Diaouled ar Menez (The devils of the mountain) is a Breton band founded in 1971. Later it turned into the main group of Breton, whose influence led to the Breton “renascence” of the 1970s. It was the first band that used both acoustic and electric instruments in a party music.
The group was founded in 1971 in Carhaix. It consisted of Jean-Yves Le Corre (accordion player), Philippe Le Balp (flutist), and also Bruno Le Manac’h (guitarist). During the success of Alan Stivell that pave the way to a great and daring combination of sonorities trad and rock, they provide a repertoire of Celtic rock in Center-Brittany.
After a few concerts under the name of Avel ar C’hwitell (which means “the wind of the whistle”), flageolet player Yann Goasdoué (future director of Coop Breizh) joins the group during the show in the cultural center of Menez-Kamm where he was an animator. The group was named Diaouled ar Menez (the devils of the mountain) by Youenn Gwernig, who believes that “the music created by these guys should be used rather for the exaltation of corps than for the eminence of souls”. They first concert of the band took place in 1972 in Finistère. The repertoire included mainly the party music of Lower Brittany, with a predominance of Central Brittany motives (gavotte, plinn and fisel).
In the same year, the musician put out their debut single “An Dro – Ton doubl” that was incredibly successful. Shortly afterwards, he took part in the first issue of the Celtic Pop Festival in Kertalg in front of nearly 10.000 of spectators. In 1973, he went to Fañch for a month to take part in the Celtic program of the Olympia (Paris) throughout the week.
Their debut album was issued in1973 and managed to become the bestseller in Breton music. The band participates in many concerts and festivals. In 1975, with the intention of touring Ireland, the group changed the direction. The group or its members were engaged in various musical experiences mixing Breton music with other repertoires and music styles. A specification of these experiences was determined at the Lorient Interceltic Festival in the early 1980s. Under the guidance of François Tusques, she offered an alliance with the Hilare Carhaisienne band and the inter-community group Musique Orchestra. Every 5 years, he celebrates anniversary in Spézet, which makes regular recordings. In 1997, he released a new album and participated in the Festival des Vieilles Charrues, starring James Brown in Armoricaine. He has performed in various countries (including Germany, Italy, Spain and many others).
The band, with variable geometry, has enriched a lot of musicians during its existence. As for the music of the group, it can be said that it is very lively and direct. It seems that these musicians can do with their instruments whatever they want, perform anything. Diaouled ar Menez bravely destroys the boundaries between different styles, mixes different musical traditions. In their music, there are Irish folk, an admixture of jazz, and sometimes quite unexpected turns.
They managed not only to convey the spirit of the Celts, but also to preserve the volume, « openness » that is existing in this music. It is not only melodic and unusually heartfelt, making the heart fade sweetly, but also very imaginative. So many things swirl before your eyes, when you listen to these earthy, and at the same time, such unearthly melodies. And also this music is made very competently. The compositions perfectly match each other, picking up each other, maintaining a general feeling of tenderness and beauty. And you just want to listen to this beautiful music, forgetting about everything else and plunging into pleasant dreams.
In 2007, he celebrates his 35th anniversary and takes part in the Nuit de la St Patrick in Bercy. After nearly 1.500 festivals, the group celebrates its 40th birthday in 2012, closing the interceltic festival of Lorient.
In 2017, the famous guitarist Bruno Le Manac’h died.