Classic French Songs in Yemen [Archives:1997/39/Culture]

September 29 1997

A long world tour has brought Maxime le Forestier to Yemen. Upon the invitation of the French Cultural Center in Sana’a, Maxime, 48, has performed at the Yemeni Cultural Center on Sunady 14th September. The songs essentially belong to the late French singer Brassens. They are 20 songs written by Brassens who died before having the chance to sing them. These songs were discovered by Mxime and later released in an album. “Brassens used to call me the little crazy one,” said Maxime laughing.
So Maxime sang his way around the world in a tour that took him to Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Madagscar, the US, Latin America, and now Yemen. The songs are written in a little note book, each with a number. The audience usually chooses a number between 1 and 80, and Maxime does the singing. He sometimes cracks a joke or two in between songs. “My friends in France told me a lot about Yemen;” said Maxime, “so instead of the scheduled one-day visit, I am staying here for 3 days.” He visited old Sana’a as well as some of the little villages just outside the city. “I marvelled at the old buildings, how were they erected without a bulldozer? It is like Switzerland where you have houses perched on top of mountains.” He also went to an arts exhibition where the paintings were quite “enchanting.”
Maxime was full with praise for Yemen: “The people here are very friendly, the food is appetizing, and qat is very exotic. I hope that the Yemeni audience liked my show so that I would be invited again to sing my own songs with my own band.”
Yemen Times.