For the headland show the young people form a group with cardboard instruments and get ready to sing and dance on the Telephone and company. “The presenter found that Erwan wasn’t dancing well enough and he wanted him not to play,” says Laurent. “The rest of the group said ‘If Erwan isn’t with us, there’s no show.’ An anecdote and a solidarity that make you a group, right? “I still dance just as badly,” Erwan says.
Thirty-nine years later, we find the two boys in a Bordeaux bistro. They have not (almost) changed. Not far from this Place Renaudel, they have created a group. And we will celebrate together, this November 17th, the 25th anniversary of Howls of Léo, a “java-song-punk-caravanning” formation on the stage of the Rocher de Palmer in Cenon (33).
The “Lion” of sales representatives
Let’s go back to our two boys who find themselves in the same Cel le Gaucher college in “Mont-de”. “We were six or seven friends doing BMX and mobs,” Erwan continues. “Laurent was already more thoughtful. He felt when we were going to do something stupid, but he stayed with us when it was done. He was already moving towards music, founding the Pecos Bill group with, already, Pierre Wetzel, future photographer famous for his wet and gusseted collodion prints. Erwan “smokes firecrackers, drinks beer and teaches girls the guitar. “
What the band has in common musically: the explosion of the French alternative scene, from Satellite to Happy Drivers, from Wampa, from Sheriff to Stiff Heads, noria led by Mano Negra. A few years later, Laurent, trained as a facilitator, sleeps in Bordeaux with Erwan, a student of the Regional Institute of Social Welfare (IRTS). “A friend who organizes a festival in Sainte-Fortunade (Corrèze) is looking for a band to play at the bar, I say yes and then I forget,” laughs Erwan. When the kid calls back four months later … it’s about securing something.
“We called friends, we tried quickly on the Bordeaux docks,” says Laurent. We need to find a name. The VRP song “Léo” left its mark on them, so choose Les Hurlements d’Léo. Mano Solo, Brassens, Brel and Happy drivers covered on two chords, no more because hey, we can’t do more. The two friends on guitar-vocals, Franck Gouasquet known as “Franky Banane” (he still has it) on the counter basin and Pierre Wetzel on the snare drum.
First break in 2006
Benoît Chesnel, saxophonist who has seen their energy, offers his sax and his rigor. This mix of musicians and… instinctive shapes the identity of the group, identified by Jeff Genie (“our lucky star”) who already works in the production facility in Bordeaux 3C. The foundation concert is held at the Rock School Barbey with a large group of Jojo Gallardo on accordion, Fred Renaud as new drummer, Pépito on trumpet, Raphaël Bord on violin. This troupe goes to Anjou to record their first album, “Le Café des jourshappys”.
“Another violin rock band just blew up, Louise is attacking,” recalls Laurent Kebous. Everyone wants it. “The Howls are doing well, shooting a lot, in France but also in Australia, the Middle East, Russia… Going back to the crowded rooms where they were 12 a year before. “We walk through Saint-Michel and hear a party above, with our song playing: something crazy! We are eight guys on stage ready for anything and more or less hardworking now. »In 2000 it was the meeting with the Barback Ogres with whom the« Un air deux familles »tour, under the big tops throughout Europe, will last two years.
A fourth album, aptly titled “Time Suspended” in 2006, and first hiatus, end of an era. Everyone leaves for other projects, Laurent tries his hand at the solo (three albums), as for Erwan… “I’m not doing well, I remain roots”, he sums up. Three years later, Pepito and his trumpet sound the reminder: there is a way to tour Russia. Jojo and the two founders leave, four new “desks” are recruited. “If a group returns from Russia, they can go anywhere”, smiles Erwan, in love with the country.
Meetings in 2022
“Bordel de luxe” was released in 2011, the group then organized a show around Mano Solo. Erwan makes the first dates and then leaves. “Malaise, melancholy … I’m complicated. I needed to be recognized for myself. »He Goes to find more serenity and love in Sète for« Wallace »a solo project with a joyful first album. As for the Hurlements, the solo tour has 120 dates, an album and a book. The album “Luna de papel” was a great success, financially supported by fans, the audacious “Mondial stereo” “falls into the Covid dustbin” (dixit Laurent).
“For 25 years we have wanted to heal from this gadin,” he continues. For a souvenir album, unreleased live songs are brought to light, old titles are revisited, such as “Le café des jourshappys” presented to Erwan who comes to record it in Frontenac (33).
The shooting of the clip convinced him: “Seeing Lolo more often (because we never parted), realizing how strong it was to have participated in it. Laurent slips on him: “Isn’t it strange not to be on tour? Erwan is back on the boat, twenty dates already marked by spring. “When Lolo is with me on stage, nothing can happen to me,” says Erwan. After the concerts, the audience comes to talk to the artists with their memories, with their children. He warms up the hamstrings: an eighth album is in preparation.