In the North East of France, just outside of St. Malo, you’ll find Fort de Saint Père. Originally built as a defence to English attacks during the reign of Louis XVI, the castle now stands impregnated by largely Anglophonic musicians at La Route Du Rock.
The festival opened with an intimate first show with King Hannah and Aldous Harding, who strutted around the stage like a 70 year old gangster, proving to be very much a musician that’s worth seeing live; with phone screens lighting up the audience like the lighters of our parents generation, followed by a compendium of some of the newest names in Indie & Rock: Working Men’s Club, Yard Act and Wet Leg, which was topped off by Fontaines D.C, who stood out as the stars of Thursday night in a performance that was intense, personal and distant, all at the same time.
Alongside some already established names, La Route also featured some newer bands on the block, such as Snapped Ankles and PVA. On the last day, The Fat White’s frontman: Lias Sauodi, in his flesh coloured leotard, emerged onto the stage like a new born child, the band entering the new chapter of their illustrious career, ready to bring the French out of the comfort of their tastefulness.
With the backdrop of the beaches of St. Malo combined, the Breton cuisine and it’s lovely cider, La Route de Rock is a veritable escape for post-punk refugees looking for a brief subversion of their respective toilet gig circuits. In what feels like the best opportunity for French rock fans to see the crème of new, as well as some of the old, in the space of a weekend, La Route Du Rock proves that, despite Brexit, music survives as the UK’s single, Megalith cultural export.
Images and words by Sebastian Garraway
Thanks to La Route Du Rock