Friday, 22 June 2018

Mylène Farmer: N'oublie pas

After hinting during her performance on TF1's Chanson de l'année show earlier this month,  Mylène Farmer's new single is indeed called N'oublie pas and is a duet with American singer LP.

The release, which was confirmed earlier this week, is a follow-up to her Rolling Stone single which came out in January.

Rolling Stone, produced by French DJ Feder, reached number one in the French charts. This was the 17th time Mylène reached number one in the French charts with a single since she reached the top of the charts with Libertine in 1986.  Eight singles in a row reached number one between 2008 and 2011.

A video clip, which was filmed in Iceland, was directed by long-time Mylène collaborator  Laurent Boutonnat who not only wrote many of her songs but has also been behind some of Mylène's most memorable promo videos since her Maman a tort debut in 1984. The prospect of the pair working together on a new video will have Mylène's many fans excited.

Farmer has a new album scheduled for later in the year, a follow up to 2015's Interstellaires that looks like it will be called Désobéissance.

With 2018 already seeing Farmer starring in a new film (Ghostland) and a number one single, the rest of the year will be interesting. Will there be a tour in 2019? Will she have another number one single? We'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Booba: Gotham

French rap superstar Booba returns with a new video for the track Gotham, and this time he's a superhero as well.

With a bit of  a similarity to Batman, Booba dispenses justice on the streets of the city in comic book style, leaving a  bloody trail following the death of Catwoman, exposing a trail of corruption that leads to the very top.

I'm not sure what the comic company will make of it, but Booba makes a convincing figure as the Dark Knight. The animated clip's pretty good too, certainly better than some of the actual Batman movies.

The song, which hasn't been released before, follows Booba's 2017 Trône album, a triple platinum seller and a landmark in recent French rap.

The collection, his ninth, had five tracks released with videos including the memorable Friday with its nod to Star Wars.

Booba has got a show coming up on October 13 at the arena in La Défense, Paris.


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Miossec: Nous Sommes

A new track has emerged from, ahead of the release of a new album in September.

Nous Sommes is a collaboration with Jeanne Added, who has herself recently released the single Mutate.

The new album, his eleventh, comes two years after his last solo album Mammifères. 

Miossec has been active musically since the mid 90s, his debut Boire released in 1995. HIs commercial breakthrough came with 1998's À prendre album.

In recent years Miossec has written for some of France's most significant performers including Johnny Hallyday, Nolwenn Leroy. His song 20 ans performed by Johnny won the Victoire de la musique award in 2014 for best song of the year.

Miossec's new album, to be entitled Les Rescapés, is released in September and he's got a series of live dates including a show at the Gaîté Lyrique in Paris as part of the Les Inrocks festival on November 21.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Jean Jean: Event Horizon

If my preview piece on this weekend's Download Paris festival noted that there were not many French bands playing the event, one notable exception is Jean Jean.

Although they're on the Firefly stage at the campsite, not quite co-headlining with Ozzy, Guns 'n'Roses and friends, they may just deserve your attention more than some of those more established acts.

Maybe they're post rock, maybe math rock, call it what you will. Their instrumental intensity is not a million miles from the likes of Mogwai. It's an epic sound, and I suspect it won't be long until a sharp-eared film producer uses some of their music in a movie or two.

Their Froidepierre album was released in February, and it's a beautiful thing that deserves repeated listening.

Since its realease they've been playing in the USA with Carpenter Brut, no strangers to this blog, and have had a few dates elsewhere in France.

Following Download on Saturday, they play in London on Sunday at the Portals festival. They're back in the UK on August 19 for a set at the ArcTanGent Festival in Bristol, playing the same day as headliners Shellac.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Festival: Download Paris

June 15 sees Paris hosting some of the biggest names in rock and metal with the Download Paris festival taking place just outside the city.

The four-day-long event features a total of 72 acts, including headliners Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Foo Fighters and Guns 'n' Roses.

Also on the bill are Ghost, Opeth, The Offspring and Scotland's Alestorm. There's not a whole lot of French presence on the bill, you'll have to look at the small print acts for any evidence of those. Swiss folk metal giants Eluveitie, are about as close as it gets in the major acts.

But such is the nature of a large multinational festival brand.

Download may have its spiritual home at Donington in the English Midlands, but its gradually expanded to other countries. There was a one off Download festival in Glasgow in 2004, but since 2016 it's also been held in France, 2017 saw Spain added, and this year sees four events, Donington, France, Spain and Australia.

The Download Paris event takes place the weekend after the Donington event. In previous years it has been held the same weekend, giving bands the opportunity to play two major events over the weekend and no doubt cutting down on overheads for the organisers.

It's a slightly different bill from last weekend's UK event, but still a line up that would attract a wide variety of rock fans. From those old enough to have seen Ozzy in the 80s and remember when Guns 'n' Roses were good, fans of more underground acts like Opeth, to those keener on more mainstream acts like the Foos.

In its review of last weekend's Donington, the Guardian gave honourable mentions to Ozzy, Manson and Avenged Sevenfold but suggested the three hour set by G 'n' R was a bit much, but awarded four stars out of five to 'metal's biggest party.'

The NME described G 'n' R 's set as 'needlessly lengthy' , with too much needless padding filling up what could have been an incendiary set featuring 'high water marks of hard rock.'

Maybe you need to see it for yourself to judge. Maybe you also need to savour the party atmosphere in a French setting. If so, get to Download France this weekend.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Gaëtan Roussel: Hope live on C à Vous

An appearance on French evening TV show Gaëtan Roussel with a performance of the the title track of his forthcming new solo album Hope.

Roussel, while an established solo artist and songwriter who has written for many successful acts, is also the singer with legendary French band Louise Attaque.

Louise Attaque's self-titled debut album was one of the biggest sellers in French rock history, but the band  essentially split in 2001 following their second album. The members formed two separate bands, with Roussel fronting the band Tarmac.

They came back for a third album in 2005, before again going their separate ways in 2007. This time Gaëtan Roussel became involved in writing for other acts, notably Alain Bashung, before releasing his debut solo album Ginger in 2010.

Louise Attaque came together again, his time as a three-piece, for the 2016 album Anomalie and to play live again, the album winning at Victoires de la Musique award for the best rock album of the year.

While Louise Attaque's history hass been one of stops and starts, Roussel's solo career remains very much on track. His new solo album - his third - follows his 2013 collection Orpailleur,

The album Hope is released on September 14.

Bertrand Cantat cancels remaining tour dates

Former Noir Desir singer Bertrand Cantat has confirmed his tour has finished and he has cancelled the remaining dates.

Cantat was touring on the back of his debut solo album Amor Fati and had played dates across France, including the Zénith in Paris on June 7. His final date was in Brussels with shows in Pau and in his home town of Bordeaux called off.

His return to live performance as a solo artist would always be controversial. Cantat was convicted of killing his partner actress Marie Trintignant in 2003, and while he has many supporters and fans, others cannot forgive him for this.

While he may have served a lengthy prison sentence, there's been a major public argument over whether or not a return to public performance is appropriate. Much of the debate has been over how convicted criminals can resume their place in society following their release, and whether or not a singer and a celebrity should be allowed to remain in a position where he courts public attention.

Festival appearances were cancelled, and demonstrations held outside his shows. He was scheduled to play at L'Olympia in Paris, but cancellation by the famous hall's management meant it had to be rearranged to take place at the Zénith instead.

At the show, Cantat railed against the 'intimidations' and 'censorship' that he believes he has faced, and directed his anger against journalists who he believed have something against him.

During his show in Belgium, Cantat suggested he was bringing his musical career to an end and that this would be the last show of the tour.

Cantat confirmed on his Facebook page the cancellation of his forthcoming concerts and the early end of his tour. His statement read: "After 27 concerts in front of 35,500 people, the tour (...) ended last night at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. We warmly thank such a large audience."

Whether Cantat will resume live performance again is uncertain. Meanwhile, he faces the possibility of more legal action with regard the death of his ex-wife Krisztina Rády who took her own life in 2010. His lawyer denounced a new formal complaint into her death as 'based on lies' ,  and the magistrate at the time did not pursue charges.  But a lawyer who has been looking into the circumstances of Rády's death was invited to submit a formal complaint to investigators for consideration.

Whatever the outcome of events, whether in the courtroom and on the stage, the debate about Bertrand Cantat looks likely to continue.