In the morning we invaded the supermarket and filled the van with french produces and alcohol. This was so cool, as Alan had planned to drive us all back to our houses so we could restock on sirups, wines and mustards. We returned to Thoix around 4pm collecting Jo Quail on the way. As one of the support acts she was staying in a near by chateau.
At the sound of a bell, we were taken to the entry of the crypt, given a torch to step into complete darkness. Another of those wonderful creations by Rosa Crux. I sadly had to use my camera flash to catch its inhabitants, so it didn't quite capture the atmosphere.
Back from this wonderful experience we just relaxed until the first band finally started :
witches being dressed and fueled
wine in plastic ..markus not impressed
Trouble Fait: a French three-piece, I am always excited to discover French bands but sadly they sang in English and were a bit to classic goth for my taste. We were also taken to the cemetery for a mini photo shoot .
Next it was Jo Quail’s turn. We are all big fan of hers, but her five cello pieces based on the elements which built and built into powerful and hypnotic soundscapes sounded just perfect there and a spor on support to Rosa Crux. She seemed to have made lots of new fans which was great.
having a peek at the dancefloor for later
Finally time to Rosa Crux’s performance, despite a more minimal version (no choir or bagpipist) it was just as crazy, ritualistic and immense as always. During their gig I always feel I am part of some secretive magical event, just nothing else quite like it. I was right at the front, underneath the burning candles and bells. So medieval with their latin lyrics, iconography, videos and well organs and multiple church bells. They even had an extra large one outside the main stage, the usual flag dancers and this time the earth dance was done on the move. Even more tribalistic (and sandy) but impossible to catch a good photo.
Since it was their own festival they also had all their art installations/Jeux de Fer accompanying them, it was so fantastic to finally see some of them live , having only just ever seen the videos. We got cage against big metal plate (with courageous volunteer ), giant cello, a water installation, men hitting large cone/dishes with metal balls, lots of dust/sand. More details about the ideas/background drawing in here : http://www.rosacrux.org/jdf/anglais/
added the cello
and the water
resulting in a lot of dust
Then something as gothic as it gets visually, a gothic ruin in flame, moon and cemetery in the background, flapping bats (they were dressed in black with bats on sticks but I did managed to catch one in one photo), fog, snow, wind...simple and so so beautiful.
The final show of the night before the nighclub started in the Mayors ballroom was the burning of the witches. They made full-size skeleton witches on broomsticks; each soaked in petrol and about three o’clock at night they were lit up and span around the garden in terrifying flame and shadow accompanied by a backing track by The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud. Just hard to beat and just unique.
We sadly didn’t much chance to dance in the beautifuly candle lit ballroom as by then it was very late/early and our driver needed at least a few hours sleep before we returned to the uk the next day
All in all an incredible event, very laid back , no timetable, just rosa crux and all their helpers doing everything from making the pancakes, maning the bar, doing art performance, , running around…seriously they never stopped, one minute you see one naked covered in mud , the next they are minding the pancake stall and then pulling some heavy machinery. I would definitely go back but it is really an evening event rather than 2 days festival/event as we assumed . Once it finally started it was non stop and amazing but really nothing much happen before 8ish on the Saturday …so our UK clock of events starting early and on time and ending was not in synch with the more relax French attitude.