Saturday, 31 January 2015

Playlist: Victoires de la musique

With the 2015 Victoires de la musique awards next month, a playlist has been created to give the nominate acts the listen they deserve.

The winners are announced on February 13 at a show in the Zénith in Paris, but ahead of then this playlist gives you the chance to get up to speed with the acts who are on the list.

Some well known names for sure, some others that are less well know, but certainly all deserving of a listen.

Review: Stella: Stella

A well-considered archive release of the debut album by Stella, collecting the album and associated tracks by one of France's most interesting female performers of the 1960s.

Stella, a schoolgirl from Paris, released one album in 1967, her recording career starting when she was 12. The album collected tracks from her EPs, and her career from 1963- 1968 saw a string of songs that not only encapsulated perfectly what was going on in music at the time, but also demonstrated a wit and intelligence that put her ahead of most of her contemporaries.

Stella cut a puckish figure, her songs cut through with a subversive humour. Like Gainsbourg and Dutronc, and earlier acts like Georges Brassens, she mocked what was afoot in the world at the time, targets including the protest movement, (Cauchemar auto-protestateur) folk music (Un air de folklore Auvergnat) and even the music business itself. (Pourqui je chante)

But over and above this, the songs - which she wrote herself - were wrapped up in some very fine 60s era sounds, embracing psychedelia, garage rock, pop and soul.

Highlights include the wonderfully titled Si vous connaissez quelque chose de pire qu'un vampire perlez m'en toujours, ca pourra peut-etre me fair sourire. Other tracks like Beatnicks d'occasion J'achete des disques Américains and displaying similar musical and lyrical panache.

If this collection was all Stella achieved in her musical career it would be a fine testament. But her interest in music would take Stella into a whole other direction. Stella the 60s French pop star would become better known a few years later as part of the jazz-influenced progressive rock band Magma, marrying its founder Christian Vander.

Stella Vander as she became would take a leading role in the band in subsequent decades, a role she continues to have as Magma remain a major player in progressive rock in France and beyond.

This CD  takes us back to the beginning of her career and it reveals an artist with talent and style, this collection serving as both an introduction to the work of a singer at the forefront of her era and as a fascinating chapter of the Magma story.

Friday, 30 January 2015

New Acts: Vilain - Stamp Collection

A video for the track Stamp Collection by Vilain, a song that features on their freshly-released debut album.

The four piece play a charming electronic folk-based indie sound, and are signed to the Lille-based Play it Loudly records, a label that centres on the band We are enfant Terrible.

It features 11 tracks, including Stamp collection and their cover of The Microphones track Oh Anna. It's well deserving of your attention.

The album Heavy Curtain was released earlier this week and is available via their bandcamp site 

Rod McKuen: Seasons in the Sun

Farewell then to Rod McKuen, best selling American poet and musician, who translated the work of Jacques Brel  into English and introduced his work to an Anglophone audience.

His interpretations of the songs in English became better known through performances by other singers.

His translations of songs like If You Go Away and Le Moribund (retitled Seasons in the Sun) became hits and went on to become standards. Dusty Springfield would have a hit with If You Go Away, Terry Jacks would have an international hit with Seasons in the Sun in 1974.

McKuen lived in France in the early 60s and got to know Brel, translating his songs as well as those of others.

McKuen's work was hugely popular in the late 60s and the early 70s,  and he had a long career as a writer and musician, but his work with Brel probably led to much of the abiding interest in the work of one of the French language's greatest songwriters.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Paradis: Sur Une Chanson En Français

A quality song by Paradis, Sur Une Chanson En Français, very much in the spirit of this blog.

Paradis, a Paris based duo Simon Mény and Pierre Rousseau, make a point of performing in French.

Previous releases include Je m'ennuie and Garede le pour toi.

The track comes from their EP Couleurs Primaire that was released earlier this month. It features five tracks, including two versions of this track.

Three of the tracks on the EP will feature on their forthcoming album.

-M- : I kissed a Girl

An interesting new version of the Katy Perry hit I kissed a Girl by -M- has emerged.

The track comes from the soundtrack of the film Toute première fois, a newly released French comedy by Noémie Saglio and Maxime Govare.

The song was of course a massive international hit for Katy Perry. The new version makes it more of a French kiss and it sounds all the better for it.

-M- released the track  Comme un seul homme earlier this month as a free download in tribute to those killed in the Charlie Hebdo incident.

Meanwhile, under his Matthieu Chedid name he is to tour in May with his father Louis and Joseph and Anna Chedid.

They're playing 30 days including several shows at the L'Olympia in Paris.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Indochine: Europe City Club Tour

More live activity from French rockers Indochine, with the announcement of the Europe City Club Tour that sees the band play eight shows in venues across Europe.

They are to play in Barcelona, Milan, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, ANversn and Amsterdam.

No French dates, and the venues are much smaller than the previous sized arenas that they played across France and elsewhere in 2013 and 2014. This tour saw they playing two nights at the Stade de France, and even bringing their live show to London.

Their Brussels show was released last month as a live album and DVD, and singer Nicola Sirkis unveiled a new song for a Jacques Dutronc album to be released to mark his 70th birthday.

L'Opportuniste sees the Indochine frontman duet with with the French music legend.

Tickets for the new tour on sale on January 30.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

New Acts: Animali

Animali are a band that go beyond most indie rock acts into the territory usually reserved for progressive rock, but manage to do so without meandering too far into the twilight zone.

True, their music would not sound out of place on a 21st century prog compilation and they make references to the likes of Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead on their Facebook page, but they wisely avoid trying to recreate the sounds of the 70s underground too faithfully.

They have the same experimental spirit and musical ability of their prog forefathers, but their music is refreshingly 21st century.

I was fortunate enough to catch Animal live while in Rennes last month during the Bars en Trans event, and they're as impressive a live band as I might have hoped.

 I wrote shortly after the show that they showed " hidden depth of musicianship wrapped in approachable and crafted songs", an opinion that I maintain having listened to more of their recorded material since.

The five piece from Lyon have released one EP - the memorably titled "The spark and three other poorly-produced pieces of music"  - and a single so far.

They've made their new single Hysterical Star available as a free download on their website so you can find out more for yourself.


Vianney: Acoustic session

A new edition of the TV5 Monde music show Acoustic, this week featuring young singer songwriter

His debut album Idées Blanches was released in October last year, featuring the single Je te déteste.

The album has seen him nominated for the breakthrough act in this year's Victoires de la Musique awards. The winner will be announced next month, but on the strength of his material he's not on the list just to make up the numbers.

Songs in the session include  Labello, Je te déteste, Pas là, On est bien comme ça and Mon étoile.

Vianney has a sold-out show at the Café De La Danse in Paris tomorrow, and some shows elsewhere in France in February and March. He plays at Le Trianon in Paris in June opening for Cats on Trees.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Demis Roussos: Quand je t'aime

Another legendary musician has left us, with the death of Demis Roussos at the weekend.

All in all, a bad week for fans of 70s rock with the loss of Tangerine Dream's Edgar Froese  just days before.

While he achieved massive success in the 1970s as a crooner, he established himself as a serious musician with the band Aphrodite's Child, a progressive rock band that featured Vangelis, who would himself go on to a successful international career.

 Aphrodite's Child initially signed a record deal in France, where they based themselves on leaving Greece in 1967.  Problems with work visas prevented them working in London, but they signed to a French label and the song Rain and Tears giving them a massive hit single in France.

Roussos for many embodied a 70s European exotica, to an anglophone audience who were just beginning to venture to the mainland following the introduction of mass tourism, bringing what was the reserve of the wealthy to a more popular audience.

Roussos achieved success internationally, and France was no exception with the song Quand je t'aime becoming his best known title there.

Perez: Les Vacances Continuent

A new video for the track Les Vacances Continuent by Perez, with a video that pays gory homage to the video nasties of the 1980s.

The new EP relased this week includes this track, another entitled Chrysler and a remix of the title track y Arnaud Rebotinia.

His Perez EP came out in September last year, featuring the tracks Rôdeur and Gamine.

More recently he was behind a very nice remix of Bagarre's Mourir au Club.

The clip was directed by Yann Gonzalez, brother of M83's Anthony Gonzalez

Perez plays at the Gaité Lyrique in Paris on January 29.


Thylacine: Closing (feat. Dyllan)

A new release today by Thylacine, with the track Closing (feat. Dyllan).

The song features on a four-track EP entitled Exil that features this track along side Mountains, Anthem and 5th floor.

The Vanishing Point visuals have been used before, the cult 1971 movie also inspiring the likes of Guns 'n'Roses, Primal Scream and Audioslave over the years

Thylacine are a million miles from these more rock orientated acts, but the visuals and the music hold together well, music having been  one of the key features of the original movie itself.

New Acts: Golf

 Another new act to start the week, and this time its is the turn of Paris-based electro act Golf.

The band are a trio of Antoine (vocals), Romain (guitar) and Samuel (keyboards/programming) who have been working together since 2009.

Last week saw the relase of their debut six-track EP, with All in All as the lead track.

It's some very cool French electro , and the EP consists of the tracks All in All and Waltz With Freud, alongside four remixes of All in All, incuding versions by Anoraak and Tepr.

They have an album in the pipeline entitled The Best Days of our Lives, promising to recount both the failures of the past and promise of the future.


Friday, 23 January 2015

Eurovision 2015: Lisa Angell - N'oubliez pas

A grand unveling today if France's entry to the 2015 Eurovison song contest, with the song N'oubliez pas by Lisa Angell representing France's hopes at Vienna in May.

It's a big ballad number, written by Robert Goldman, brother of Jean Jacques Goldman.

Lisa Angell has released three albums in her career so far, her debut Les Divines coming out in 2011 and reaching number 31 in the French charts. She initially became known for appearing on the TV show Le Plus Grand Cabaret du mond

She followed this wih Des Mots... in 2013 Her most recent, Frou-Frou, was released last year.

While it may bear as much relation to the actual music scene in France, as the UK's entry ever does to what's going on in Britain, for many it's their only experience of French music over the course of the year.

The Eurovison song contest is held on May 23.


Festival: Art Rock at Saint-Brieuc

January is a prime time for summer festivals announcing what is taking place in the sunnier months of the year, and today sees details of the Art Rock event in Saint-Brieuc emerge.

The three day event in the Côtes d'Armor department of Brittany features Shaka Ponk, Placebo and Izia.

Also on the bill are Selah Sue and Mr Nô in what looks like an eclectic and impressively French dominated line-up.

Last year around 75,000 people attended the event, which has been running since the 1980s. As well as music,  it features art and theatre events.

Previous yeas have seen acts like 1995, Thomas Dutronc,  Yann Tiersen and  Gaëtan Roussel perform, along with acts like The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Klaxons, Pete Doherty and Editors.

More names will be confirmed closer to the date.

Art Rock takes place in May 22, 23 and 24.

New Acts: Benjamin Clementine

Benjamin Clementine  is an artist who has been tipped for great things in 2015, following the release
of his debut album this week.

The collection entitled At Least For Now showcases his unique voice, which combines with a poetic turn of phrase in his songwriting and a performance style that withstands comparison to some of the greats.

Although born in London, Clementine has lived in Paris for years and embarked on his musical career by initially singing on the Paris metro.

He released his first EP Cornerstone in 2013, which led to an appeareance on BBC's Later with Jools Holland, a second EP emerging in 2014.

Clementine  has dates across France in March, and plays at the Trianon in Paris on the 19th and 20th.


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Moodoïd: Blogotheque session

This blog's always got time for a spot of Moodoïd, so a new Blogotheque session by the band makes for essential viewing ,

Moodoïd were of course winners of the much-coveted French album of the year lasty year for their Le monde moo collection.

I love the way that the video shows the band relaxing around the pool, they're still in full make up.

The video was shot at the  Heart of Glass, Heart of Gold festival which was held in the Ardèche area of France in Septembre last year.

Moodoïd play in Paris at the Gaité Lyrique on January 28.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Vieilles Charrues festival 2015

Details have been released of the line-up for this year's Vieilles Charrues festival, one of the big
events in the French music calendar.

The event, to be held as usual in Carhaix in Brittany, sees David Guetta, Lionel Richie and Muse at the top of the bill of the four-day festival.

Elsewhere, London Grammer, George Ezra and the Do are on the bill. Joan Baez is also playing.

The festival regularly attracts over 200,000 people, last year it was headlined by The Black Keys, Stromae, Arctic Monkeys and Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Previos years have seen the likes of Neil Young, Rammstein, The Cure,  Sting and Bob Dylan play.

his year's  Vieilles Charrues festival takes place on July 16-19.

Zaz: Sous le ciel de Paris

A third track from Zaz’s new album has been released, with the song Sous le ciel de Paris getting the spotlight with a new video.

It comes from her 2014 Paris album, and it follows the songs Champs-Élysées and Paris sera toujours Paris

Her album is a collection of songs paying homage to the French capital.

The new single was originally from the soundtrack of a 1951 film of the same name, and was originally performed by Jean Bretonnière.

Zaz is one of France's biggest selling artists in recent years, her last collection, Recto Verso establishing her name. Her music is an interesting modern take on French chanson and it certainly found a receptive audience.

The video presents a modern twist on traditional street images of Paris, and with its jazzy and retro feel it’s the kind of track that will immediately appeal to any  Francophile listener.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

New acts: C.A.R.

A chance to see electro act C.A.R. in London tonight, exactly the kind of new act I'm keen to feature this month on this blog.

C.A.R. are a project by Chloe Raunet, who prevously sang with London based electronic act Battant.
Battant were a very promising act, until the death of Joel Dever, Raunet's partner in the act, at the age of 25 in 2011.

Raunet release The Idle Eyes EP under the C.A.R. name at the end of September last year, and since then the My Friend album has been released.

Although london based for many years, Raunet was born in Canada and lived in Marseille.

I saw them play in Rennes in December,  a gig that saw them overcome some serious technical problems.

They're not the easiest act to search for on Google either.

But perseverence brings rewards, C.A.R. 's classy electro pop is reward indeed.

C.A.R. play Birthdays at 33-35 Stoke Newington Road

Playlist: Rap Game

A lengthy rap playlist this week, and one that features French artists alongside their perhaps more familiar US and international colleagues.

Rap is massive in France, and a playlist like this shows how French artists are every bit at the forefront of the genre as anywhere.

While the language barrier is something that would prevent French artists making their mark internationally, the success of Stromae shows that it's not impossible for an act to gain recognition in an anglophone market.

In the meantime, some of France's finest exponents of the genre side by side with the big international names, sounding like they deserve to be there.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Martin Solveig: Intoxicated

A new track by French DJ Martin Solveig, the DJ/producer  behind the massive hit Hello and the album Smash.

The track Intoxicated comes out ahead of the release of his fifth album.

Smash provided a number of international hits with songs like The NIght Out and a series of memorable videos, featuring locations like Stade de France and Roland Garros tennis stadium.

In the years since the release of Smash, Solveig was one of the producers involved in Madonna's MDNA album and working with her on the subsequent tour.

2013 saw the track Hey Now emerge,  a collaboration with LA act The Cataracs and rapper Kyle.

For his first show in 2015, Solveig is scheduled to play at the Coachella festival in California in April.

No video as yet for the new song, which becomes available for download from Monday, but it will hopefully be something as equally memorable as the ones from Smash


Dominique A: Au revoir mon Amour

A new track by Dominique A ahead of the release of his new album.

It's got a supremely tasteful and somewhat vertiginous clip to accompany it.

Dominique A is quite simply one of France's best contemporary singer songwriters, his work both modern yet retaining a timeless quality.

This song, like the best of his work, is instantly memorable.

The singer's last album was the 2012 Vers Les Lueurs collection which saw him win a Victoire de la musique award the following year for best male artist of the year.

His new album, his tenth, to be entitled Éléor, is scheduled to be released in March. It will certainly be one of 2015's key releases.

Dominique A has got a series of live dates in France from April, and he plays in Paris at the Grand Rex on May 26.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Celtic Connections festival 2015

Tonight sees the start of the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, an annual event that sees acts from the celtic and folk traditions and beyond playing in Glasgow.

The event has regularly featured French related acts, from the obvious celtic influenced acts like Alan Stivell and Dan Ar Braz to others that fall into very different musical categories.

Last year saw the likes of French reggae stars Dub Inc take to the stage in Scotland, with Amadou and Mariam also on the bill.

This year is no different, with some traditional Breton acts as well as acts from francophone Canada and further afield.

Meanwhile, the mighty Frànçois and The Atlas Mountains play at the Arches on January 30.

The live date follows the release of their new EP L'Homme Tranquille which comes out next week .

The four tracks were recorded in Ouagadougou and Addis Abeba.

Alexandre Desplat: 2015 Academy Awards nominations

For many musicians, an Oscar nomination would be the highlight of their career. But this time, for
Alexandre Desplat its something a bit more unusual as he has been nominated for two Academy Awards in the Best Original Score category.

His work for the films The Grand Budapest Hotel and for The Imitation Game earned him the nominations.

However, an Oscar nomination is no new experience for the Paris-born composer, having been nominated six times before.

His previous work that earned him nominations are The Queen (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009), Fantastic Mr Fox (2010) The King's Speech (2011), Argo (2013) and Philomena (2014).

This time, with two nominations, he must surely be the most likely winner.

In his career he has already won three César awards, for The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2006), The Ghost Writer (2011) and Rust and Bone (2013).

Other Hollywood films he's previously worked on include The Girl with the Pearl Earing (2003), The Golden Compass (2007),  and Zero Dark Thirty (2012) as well as Harry Potter and Twilight movies.

His work with the French film industry includes Quand j'étais chanteur (2006), Coco Before Chanel (2009), the Army of Crime (2009) ,  A prophet (2009) and Cloclo (2012)

Elsewhere, the 2015 Oscar nominations see Marion Cotillard nominated for  Two Days, One Night. Cotillard  previously won the title for her portrayal of Piaf in La Vie en Rose in 2008.

The winners will be revealed on February 22.


Bon Entendeur: Charlie, Winter 2015

Extraordinary circumstances  call for an extraordinary mixtape, says Bon Entendeur. There can be no
doubt whatsoever about the events over the past week .

Artists responded to the terrible events in the best possible way, cartoonists with art, others with words, others with songs. Bon Entendeur puts together mixtapes, and has repsonded in the way they know how.

"We were just speechless. That's why we preferred to seek refuge in what we do best: Making mixtapes."

Voices of Cabu, Charb, Wolinski and Philippe Val feature.

The Charlie, Winter 2015 mixtape is  by no means a mournful experience, there's plenty of upbeat house and funk there. It acknowledges what happened and It also makes it clear that artists will not be dissuaded from creating their art.

Given the magnitude of what happened, artists will be reflecting on events over the past seven days for years to come.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Fauve: Hautes Lumières

A new track by Paris-based collective Fauve, the first track from the follow-up to their Vieux Frères partie 1.

The album was one of 2014's key releases, with the band performing across France and elsewhere to support  it, establishing themselves beyond doubt as one of the country's most significant acts.

The new track, entitled  Hautes Lumières, shows a more upbeat and positive direction, with an epic and uplifting sound underscored by their distinctive vocal style.

The new collection, entited  Vieux Frères partie 2 is expected on February 16 and like its predecessor it will be awaited with impatience and expectation of something quite special.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Grand Corps Malade - #JeSuisCharlie

Another expression of solidarity following this week's outrage in Paris.

Grand Corps Malade is one of France's most distinctive voices, and his take on the events makes essential listening.

As with others, it is a dignified and appropriate reflection on an act of barbarism, an artist reacting to events with clarity.

The consequences of what unfolded in Paris will be played out for a long time, the dust has not settled yet.

But France's response to one of its darkest hours has been little short of inspirational.

JB Bullet: #jesuischarlie

Following the tragic events earlier this week, France's artists have been outspoken in their
condemnation of the Charlie Hebdo killings.

Elsewhere the spontaneous demonstrations of solidarity across France and elsewhere showed the best of the French people, replying to an act of barbarism not with a spirit of vengeance but with a spirit of solidarity with the victims and with defiance rather than fear.

Meanwhile a song by JB Bullet has caught the mood perfectly, with over 6 million views  for the track #jesuischarlie

JB Bullet says that he's not in the habit of writing political songs, his material  is normally much lighter in tone, but the event hit him in the guts and he wrote the song that evening in front of the shocking images on the television.

The song is based on Renaud's song Hexagone  which appeared originally on his 1975 album Amoureux de Paname.

It could not be more appropriate, Renaud himself having written for Charlie Hebdo in the 90s. Renaud, who according to his daughter, spoke of the killings in tears, saying he had lost all his friends.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Victoires de la Musique 2015 nominations

Nomination have been announced for this year's Victoires de la Musique awards, with some
interesting nomination in the list.

Christine and the Queens do well, with a total of five nominations, including female artist, best video, best song and best chanson album as well as best tour.

A nod as well for Yelle and Cascadeur in the best electronic album category, and it's heartening to see three nominations for the Do, for best video, best female artist and best rock album.

Nice to see a nomination for François & The Atlas Mountain as well, although quite how they qualify as a breakthrough act I'm unsure.

The winners are announced on February 13 at a show in the Zénith in Paris.

Male artist
Julien Doré
Johnny Hallyday

Female artist
Christine and the Queens
The Do

Breakthrough album
Vianney - Idées blanches
Indila - Mini World
François & The Atlas Mountain - Piano ombre

Breakthrough act or artist
Benjamin Clémentine

Best chanson album
Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy - Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy
Christine and the Queens - Chaleur humaine
Calogero - Les Feux d'artifice

Best rock album 
Skip The Use - Little Armageddon
The Do - Shake, Shook, Shaken
Shaka Ponk - The White Pixel Ape

Best urban album
Soprano - Cosmopolitanie
Akhenathon - Je suis en vie
Black M - Les yeux plus gros que le monde

Best world music album 
Asa - Bed of Stone
Tiken Jah Fakoly - Dernier appel
Rivière noire - Rivière noire

Best electronic album
Yelle - Complètement fou
Cascadeur - Ghost Surfer
David Guetta - Listen

Best original song
Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy - Derrière les mots
Christine and the Queens - Saint Claude
Black M - Sur ma route
Calogero - Un jour au mauvais endroit

Show, concert or tour
Jean-Louis Aubert
Christine and the Queens

Best video
Indila - Dernière danse
The Do - Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy
Christine and the Queens - Saint Claude

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Monday, 5 January 2015

Baden Baden: J'ai Plongé dans le bruit

A new video for French indie rock act Baden Baden, for the track J'ai Plongé dans le bruit.

The track comes ahead of the release of a new album next month.

The album, to be entitled Mille éclaires, comes after both this track and A tes côtés, both suggesting that the album will be well worth hearing.

J'ai plongé dans le bruit is set to be the opening track of the 11-song collection.

Paris based Baden Baden have been around since 2008, releasing their first material two years later ahead of their debut album Coline in 2012. It established their reputation for polished if melancholy indie pop, something that the more recent material has at its core.

The band give influences as the likes of Grandaddy and  Pavement as well as Jaques Brel and Alain Bashung, and if they even manage to distill a fraction of these in the album, they'll have created a heady brew indeed.

Peine Perdue: Cerceaux

A fine piece of cold electro from Peine Perdue, with a freshly released video for the track Cerceaux.

Their collection No Souvenir from last year was justifiably was critically acclaimed, reaching second place in the round-up of the best of 2014 in France's Noisy - the music channel of Vice - coming just behind Sleaford Mods' Divide and Exit.

Peine Perdue first released a  self-titled release in 2013, featuring eight tracks and a 'cocktail mix' of the track Je Penche. It came out as a cassette on Vocoder Tapes.

They followed  this with the Adieu Staccato six track vinyl release, apparently limited to 222 copies, which also came out in 2013.

Last year saw the release of No Souvenir, featuring a full fourteen tracks.

The video has emerged ahead of the Paris/Berlin duo's latest album, Disparitions, which is due to be released in April on Medical Records.

Before then they play at the New Morning in Paris on January 23.

Editorial: January 2015

A happy new year from Vive le Roq, and after what has been an eventful 2014 we're looking ahead to
a busy 2015.

The last few months have seem more posts than ever on the site, a trend that looks set to continue. Given that the first year that the blog ran saw the grand total of 28 posts, we now regularly post more than that every month.

True, a quiet few days at the end of last year and at the start of this year, but off we go.

This month as well as looking at the usual goings on the world of French music, I'll be taking a  look at some of the emerging talent that I've come across recently. Some I've mentioned already in my reviews of the Transmusicales and the Bars en Trans events in Rennes,  but there are many more well deserving of a mention on this site that I hope to namecheck in forthcoming weeks.

Events this month include the UK release of the Do's album. This month also sees the Celtic Connections event in Glasgow, with some traditional Breton acts as well as acts from francophone Canada and further afield.

As always, I can be contacted on johnkilbrideAThotmailDOTcom, with the appropriate punctuation where you'd expect it to be.

I'm always pleased to hear from record companies, PR companies and promoters, so do get in touch.

We're also on Twitter as @viveleroq or you can find me at @karnag

Thanks as always  to the good people at the French Music Office in London and to the Institut francais in London for their help and encouragement.

Merci et à bientôt

John K