Félix Rabin "Pogboy" EP and Tour
French guitarist Félix Rabin will release his debut six track EP Pogboy on Friday April 17th.
As far as I can remember I always loved music. Since I was born, both of my parents raised me and my brother with music. None of them are musicians, but music has always been a part of our childhood, between my father playing his CD and his old vinyl player. My mother listened to the radio from the first morning lights. We’ve always had a house full of instruments, even if no one was really playing them. I always loved the guitar, and even now I couldn’t tell you why. Back then, I had a guitar without strings, but had a lot of fun pretending to play it.
My first encounter with music was in France, Brittany, where I grew up, and where my parents are from. They saw I had quite an interest in music, so my father brought me into a music shop. I was five years old.
My father spoke for a while with the owner, who told him he was a guitar teacher as well. He knew I was very keen on guitars, so for a few weeks, we took lessons together with this teacher. Sadly, I didn’t keep it up, and in my mind as a five years old child, I was finding much more interesting things to do.
Suddenly, when I turned 15, I asked my parents to buy me a guitar for Christmas.
At this time, my family and I moved to Switzerland, where I have lived now for more than 10 years. This is where I spent countless hours playing music. For a couple of years, I traveled through Switzerland and France, playing in jam sessions, sharing the stage with friends, making my first steps on the stage.
In 2013, while living in Switzerland, I discovered the Montreux Jazz Festival. I spent hours and hours playing at the Montreux Jazz Club during the jam sessions, for more than four years. I had as well many time the chances to open those long nights with a show at the beginning and then hitting the stages with many incredible musicians including Avishaï Cohen, Matthieu Chedid (our French star), the band of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, musicians playing with Santana, Tedeschi Trucks Band and many others.
Among all those wonderful meetings, one has been particularly memorable. During a night of the summer 2014, I met Quincy Jones. When he was in Montreux for the festival, he used to spend a part of his nights at the Jazz Club. One night, when I was playing, he was sitting in the audience listening carefully to the music. I didn’t notice him.
After we just played the set, one of his crew members came to me and said, “Quincy Jones wants to see you.“ He brought me to the corner where they were all sitting, just next to the stage and I met him. We talked together for a moment, I couldn’t say how long this lasted, a half hour, maybe more. “I like the way you play,” Quincy said to me. From there, we spoke about music, the festival, Montreux. He asked me about my influences, who I was listening to. He also told me a bit of his story of the city, and all the amazing shows and artists he saw here in over the years.
What a night! Of every moment I lived so far in the music, this has probably been the most important and memorable one for me. I still don’t believe how lucky I was to meet such an icon.
From then, and my first gig under my name in 2015, I’ve toured in Switzerland, France, Germany and finally, England.
In 2016, I came to London to play my first shows in England. One in Shoreditch and one in Camden at the Spiritual Bar, a lovely small venue, where I’m still trying to play every time I pass through the capital.
I played in London as much as I could and finally, after one year of “gigging” around the city, I got the chance to open a night at the legendary 100 Club on Oxford Street. This has led to more and more gigs in England, my first festivals this summer… and now my first big tour in the UK, opening as special guest on Wishbone Ash XLIX UK Tour.
This was a very exciting moment for me. As most of the bands I have listened to come from England and USA, it is thrilling to play in front of audiences who have grown up with some of these bands and who were influenced by the musical culture of the country itself. And after the reactions of the crowds so far, I just couldn't wait to play there again and hit the road with Wishbone Ash.
In 2019, I embarked on my first two headline tours in the UK and played more than 50 shows over there. It was great to be back in cities where we played before and to see the crowds getting bigger and bigger.
Beside this, we finally recorded our first CD in Los Angeles before the summer of 2019. I've been working on this for ages, and it was incredible to finally be able to make it happen. It truly was an amazing experience, working with incredible peoples in some legendary studios and I can say I'm very proud of what we achieved.
In January 2020, we won the prize of the “Best Act” at Giants of Rock Festival 2020. They’ve already invited us back to play the main stage in 2021.
2020 looks to be a busy year including a European tour supporting Samantha Fish in February and March, the release of my debut EP on April 17th, another UK tour in May and a second one in October/November, plus festivals around Europe this summer.