Friday, 9 February 2018

Petit Biscuit: Live in London

If you're in London this weekend, there's a chance to see one of France's finest young DJ/Producers as Petit Biscuit plays at the O2 Forum on Saturday night.

He's just released the track Problems, featuring Lido, as a single. The track comes from his Presence debut album which came out last year.

Speaking about the release, he says: "Me and Lido met in Paris in July 2017. At that time I didn't know him a singer but I loved his production.

"He made me listen to some toplines and I immediately felt like his voice could fit perfectly with a track I made a few months before, drawing inspiration from my first US tour: something between house, pop, and funk.

"There's a mysterious and sensual atmosphere, kind of like a seduction game."

His album's one of those shortlisted in the breakthrough album category of this year's Victoires de la Musique 2018 awards, with the winner announced at the ceremony in Paris tonight.

2017 was quite a year for the Rouen-born 18-year-old, the year closing with him playing arenas around France, including a sold-out show at the Zénith in Paris.

Petit Biscuit has more dates in mainland Europe in forthcoming weeks, before he heads over to north America for a series of shows including the Coachella festival in April.

Barbagallo: UK Tour

A reminder, if any reminder is needed, that Barbagallo begin their UK tour on Monday with a show at the Borderline in London.

Dates follow in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle over the next few days before some shows on the European mainland. Pity he's not playing more dates as a show in Scotland wouldn't go amiss. Maybe next time.

While obviously better known as part of Tame Impala, his work as a solo artist and as part of  Aquaserge secures his place as one of the key figures in France's contemporary psychedelic scene.

Last month saw the release of the track L'échappée, the first to emerge from his forthcoming third album.

His new album  Danse dans les ailleurs,  is due for release at the beginning of March and it already looks like being one of 2018's most significant releases so far.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Victoires de la musique 2018 Best video shortlist

I thought a quick post looking at the three contenders for this year's best video award at the Victoires de la musique 2018, being held in Paris on Friday night.

It's the French music world's big showcase, a televised big budget presentation giving a showcase to the country's talent and introducing many to talent that they may not have previously known.

Yeah, it's pretty mainstream, but always interesting and worth following.

The Best Audiovisual Creation category, to give it its correct title, features three videos, by Orelsan, Gauvain Sers and The Blaze. Each is in their own way a pretty interesting piece of work.

Orelsan: Basique

OrelSan's return was marked with one of 2017's most impressive videos. Shot on a bridge in Ukraine, the rapper made quite an impression with the clip that has so far racked up almost 50m views of YouTube.

The video was by Greg&Lio, who have also made clips for Jain, Booba and Casseurs Flowters.

Gauvain Sers: Pourvu

A more traditional chanson, with a video that plays it straight but with some very nice subtle touches. It comes from Sers' debut album, a number one in France in June.

The video is by French film director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, creator of movies like Delicatessen, Alien Resurrection and Amelie. He's also created music videos for the likes of Etienne Daho, Julien Clerc and Jean-Michel Jarre.

The Blaze: Territory

A video that feels more like a French movie that I want to see more of. The clip illustrated the track from the EP that emerged in February. It's already won the best international dance video and best styling awards at the UK Music Video Awards in October.

Earlier in the year it picked up the Film Craft Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

So who is my money on? I'll have to say Orelsan. It's a striking clip, immediate and taking the artist far beyond his usual audience. It's a simple idea, done well, which tends to be a good guide for a successful video.

We'll see tomorrow evening who picks up the awards.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Paris Music Festival 2018

I thought a quick look ahead to next month's Paris Music Festival was in order, bringing together as it does some of the artists I've featured here recently.

The Paris Music Festival takes place over March 15, 16 and 17 with gigs held at some interesting venues across the city, with ticket prices for each show held down to a reasonable 10 euros.

While some of these take place at regular music haunts, some of the city's more unusual venues open their doors to live music over the weekend. From the American Cathedral or the Bibliotheque Historique de la ville de Paris, museums, churches and cultural centres are among the venues hosting artists.

I like particularly the look of Chapelier Fou and Lenparrot playing at the archeological crypt on the Ile de la Cité on March 15 and 16. Quite a setting for shows.

Other acts playing include Yuksek, playing a DJ set at the Musée Bourdelle, Yan Wagner and Arnaud Rebotini at the closing event on the 17th at L'aerosol.

The festival has come together as a collaboration between the city authorities and the organisers of France's Record Store Day, to create an unmissable event and to put Paris at the heart of international  musical creativity.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

MC Solaar: Eksassaute

A new video by MC Solaar, with the track Eksassaute the latest track from his recent album to get promoted as a single.

The track comes from his Géopoétique album, released towards the end of last year, and one of 2017's most significant hip hop releases. Solaar hadn't released an album in ten years so the appearance of his new collection in November was met with some anticipation.

A number one album, the previous single Sonotone attracted considerable airplay confirming that Solaar had lost none of his poetic touch,

If there's a somewhat nostalgic tone to the start of Eksassaute, it quickly displays an energy and an electro feel couldn't be more 2018.

Solaar's got nothing to prove, he's a pioneer of French hip hop who effortlessly retains his crown.

He's touring extensively towards the end of 2018, with a show at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris on November 22.

Festival Beauregard

The full line-up for this summer's Festival Beauregard - a four day event in Normandy - has been unveiled, with some great names playing this year.

Depeche Mode are at the top of the bill, which is kind of a big deal, and also at the top are Jack White, The Offspring and Macklemore.

While international acts seem to dominate the top places, there are plenty of French acts throughout, with some of France's most interesting artists taking part.

Orelsan and Nekfeu are two rappers at the top of their game right now, and both are playing. Charlotte Gainsbourg, while a very different artist, is also enjoying something of a critical and commercial glow at the moment on the back of her recent album.

Also on the bill are Girls in Hawaii, Petit Biscuit, Hollysiz and Carpenter Brut. All artists that have been mentioned here in the past, all well worth seeing and all delivering strong new material in recent months.

It remains a difficult economic time for festivals, with competing events taking place over a crowded summer season and prices increasing, but organisers who select the acts well can still succeed and a good mix of respected French acts and some big name international acts is a pretty decent mix for an event line Beauregard.

Its location - close enough to the UK for a weekend visit - and its ticket prices that compare favourably to similar events in the UK makes Beauregard a real proposition for British music fans. Let's not forget it's in France, the weather will be better and the atmosphere will be pretty fine as well.

This year marks the festival's tenth anniversary, and while that might make it a comparative new event compared to some of France's other music festivals, it's certainly proved there is a place for it in the French summer music events schedule.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Voyou: Seul sur ton tandem

Love this video for the song Seul sur ton tandem by Voyou.

The track is one of five that feature on his recently released debut EP On s'emmène avec toi.

The EP's a lovely piece of work by the man known to friends and family as Nantes-based artist Thibaud Vanhooland.

He's previously worked with the likes of Pegase and Rhum for Pauline, acts I've featured on this blog before.

Voyou is signed to Disques Enterprise, one of my favourite French labels and home to talents like Fishbach, Bagarre and Moodoïd.

Looks like he's found a natural home with some like-minded artists.

The video for Seul sur ton tandem is by Vincent Castant who previously directed Jacques' video for the track Dans La Radio, another strange and wonderful visual treat.

Voyou play La Maroquinerie in Paris on April 19.