Wigan band on the road with twin town trip

Ravellas have been to France in a twin town band exchange
Ravellas have been to France in a twin town band exchange

A Wigan band enjoyed the delights of touring France as part of a musical exchange with the borough’s twin town Angers.

Indie-rockers Ravellas played successful gigs in a string of towns and cities on the other side of the Channel as part of the innovative scheme to celebrate Anglo-French cultural talent.

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The project has been put together by leading community arts hub The Old Courts working with the ambassador from Angers Martin Pouvreau.

Now a French group called Despres will head the other way to play here later this year.

The Old Courts director Jonny Davenport said: “We were approached by the current Angevine ambassador to discuss the possibility of a Wigan band touring France and a band from Angers visiting the UK.

“It’s taken a lot of liaising with cultural counterparts in France, the artists, venues and the councils of both towns who have been fully supportive and incredibly keen for this to happen.

“We got there and we’re hoping that this can be the first of many cultural exchanges as we know Wigan artists have so much to offer and Wigan crowds definitely give a warm welcome to visitors from afar.”

Ravellas, made up of bassist Jon Coe, lead singer Martin Cunliffe or Mac, guitarist Michael Parker and drummer Aidan Butler, played Paris, Tours and Cherbourg as well as Wigan’s twin town in the Loire Valley, with their music going down a storm with French audiences.

The week included a typically continental gig set in a beautiful courtyard.

One of the team members at the Crawford Street arts centre also drove the van on the European road trip.

The second half of the exchange will see the Angers electro duo Despres showcasing their New Wave sound in the Grand Vault at The Old Courts in what is being dubbed the Wigan Twinning Tour.

The act’s sound blends old-school synths and electro beats with pulsing bass lines and memorable vocals, while local Wigan acts Dead Circus, Stray Weather and Space Lab Disco have all been lined up for the support slots.

For more information about the project and the gigs visit www.theoldcourts.com