Last month saw 2013 off in style, appropriate for a year that has seen French music and artists attain new
heights of critical and commercial success internationally.
I've outlined elsewhere some of the great releases that have come out in the last year, from Daft Punk to Détroit, Phoenix to Woodkid alongside the likes of Moodoid, Stromae, Saez, Indochine, Lescop and Vanessa Paradis.
A visit to the Les Rencontres Trans Musicales in Rennes not only gave me the chance to see a huge number of acts I'd not normally get the chance to encounter, but also gave me the opportunity to meet with artists and their representatives. I'm sure these new connections will help the Vive le Roq French Music blog grow even more in the forthcoming 12 months than it has in the last few years.
December was our busiest month of 2013, both in terms of number of visitors to the site and in number of posts on the site. And it was probably the most fun, with a visit to Les Rencontres Trans Musicales in Rennes an absolute highlight.
Of course, a crazy month like the one we just had lays down a challenge for 2014. Can we do better? Can we do more?
The confident answer is of couse 'Yes, we can.' Although, to be fair, it's more 'Well, we'll certainly try!"
January tends to be a quieter month for releases, but by no means does it mean there's nothing happening. Award season begins soon, and shortlists will emerge shortly for the likes of the Victoires de la Musique 2014, and there are live events taking place including some French world acts playing in Glasgow at the Celtic Connections festival.
In the meantime, I can be contacted on johnkilbrideAThotmailDOTcom, with the appropriate punctuation where you'd expect it to be.
We're also on Twitter as @viveleroq or you can find me at @karnag
Thanks again to the French Music Office in London and to the Institut francais in London for their help and encouragement over the past month and over the past year, and also to the various record companies and promoters who have helped.
All the best for 2014.
Merci et à bientôt