Friday, 15 December 2017

Art Rock festival and the return of Marquis de Sade

With festival details continuing to emerge in recent days, the Art Rock festival held in Saint-Brieuc in Brittany is the latest to confirm their headline act and it's an interesting one for sure.

In a well-curated decision, Rennes-based act Marquis de Sade, one of the original post punk acts are set to headline.

Marquis de Sade were heavily influenced by UK post punk, and were active from 1977 to 1981, releasing two albums in their career, Dantzig Twist (1979) and Rue de Siam (1981).  Essentially a three piece with supporting musicians, their career may have been short, but they left a memorable impression and were one of the acts that helped establish Rennes as a credible place for music.

Their sound had an angular modern flavour with a taste of funk, more sophisticated that the reheated rock n roll revival sounds of many punk bands. While pioneers of cold wave rock, there's something of UK 70s prog outsiders Van de Graaf Generator in what they do, albeit perhaps more streamlined.

Their work stands well alongside UK contemporaries like Magazine or Gang of Four but also with later acts like The Cure and Bauhaus.

Marquis de Sade signalled their return with a gig at Le Liberté in Rennes in September, although apparently it was to be a one off performance.

The 35th festival Art Rock is held at Saint-Brieuc on May 18, 19 and 20. More acts are to be announced in forthcoming weeks.

Moodoïd: Au Pays Des Merveilles de Juliet on  C à vous

Another great appearance on last week, with Moodoïd performing Au Pays Des Merveilles de Juliet
on the France 5 evening chat show.

Moodoïd are one of the recent French acts I've had the pleasure of following over the past few years, from underground act to their debut album, and now hopefully some mainstream success. It's certainly well deserved.

The song is a cover of a track originally by Yves Simon and it features on Moodoïd's five track Reptile EP that came out in November, alongside two versions of the title track and the songs Miss Smith and Planète Tokyo.

Moodoïd made a welcome return to live appearances last month, with a show at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris as part of the Les inrocks festival.

There are no plans for any other live dates at the moment, but I'm sure the prospect of more gigs cannot be far away.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Orelsan for We Love Green festival

French rapper Orelsan is the second headliner to be announced for this summer's
We Love Green festival at the Bois de Vincennes in the east of Paris in June,

Bjork was confirmed as the other headline act a few weeks ago, making her only 2018 appearance in France on Sunday June 3.

Orelsan has a French tour in 2018, but it has already widely sold out including two dates at the Bercy arena in Paris in March.

Orelsan's La fête est finie was one of 2018's most significant releases, marking the rapper's return as a solo artist after his success as part of the Casseurs Flowters duo.

Last summer We Love Green featured Justice, Solange and Benjamine Clementine, the two day event hosting three stages of musical acts, others hosting events including talks, films and debates that reflect the environmentally aware tone of the event.

Held in the largest public park in Paris, the festival aims to be ecologically sustainable, and features events to raise awareness of environmental issues as well as hosting a well-curated selection of musical artists from indie-rock to dance and electronic.

We Love Green 2018 is being held on the weekend of June 2 and 3 and tickets are already on sale.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Roméo Elvis: Nappeux

However you measure it, there's something very strange about the Atomium building in Brussels. It's a landmark like no other, sitting over the city like something from a science fiction movie.

It's an appropriate visual metaphor for the video by Roméo Elvis for the track Nappeux.

French rapper Grems also makes an appearance on the track which was produced by Le Motel. It originally featured on the Roméo Elvis/Le Motel album Morale 2 which is being re-issued as a deluxe edition next year.

Some of the video is shot at the Théâtre royal des Galeries, a more traditional landmark for the city but it's the Atomium that makes it clear that the action for Roméo Elvis' track centres on Brussels.

La Magnifique Society Festival

French music festival details are coming in thick and fast, with the schedule for the summer's music
events looking like a busy one again.

Today a mention for the La Magnifique Society festival in Reims in June. It's a three day event at the heart of France's Champagne country, with a strong bill of French acts taking to the stage.

Orelsan, Jain and Etienne Daho are the big names, but also playing are Selah Sue, Petit Biscuit and Cigarettes after Sex, among others. There's a strong French flavour to the acts, but given that the festival's pretty much in the heart of the country that's maybe no bad thing.

Worth mentioning that tickets for the three days are a very reasonable 60 euros, meaning that even with the unfavourable pound/euro exchange rate it's still pretty fine value for money for a three day festival. Single day tickets are 35 euros.

With ticket prices for festivals in the UK now so high they should probably be offered with a mortgage, it's heartening to see events where they can still get big name acts and charge a reasonable price to see them.

Maybe it's because there are more French acts on the bill and fewer big ticket international acts pushing the prices up. But it's a good thing to see for sure, and the prices might temp a few adventurous UK festival fans to go along and see some of France's best acts in their natural summer environment.

More names are to be added to the event, which takes place on June 15, 16 and 17.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Booba : Friday

Something of a Star Wars theme to the new video for the track Friday by Booba.

The desert, the cinematography and the stylings all reference the world's best known science fiction film series, but perhaps the appearance of the black R2-D2 gives the game away.

The track comes from his most recent album Trône one of the biggest selling rap albums in recent years.

Booba wants it known he's playing at a galactic scale these days. It's been two years since his Nero Nemesis album was released, but his popularity and his ambition remain undiminished.

Trône, his ninth album, was released earlier this month, the title both a nod to the longevity of his rap career and to TV show Game of Thrones.

Ozzy, Foo Fighters, Manson and Guns n' Roses for Download Paris

Another day, another big French summer music festival releases details of who's on the bill for their
big event. This time it's the turn of Download Paris, the rock festival in the capital scheduled for four nights in June.

There are four big names at the top for each day Ozzy Osbourne for the first night, Marilyn Manson the second, Foo Fighters on the third night and Guns 'n' Roses on the Monday night.

Also playing are Ghost, the Offspiring and the Hives and alongside Volbeat, Opeth, Alestorm and dozens of others including Black Veil Brides, Slaves, Turbonegro and Wolf Alice.

There are still more names to be added, but what's striking is how many acts there are, and the range of rock genres on display.

Hellfest 2018, France's biggest rock festival which takes place later in June has some serious competition. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Avenged Sevenfold are among the acts confirmed for this event, with more to come. Looks like it will be quite a summer for the festival-minded French metal fan.

Download Paris takes place from June 15-June 18 and tickets are on sale now.