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At Jumbo, the salesman plays with the click of his retractable ballpoint pen as he sees the boxes stack up on the pallet truck. Nothing surprises him anymore. Four seats per dinghy, which means I’m taking the whole supply. Never too big, as they say in show business. At the Montreux Jazz Festival, we’ve never been afraid of grandeur. On the side of the boats, I have engraved: SUN COUSTO. Jesus is not a surfer, sings the pop-punk duo during the torchlit procession down the Avenue Claude Nobs.
“At the bow of the boat, fist raised, hip hitched, DANITSA is our Captain. With her war paintings and sacred amulets, FLÈCHE LOVE will be our lookout – the one who fearlessly climbs to the top of the mast (or the matriarchy)… ”
On 14 June, the weather was like November, weather to catch the flu, weather to stay at home. This 14 July will be ours. On the footbridge of the jetty, KASSETTE scans the liquid horizon and makes a promise to the public: one day, with the Cheptel gang, she will play her Lémancolia in Chillon. In the meantime, I survey my sirens. At the bow of the boat, fist raised, hip hitched, DANITSA is our Captain. With her war paintings and sacred amulets, FLÈCHE LOVE will be our lookout – the one who fearlessly climbs to the top of the mast (or the matriarchy), the one who watches the shores of the battles we win. The scent of pine mixed with apricot kernels is the fragrance sown by our mountain nymph, the caravel fairy, the guardian of the abyss – to guard the journey AURÉLIE EMERY sings Corinna Bille and tames the sea monsters. In the distance, preceded by a flow that runs faster than her time, KT GORIQUE does not walk: she strides forward, the crew of the BIGGEST FEMALE ALLSTARS CYPHER at her heels. Kunta Kita is a large family: nineteen rappers, nine countries, enough strength to raise the Titanic.
“David Sanborn smashed a Porsche on the road to Le Picotin. “It’s a powerful car!” mumbled the saxophonist as he handed over the keys to his crumpled car.”
Back in the day, Van Morrison arrived on the Riviera by helicopter. D’Angelo rented a dozen Chryslers to cover the distance between the Montreux Palace and the entrance to the Stravinski Auditorium and David Sanborn smashed a Porsche on the road to Le Picotin. “It’s a powerful car!” mumbled the saxophonist as he handed over the keys to his crumpled car.
“Silent Shore is also that: a summer without the macho babies who can’t hold their alcohol and who tug at our skirts.”
The mighty steed tonight will be the voices of my pneumatic procession rising under the Montreux sky. The sun has gone down, their stars are shining brighter. This is no cruise. We row, we row and we row – since the dawn of time, it’s the only energy we expend. It’s renewable. Contagious. Inflammable. But it’s a fire that feeds: our coach CAMILLA SPARKSSS does a warm-up session to the sound of the galley girls‘ new anthem, Womanized, on the immaculate lawns. Silent Shore is also that: a summer without the macho babies who can’t hold their alcohol and who tug at our skirts. To keep the lesser players at bay, bent over her cauldron, YOUR FAULT is cooking up potions. Nettles to mark our territory, ferns because they are wild, absinthe to teach us to dream: In 2018, out of the 112 concerts announced in the paid programme, 79 groups had no women in their line-up, with the exception of a few backing singers. In 2021, the stages will belong to us. In 2021, Grace Jones‘ prophecy will come true: “Instead of penetrating, I think [men] all need to be penetrated once. Then they’ll understand what it’s like to receive instead of give.” And Claude Nobs will applaud her because he has always been a visionary.
Salomé Kiner is journalist for Le Temps, Couleur 3 and the magazine Mouvement.