Friday, 14 April 2017

Printemps Solidaire

A worthwhile event in Paris this weekend, with the Printemps Solidaire event  taking place in the centre of Paris on Sunday April 16.

From 2pm, Place de l'étoile on the Champs-Elysées hosts 30 concerts across ten stages, with a diverse and impressive line up.

Headline acts include The Avener, Patrice and FFF. Elsewhere on the bill are the likes of Flavia Coelho and Gaspard Royant.

It's described as a "manifestation-concerts", organised by Solidarité Sida to draw attention to how international solidarity should be a key theme for the candidates in the presidential election.

They want the event to show optimism, generosity and brotherhood at a time when these seem to be missing.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Jane Birkin: Live on C à vous

Lovely to see Jane Birkin make a live appearance performing on French TV show C à vous at the end of last month.

She covers Gainsbourg's La Chanson de Prévert in an orchestral setting.

The new arrangement comes from her new album Birkin/Gainsbourg: le symphonique, featuring new versions of some of Gainsbourg's classics.

Some were songs originally performed by Birkin, some by Gainsbourg, others written by Gainsbourg for other artists. Some of the songs covered are better known than others, such as Requiem pour un con or Valse de Melody, while there are some lesser-known gems like Exercise en forme de z or Pull Marine.

His work always seems to work well when re-made in a new setting, whether the dub versions of his work that came out a few years ago or Birkin's Arabesque collection, which saw his work performed with a North African flavour.

All reflected well on the source material, the new settings opened them up to a new interpretation of the work.

I've found myself going back to work like the Gainsbourg dub collection and the Arabesque album repeatedly over the years since they came out. I reckon Birkin/Gainsbourg: le symphonique will also stand the test of time.

Birkin plays live in Paris on April 12 at the Auditorium de Radio France, with a show in Warsaw on April 19 and another in Monaco on May 11.


Julien Doré: Sublime & Silence

A session track by Julien Doré with a version of the song Sublime and Silence for the Belgian based site Bruxelles ma belle.

Julien Doré released his & album in autumn last year and has recemtly embarked on a massive arena tour of France and surrounding areas including three sold-out nights at the Zénith in Paris in May.

Doré has worked hard to establish himself as one of France's most interesting popular artists, from having won a TV talent show to going on to release a catalogue of material that sees him have little in common with the manufactured pop stars these shows produce. While astonishingly popular, he remains an interesting artist with a distinctive vision.

His & album continued to build on his artistic reputation, and his popularity saw it reach number one in the French charts, a higher position even than his 2013 L0ve album managed, even with its double platinum sales since its release.

He recently announced a final show of the tour at Bercy in Paris on December 15


Monday, 10 April 2017

Feist performs Leonard Cohen at Juno Awards

A wonderful and emotional perfomance by Feist at Canada's Juno Awards as she took to the stage with a version of Leonard Cohen's hey that aint no way to say goodbye.

The ceremony is the Canadian equivalent of the Brit Awards or the Grammys.

Cohen, who died in November, won the award for Album of the Year and Artist of the year, following the release of his final album, You want it darker.

Cohen is of course no stranger to the Juno awards, having won many through the course of his long career.

It was impressive to see Canada's prime minister take to the stage to pay tribute to Cohen, a man he knew personally.

Justin Trudeau, is such a natural on the stage that if the politics game fails to work out for him he could probably consider a career as a  TV presenter. Or perhaps not.


Deezer France April playlist

I came across a playlist for Deezer France compiled by RFI, with their favourites for April to enjoy. It's too good not to share.

It's a diverse bunch of tunes, covering quite a variety of genres and styles, from African sounds to chanson, pop to electro.

It's got a French flavour, but with the widest possible definition.

There are a few that you might be familiar with, alongside many that you won't have heard yet.

There are a few of this blog's favourites of the moment present as they should be, including Kid Francescoli, Jacques and Fishbach.

The playlist runs for just over two hours, so if you're looking for a solid soundtrack for your afternoon it's well worth some of your time.

Friday, 7 April 2017

BB Brunes: Eclair éclair

A return for French rock four piece BB Brunes, with the release of their new single Eclair éclair.

The track comes from the band's fourth album, which is due out in September 2017.

It follows the release of Long Courrier in 2012, which like their two previous albums a top ten hit in France and the song Coups et Blessures giving them a significant hit single.

Since then singer Adrien Gallo has embarked on a solo career with his album Gemini in 2014, and he's written songs for artists like Alizée, Vanessa Paradis and Yelle.

They're touring from early 2018 but have three shows lined up in Paris before then in September, where the band will play each of their previous three albums each night.

Les Vieilles Canailles: Vieille Canaille

If French radio station Radio Nostalgie created a supergroup, it would probably be a lot like Les Vieilles Canailles.

Featuring Johnny Hallyday, Jacques Dutronc and Eddy Mitchell, as heritage acts go, it's hard to imagine anything bigger for a French audience. Unless of course Renaud were to make it a four piece.

There's a massive market for this kind of thing in France as every sold-out arena and stadium date on every Johnny Hallyday tour testifies.

The trio originally came together under the Vieilles Canailles name for a series of concerts at Bercy in Paris in 2014, with a set list incorporating some of the biggests hits originally performed by each artist. Some songs they would all perform on, some would be duets and each had two solo numbers.

The new clip comes ahead of their summer tour, which sees the old rascals set out on a series of 17 shows in France, Switzerland and Belgium in June and July.

A gig at Bercy on June 24 has already sold out and a second show the following night has been added.