Categories: Entertainment

Samarabalouf returns to the Arden

On Monday it was raining in the streets of Paris, not an uncommon spring phenomena. Pierrot Margerin, rhythm guitarist for Samarabalouf, sped through the wet streets on his motorcycle to complete a transatlantic interview.

Once on the line, Margerin appears more delighted to discuss hockey than music. “I am really happy Canada won ice hockey at the Olympics,” gushes an exuberant Margerin.

In his youth he played arena hockey in France as a left-winger. “I would go in the corner and break the defence,” he explains.

Although Margerin nurtured dreams of a professional career, his other passion — music — scored more points and won the day. However, he still maintains rink connections. One of his close friends trains France’s national hockey team and when on tour in North America, Margerin picks up memorabilia.

The Parisian musician draws similar parallels between his two passions. “Music is about trying to do the purest expression. If it’s too complicated, it doesn’t work. It’s the same in sports. You try to be simple and clear.”

Margerin can test his theories as Samarabalouf, a rollicking gypsy rock trio from northern France takes the audience on a madcap adventure at the Arden Theatre on Friday, April 9.

The trio first debuted locally in 2008 to a nearly sold-out house. After a two-year hiatus, Samarabalouf returns to celebrate with 10 ans de tournée, a DVD recorded live in the cosmopolitan city of Toulouse that recaps their music from the last decade.

“We wanted to leave a little mark, to do something. After 10 years on tour, we said let’s take a picture. Here is the band. Here is what we can do.”

Francois Petit (guitarist/composer) first founded the trio after touring with the renowned gypsy band Swing Gadje. Petit adapted the gypsy swing by throwing in some boogie blues and exotic jazz to fashion a distinctly French sound.

Bringing into the fold Margerin and double bass player Luc Ambry gave the music a certain release as their concerts took on the image of a fiery bull — stamping feet, clapping hands and dancing instruments.

In the past decade, the trio has released four albums and performed at more than 100 engagements annually, both at home and abroad. Sometimes improvising on the fly, Margerin says the two-hour Arden concert will be a mix of old and new tracks. “We play what works best for the audience.”


Friday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Arden Theatre
5 St. Anne Street
Tickets: $32. Call 780-459-1542 or go online to: www.ticketmaster.ca

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.