, the Francophone group was the only Acadian act to have secured a at Quebec’s prestigious Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque (ADISQ) awards.
Released in the fall of 2015, the group’s latest album helped break broke down many borders for the band, affording them the opportunity to perform at various points throughout Canada and Europe.
“We’ve been very fortunate, especially with our last album having received recognition on a such a wide scale. That support has translated to our live shows, as well. There is a lot of respect and appreciation for a band like us. Whether we are playing Charlottetown, Fredericton or Moncton, we’re lucky enough that people show up to see us perform.” Brideau says.
The group’s show this week will be a break of sorts for the band. Brideau shares the band is in the midst of recording its next full-length effort, a rock opera that they hope to release in early 2018.
Unlike Les Hotesses d’Hilaire, Les Hay Babies aren’t quite feeling the same pressure to deliver a new studio record. This past October, the group released its second full-length effort, La 4ième dimension.
Since forming in 2011, Les Hay Babies’ audience has grown by leaps and bounds, evolving from their early incarnation as a somewhat shy acoustic trio to embracing a broad pallet of sound with their latest record. Recorded at Studio Wild, located in the remote Quebec wilderness of St-Zenon, La 4ième dimension is the band’s most ambitious release to date.
Despite their latest effort having been in the world for less than a year already, Roy shares the group is already planning on undertaking a songwriting retreat in the near future.
“We definitely don’t want to lose the momentum we’ve gained since the release of our last album,” she says. “The last time we set off with the purpose of writing songs together, we ended up with seven songs in four days. Hopefully we can pull something similar off again.”
What: Les Hay Babies and Les Hotesses d’Hilaire
When: Thursday July 27, 6 p.m.
Where: Central United Church, 150 Queen St., Moncton
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Advance tickets are available online at www.mudcitymeltdown.ca