The Nadau group will be in concert next Wednesday at Lavardac. An exceptional evening where young and old will commune in front of the Nadau madness. It’s been going on for 50 years. Interview.
Nadau madness. It still intensifies, even after half a century of scenes. Four Olympias and hundreds of concerts, Michel Maffrand, alias Joan de Nadau, and his musicians have not aged a bit and are having as much fun as on the first day.
Wednesday evening, Nadau will be in concert at the municipal stadium of Lavardac where several hundred people will be. An evening set up by the Lavardac entertainment committee and one of the big flagship events of this summer in Lot-et-Garonne. The assurance of a successful getaway evening.
How do you maintain this energy?
Above all, we must ask ourselves how we have survived 50 years. It’s because we’ve never been fashionable. We never got out of fashion. The problem, we are beginning to be, it smells of fir. There are more and more people. I have a lot of requests. We have never had so many. It’s good for the group.
You attract both elders and young people. Is it Nadau magic?
We have two songs that marked young people. “L’encatada” then “My God that I am at my ease”, the only song that we do in French. These two songs crossed rugby and all of the South West. It allows them to get to Occitan. They discover a lot of things. As a result, we are a link between these two generations. One day, the biggest bookseller in Pau said to me: “I come with my parents, you say things that I would like to say to them but I can’t.”
Doing a concert with Nadau is certainly a popular success?
There are a lot of people who never go to concerts but they come to see us. You come down from the whole valley when it’s Nadau day (laughs). We pick up our mother or grandmother and we go to the concert. This is also true the other way round. Grandpa and grandma bring the grandchildren.
We hear your songs once and we can’t forget them…
We work on memory. It is also a repertoire that is played in all life events, both weddings and funerals. So we support people. And this without any media coverage except Youtube.
Do you regret that television or certain radio stations did not give you more airtime?
If it hadn’t been for the Internet, we would have been dead a long time ago. Youtube has brought us people. A while ago, I had tried to go on television. I quit a long time ago. I’m not looking to go on TV anymore. We don’t need anything.
And you continue to attract an even larger audience…
Yes, there is a new audience. We even have Swiss and Belgians. It’s curious, we escape all the rules of business and concert. The world of a concert brings the world of a concert after.
They recognize each other through Nadau?
It’s very curious. Talking about your identity brings people back to their own identity. Even if it’s in Occitan, something happens, like a deep story.
Going to a Nadau concert, is it better than a doctor’s prescription?
They don’t want to hear it and have it reimbursed by Social Security (laughs).
Does this audience also bring you incredible strength to last?
There are record singers, musical arrangements. Nadau, we are stage and local singers. Music is not an end, it’s a way to meet others. The opportunity to create emotion. That’s important, whether it’s happy or sad. There are little phrases that speak to everyone. It brings them back to their own story.
Is this Lot-et-Garonne public more demanding?
No more than the others. There are a lot of people every time. I went to Casteljaloux, to Marmande where I had to do two concerts or even to Layrac recently. At the end of the concerts, I thank people for the applause, the laughter and the silences. We see the quality of a concert in the quality of the silences. It always goes very well.
Do you have an anecdote to tell about one of your visits to Lot-et-Garonne?
It was at Layrac. There is an 82-year-old grandpa who comes to see me and says: “You can take a picture with my wife”. I never refuse. He calls her and we take this picture. Then he turns to me and says “she gets up at night and she listens to Nadau. She’s crazy…”