The V of victory and a big smile. We have rarely seen Francis Cabrel so relaxed while climbing on stage, this Thursday, October 14 at the Zénith in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin). And also at ease for 2h10 in front of 3,500 fans, first seated and attentive then standing and fervent.
At 67, the artist takes advantage. His “Trobador Tour”, with four musicians and three singers in total harmony, is one of his best tours . And his latest album, “À l’Avenir Revenant”, is a critical and commercial success, with 250,000 sales in the past year.
Behind the scenes, too, we meet a still rare but peaceful man. Doubly vaccinated, he announces to us without mask the release on December 3 of a double live – 2 CDs and 4 vinyls – with two unreleased studio songs. On tour since June, he also tells us about his wish to take a musical break in 2022, to devote himself to other writings.
First of all the question that everyone is asking after your video posted two weeks ago: has the municipality of Astaffort found a doctor?
FRANCIS CABREL . I do not have the impression. I am not often in the village at the moment, but I have not received any good news… It is not because we are making fuss that people are running. The neighboring village also put up a banner: Let’s look for two doctors . We must be the x-thousandth town to suffer from this.
Why you, so discreet, did you agree to appear in this video?
Our medical center is functioning very well, it just lacks a general practitioner. The one who remains at retirement age and continues to troubleshoot. It was he who asked me if I wanted to appear to help. The locals had already written the script. It only took me thirty minutes when they spent several days there.
Is it a recent problem?
It has been stretching for three, four years. When I was elected (from 1989 to 2004), we never experienced this shortage. We even had up to two practices and four doctors. Municipalities should pay doctors, but that implies a budget that many do not have.
How is your tour going?
We are in the middle of the ford, a little over thirty dates out of sixty. Past my usual worries, which do not get better with age, my fears of forgetting the texts, my allergy to long journeys, things are going very well (he smiles) . We are reopening many rooms, like here in Strasbourg, and the reception is great everywhere.
You are more relaxed on stage …
It’s true. This is one of my favorite tours. It makes me happy that people hear such musicians and the work of the choristers is remarkable. It’s successful but, in the spirit, it’s like inviting them to a rehearsal.
What are you going to do after the last date, December 18th?
For now, there are few things planned for 2022. In June, we will do the tour that had been canceled in Canada, then the few summer festivals postponed because of the Covid or bad weather. My producer has some ideas in his head, but I’m quite tempted to do nothing in between. A tour is tiring. And we have to move on.
A new album?
No. In any case, not right away. I remain on the good impression of it. And I want to write in other forms. It tempts me to make a book, I have a few leads. I saw that Laurent (Voulzy) had written one on cathedrals. It’s interesting.
We have just celebrated the 70 years of Jean-Jacques Goldman. Do you sometimes think about quitting yourself?
But all the time! I’ve been thinking about it since my first album in 1977. The day after its release, I said: I ‘m quitting . In my opinion, Jean-Jacques quit too early . Like him, I wonder not to make the album and the tour too much. I have made fourteen albums, several thousand concerts, there is still a repetitive effect. For me, it’s soon.
Why did you add two unreleased songs from 2020 to your next live album?
I didn’t put them on my last album because I didn’t want it to be too long. But I regretted it. One of the two, “What to say”, is based on a cute note from my six-year-old granddaughter Mona. After observing a dog and a bird, she asked her mother: Are they talking to each other? My daughter Aurélie told me about it and I embroidered, reflected on us, who have somewhat lost the purity, the poetry of children. Their company is regenerating, refreshing.
As time goes by, you talk a little more about yourself …
Yes. On the album, I even talked about my father. People have carried me so much, loved me so much, that I can begin to reveal myself.
But not on social networks, from which you are absent… Why?
As Alain Souchon says, we were famous at the right time. We went through a simple and golden period. Now it gets more complicated with social networks. There are a lot of benefits to be had but also pitfalls. I used my daughter’s Facebook to share my songs while in lockdown , but I don’t have a strong enough opinion to feed Twitter.
Your last participation in the Enfoirés dates back to 2010. Will you come back?
I was asked again recently but I said: No, excuse me . I am old enough to retire from the “Enfoirés”. Coming back now, I would feel less in tune. I remember discussions with Jean-Jacques and Maxime Le Forestier, where we said to ourselves that the ideal would be to make room for young people. It’s done, and it’s perfect.