Friday, 31 July 2015

Emji: Dur dur

 A new single by Emji, with the kind of a video that's not a million miles away from something that Mylene Farmer might come out with.

Emji was the winner of the most recent series of Nouvelle Star, the reality TV show. The final of the show saw her perform songs by Kiss, Leonard Cohen and Bjork. Nothing if not a varied selection.

The new single follows the relase of her Toboggan EP wich came out in April, featuring the title track that she performed on the show, along with covers of Crazy In Love, Toxic, the Show Must Go On and Chandelier, all tracks that she performed during the season of the show.

Dur Dur will feature on her debut album, which she is currently working on. 

She's touring in October with a show in Paris at the café de la dance on October 19.

Festival du Bout du Monde

Another weekend festival kicking off in France today, with the Festival du Bout du Monde getting my attention.

World music is the order of the weekend,  but in the loosest and most inclusive sense.

Over the three days, Crozon in Brittany hosts Fakear, Vaudou Game, Salkah Sue and dozens of others in a colourful and international bill.

Eric Burdon and the Animals, John Butler Trio and Lisa Simone also perform this year,
The even is held in the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique, giving it the benefit of a stunning location.

It's been running since 2000, and previous years have seen the likes of Alan Stivell, Ibrahim Ferrer , Tinariwen and Youssou N’Dour perform.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

David Guetta: Sun Goes Down

Another single by David Guetta from his Listen album, with the track Sun Goes Down.

It features german voclist Sonny Wilson and Canadian group Magic!.

Magic!'s track Rude was a number one in the UK and US in 2013. Their debut album Don't Kill the Magic came out last year.

They bring a reggae flavour to the track, giving it a summer dancefloor feel.

Listen is Guetta's sixth album, and it's continued the success he's enjoyed in recent years with the singles Dangerous and What I did for Love

Guetta plays two sold-out at the Bercy Arena in Paris on December 18 and 19, and has a third days on January 27 next year.

David Guetta - Sun Goes Down (feat... by NothingBubeat

Rone: Live at the Fnac Festival

Like a bit of Rone? Who doesn't.

His Creatures album has been one of this year's highlights, taking elecro music into interesting new places.

He's an artist really hitting is stride and making some great music,

So a real pleasure to see his set at the Fnac festival this summer available to watch online thanks to France TV.

The set was recorded on July 15 2015 outside the Hôtel de Ville in the centre of Paris, a visually remarkable backdrop for a remarkable show.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Carbon Airways: Blasted Daydream

A free download of the track Blasted Daydream by french duo Carbon Airways.

I featured Carbon Airways, a duo of brother and sister Éléonore Fernese and Enguérand Fernese on the blog recently.

The song Break the Silence was a tribute to the whistleblowers who risk their own freedom by revealing the truth that has been hidden by the authorities.

They're still in their teens, but have been releasing music since 2011.

Carbon Airways play at the Summer Sonic festival in Japan next month, the Zikamart Festival in Switzerland in September and the Festival Vernier sur Rock in Switzerland in October.

You'll find Blasted Daydream available on twitmusic

Culturethèque: Pique-Nique show

A great new feature on the Culturethèque website from the Institut français UK.

Pique-Nique is a new show that features French pop from the 50s and 60s, with Francophone versions of hits of that era as well as original French songs from the early days of rock 'n' roll and Yé-yé

Thom Slinn, who is behind the show, sasy he'll feature "'rare and obscure French pop from the 1950’s and 1960’s (on original vinyl only, of course.)"

It's a thoroughly enjoyable 45 minutes of retro sounds.

I'm sure the good folk at Culturethèque and Pique-Nique won't mind me linking to it here.

This, the first edition of the show, features amongst others Les Chats Sauvages, Adamo and Dalida as well as many other obscure and almost forgotten artists as it casts its light in an area that's pretty much unreported in the anglophone world.

I'm already looking forward to the next edition of the show.

Adrien Gallo: Ultra Moderne Solitude

A tasteful session version of the song Ultra moderne Solitude by Adrien Gallo, recorded for Le Figaro newspaper's Avant-Scènes du Figaro video section.

Gallo is known for being the singer with BB Brunes, but has embarked on a solo career with the release of his Gemini album in November last year.

Ultra Moderne Solitude  was originally a hit for Alain Souchon, the title track of his 1988 album.

The music was written by Laurent Voulzy.

Gallo's version is a much more electro take on the song.

Gallo has also established himself in recent years as a songwriter for other artists, with songs recorded by Vanessa Paradis on her  Love Songs collection, as well as songs for Hollysiz.

INEDIT : Adrien Gallo reprend "Ultra-Moderne Solitude" pour les Avant-Scènes du Figaro

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Julien Gasc, Lenparrot and Lèse Majesté: Shuffle Festival

A chance to see a couple of interesting French acts in London this evening, with Julien Gasc,  Lenparrot and Lèse Majesté taking to the stage as part of the Shuffle Festival.

The three acts play at the The Migration Pavillion, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

Julien Gasc and  Lenparrot are no strangers to this blog, Lèse Majesté certainly deserve a mention, while if not French by nationality, they certainly are by name.

They're also pretty good as well, which always helps.

So three interesting bands in an unusual venue. If you are in the area, well worth getting along to this if you can.

Bernie Bonvoisin: Tout un Foin Festival

An acoustic appearance by former Trust vocalist Bernie Bonvoisin at the weekend, with a set at the Tout un Foin Festival in Bayeux, Normandy.

Trust were proper legends of the French rock scene in the 80s, with their work a high water mark of the country's metal scene in that era, both critically and commercially.

They were one of the few French acts to make major inroads in the UK, no doubt helped by their albums being availble in both French and English language versions.

Bonvoisin has worked as a film industry as a director in recent years.

It's the fifth time the festival has been held, and although a smaller event with a smaller crowd than organisers hoped for, but an acoustic  set by Bonvoisin would have been well worth catching.

Hopefully there will be more to come from M. Bonvoisin before too long.

He played with Iso Diop, who playe bass on Trust's most recent album,2008's  Treize à table.

Other acts that played at the festival included Vianney, Miossec and Minuit.

Monday, 27 July 2015

New acts: Talisco - Mustang Blood

A great new video by Talisco for the song Mustang Blood, released at the end of last month.

It's a melancholy piece of electro-folk from the artist , Jérôme Amandi, who is originally from Bordeaux and based in Paris.

The track originally featured on his My Home EP, released in 2013.

Since then he's released an album, Run, last year and played live extensively.

He is signed to independent label Roy Music, home to artists like The Toxic Avenger.

I can only imagine that the video will continue to establish him as an artist deserving of some attention and encourage some further listeners to explore his releases so far.

Shaka Ponk: Last Alone

A new video for Shaka Ponk, with the track  Last Alone getting a big budget video treatment.

The clip puts the song in a Terminator - style sci -fi dystopia.

The track comes from their White Pixel Ape collection, which was released in March last year.

It follows the tracks Wanna Get Free, Story O' my LF and Heal Me Kill Me as singles.

Shaka Ponk followed The White Pixel Ape album with a follow-up Black  Pixel Ape in November last year, although it is its predecessor that featured their best-received single releases.

Shaka Ponk have had festival dates around France, and have more to go before the end of the summer including the Fête de l'Humanité in Paris on September 11.

Tricky: We Don't Die (Theme from Witnesses /Les Témoins)

A new French TV series making a  dent on UK screens is Witnesses (Les Témoins), currently being shown on Channel 4.

Starring Thierry Lhermitte and Marie Dompnier, it's a crime drama set in the north of France in the town of Tréport in en Haute-Normandie.

It was originally shown on France 2 earlier this year, and it's the first time in 20 years a TV show made by  France Télévisions has been shown in the UK.

Channel 4 of course showed the series The Returned (Les Revenants), one of the first drama serieses on the channel in 20 years.

Spiral (Engrenages) continues to gather an audience on BBC 4.

Nice to see quality French drama continuing to make an appearance on UK TV, even though it's so far only making the smallest footprint.

But back to Witnesses. It's a quality programme with an imagination and atmosphere that puts it above most other police dramas.

All the more interesting because it puts the spotlight on an often overlooked part of France.

Music for the titles come from Tricky, with the track We don't die from his 2013 album False Idols. It would have been nice to have a French act, but it's a great choice of track for a TV show title sequence.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Maître Gims: Longue Vie

With just a few weeks until the release of his second solo album, Maître Gims releases another track, this time its the song Longue Vie

tracks have been dropping at an almost weekly rate, with Melynda Gates and I See You Again among them.

Est-ce que tu m'aimes and  Laissez passer emerged earlier this year.

The new track features fellow Sexion d'Assaut member Lefa, Karim Fall, the member of the rap act whic sparked the homophobia row that engulfed them following comments he made in 2010. Lefa's been keeping a low profile in recent years and has only recently started to return to the music scene.

The debut solo album by Gims,  Subliminal, was a massive seller when it came out in 2013, his new release is to be a double album and will probably be one of the most significant  French rap releases this year.

Mon cœur avait raison is due to be released on August 26.

Live dates from Gims have been lined up, with a show at Bercy in Paris on December 14.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Lemon Queen: Magical

I featured The Lemon Queen in May, with their track Sweeten Sorrows so nice to see some new
material by them.

The track Magical comes from the four track  EP1 they released in June, which features  Magical and Sweeten Sorrows along with the tracks Miami and Dans Ma Tête.

Nice work from the four piece from Angers whose summer has so far seen them play at a stage at the 24 Heures Du Mans race.

The video comes from the 1968 Blake Edwards comedy movie The Party that starred  Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet.

They play Badaboum in Paris on September 25.

Bagarre: Claque-le

A new video by the mighty Bagarre, an act who are no strangers to this Blog.

It's an athletic clip for Claque-le, an infectious piece of electro indie.

Bagarre are signe to Disques Enterprise, home of the likes of Moodoid, Grand Blanc  and Blind Digital Citizen. It's innovative company they're keeping, and Bagarre certainly share the colourful imagination and forward-looking attitudes of their label mates.

Bagarre released an EP featuring the track Mourir au club last year, recently they've been supporting acts like Fauve and Yelle in France.

You could easily see Bagarre making the step up to the level of commercial success enjoyed by the acts they've been supporting.

Their debut album  Musique de club is expected in September.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

David Gilmour: Rattle That Lock

There's a certain sense of déja vu with the title track of the new album Rattle That Lock by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, particularly if you've spent time in a French railway station.

And anyone who's ever spent time in a French railway station has probably found they've got more time than they expected to enjoy listening to the announcements...

Gilmour was inspired by the SNCF Tannoy announcement jingle, incorporating it into the track.

He said: "I was in Aix-en-Provence station visiting friends, I heard it as you often do.

"So I then turned my iPhone on, held my Phone up nearer the speaker and waited for the next announcement, took that sample from that and that’s what I’ve used for this track."

The creator of the jingle, Michaël Boumendil, is credited as co-creator of the track.

Speaking to RTL Radio he said he was regularly approached by musicians wanting to use his work, but always refused.

However, when Gilmour phoned him he initially thought someone was having a joke, describing the guitarist as a living legend.

Gilmour's new album is due to be released on September 18.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Festival: Vielles Charrues

The music festival focus in France moves to the west this week, with the Vielles Charrues event in
Brittany on Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight sees Muse headline, with Brodinski also playing.

Friday sees the fesival in full effect, with Christine and the Queens, The Do, Salut C'est cool, Feu! Chatterton and others, including Tom Jones.

The weekend includes sets from Thylacinde and Bagarre on Satuday, along with big names like Calogero and George Ezra and The Prodigy.

On the final night there are sets by David Guetta, Brigitte and Dominique A, as well as Lionel Richie, Joan Baez and London Grammar.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

New Acts: Amoure - Plage

Always time at this time of years for a dreamy song with a title like Plage, regardless of whether the summer heat in the UK matches that of France or not.

Amoure are not the easiest acts to Google search, but they're a three piece from Strasbourg consisting of Nicolas Lietaert,  Julien Hermann and Thibault Dutt.

Strasbourg might not be the closest French city to the sea, but that doesn't seem to pose any great problem to them when it comes to capturing the sensation of sunshine and sand in song form.

It's their first relase and there's something of Francois and the Atlas Mountains about it,  infectious and upbeat but edgy with it.

The kind of French pop that can't help but make you smile, whether you're on the beach at Antibes or Ayr.

Fnac Live festival

Festival time again, this time its the turn of the Fnac Live festival to present acts in the centre of Paris.

From the 15th of July to the 18th, there are free shows outside and inside the Hôtel de Ville, a suitably spectacular setting for some very fine acts.

Over the four nights there's an opportunity to see both breakthrough acts and more established performers.

Acts taking to the stage include Brigitte and Rone on the first night, The Thursday sees Selah Sue, Christine and the Queens, Benjamin Biolay and Django Django.

On the Friday there's Jeanne Added, Baxter Dury and Dominique A, and on the final night sets by Nekfeu, Izia, The Avener and Mika.

Others playing over the event include Ibeyi,  Fuzeta  and many others.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

New Acts: Faroe - Blast

Yesterday we featured Elecampane ,a side project featuring three of the members of Concrete

So it's ony fair to features Faroe, the project involving Corentin Ollivier, also from Concrete Knives,

He's also part of Samba De La Muerte.

The track Blast comes from a forthcoming EP Words, expected to be released in the autumn.

Faroe played live in Paris earlier this month.

A new Concrete Knives album is in the pipeline, with the band recording it over the summer.

Monday, 13 July 2015

New Acts: Elecampane - Anymore

Elecampane is the new project featuring three members of Concrete Knives, Nicolas, Augustin and Guillaume.

Their debut EP High Hopes was released last month, featuring four tracks Out of Control, Anymore, Heaven and Where We've Been.

Concrete Knives released their debut album Be Your Own King in 2012, and remain an active concern while Nicolas, Augustin and Guillaume are involved in Elecampane, with a new Concrete Knives album coming and the band recording it over the summer

They play at the Trabendon in Paris on Wednesday July 15 and play in Colmar this week, inTours in October and in their hometown of Caen in November.

Caravan Palace: Comics

A fresh clip by Caravan Palace for the track Comics.

Caravan Palace, who describe themselves as an electronic/big band come from Paris and released their debut album in 2008.

A second album entitled Panic followed in 2012.

They describe their influences as  Django, Vitalic, Cab Calloway, Justice, Lionel Hampton, and Daft Punk , and brew these together into something quite wonderful.

They take jazz, and take to a place that no-one else has discovered yet.

This track comes from their forthcoming collection entitled <I°_°I> , which might not win them any favours with DJs trying to pronounce it on the radio.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Festival: Les Francofolies de La Rochelle

Another significant festival in France this weekend, it is the summer after all, with Les Francofolies
de La Rochelle taking over the west coast seaside town for a series of concerts between now and July 14.

It's the most francocentric of festivals, with shows taking place at ten locations, featuring some of the biggest names.

The main stage sees Etienne Daho, Christine and the Queens and Rone on the Friday night, the Saturday sees Fakears, the Do, Selah Sue, the Avener and others.

On the Sunday there are sets by Rose, Coeur de Pirats, Véronique Sanson, Julien Doré and Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine. Monday the 13th sees Fréro Delavega, Brigitte and Florent Pagny, the final night sees Yannick Noah and Johnny Hallyday.

Elsewhere, among dozens of other shows are Dominique A, Baden Baden, Monogrenade, Jeanne Added and Thylacine.

In short, the event gives a pretty accurate picture of the shape of French music today, from the greats and the famous to the underground,  electro to chanson,  Les Francofolies de La Rochelle is a showcase for French music in a great setting.

Francis Cabrel: Dur comme fer

A new single from Francis Cabrel, with the song Dur comme fer from his recent In Extremis album.
Cabrel has been active since the mid 1970s, one of France's biggest selling singers.

His previous album, Vise le ciel , was his French language interpretations of Bob Dylan songs, hsi most recent album of his own material was in 2007 with the Des roses et des orties collection
Dur comme fer is the opening track on In Extremis, the album reaching number one in France.

Partis pour rester was released as the first single from the collection.

Cabrel goes on tour from September until April next year, with seven  sold-out shows at L'Olympia in Paris in November and three nights at the Palais des Sports in February.

David Guetta at T in the Park

David Guetta takes to the stage of T in the Park Festival, flying the flag for French acts at the biggest music event in Scotland.

He headlines the BBC Three/Radio One stage tonight.  Also on the bill at that stage are The War on Drugs and Afrojack.

Kasabian is on the main stage at the same time, Mark Ronson DJing at  the King Tut's Tent.

It's not the first time Guetta's played at T, he headlined the Radio 1 Stage on the Sunday night in 2013, and headlined the Radio 1/NME stage on the Saturday night in 2012.

It's the first time thetr T has been held at its new venue, Strathallan Castle in Perthshire.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Un été d'Enterprise

An event worth attending in Paris this evening if you're in the area, with Enterprise Records hosting  at evening at the Ground Control venue.

Enterprise Records has been home to some of the finest francophone talent to emerge in recent years, and the soirée features DJ sets from many of them.

There will be sets from Lafayette, Moodoïd, Grand Blanc, Bagarre and Blind Digital Citizen. Acts that are well known to regular visitor to this blog, I'm sure.

While it would be nice to see all these bands play live over the course of one evening, the DJ sets are bound to be interesting and eclectic.

Ground Control is a pop up  venue in the 18th arrondisement, housed in a former SNCF depot, a remarkable location for what looks set to be a remarkable night.

Jeanne Added: flip Radio session

I've always got time for some Jeanne Added, so it was nice to see this quality live session emerge. At almost 50 minutes long it's a great watch.

Jeanne Added's debut album Be Sensational was released at the beginning of last month, to pretty much universal acclaim. The single A War Is Coming that came out at the end of last year was such a strong piece that

Jeanne Added is playing at pretty much every music festival in France this summer.  She played Les Eurockéens at the weekemd, and plays Les Francofolies in La Rochells, Fnac Live in Paris, and the Rock En Seine festival in Paris at the end of the month among them.

I'm pretty sure this time next year Jeanne Added will be sitting in a similar place to where  Christine and the Queens are this year.

Jeanne Added : Live à FIP au studio 105 by Fipradio

Fvtvr Festival

A three-day festival event taking place in Nantes from today sees some of the talent signed to Futur Records take to the stage in the Breton city.

The indie label has been around since 2008 and has been gaining ground since then, home as it is to acts like Minitel Rose and Rhum for Pauline, as well as  Pegase and Disco Anti Napoleon.

Band members overlap and resources are pooled in the best indie tradition, leading to what has become a very healthy and vigorous scene, producing some very fine quality music indeed.

The festival features College, Disco Anti Napoleon, Rhum for Pauline, Jerry Paper, Maethelvin, Romantic Warriors as well as DJ Moment, Phil Tremble nad the Fvtvre all Stars DJs, with shows at the Trempolino, Le Lieu Unique and Le Chien Stupide.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

New Acts: Les Gordon - Les Cheveux Longs

A classy piece of upbeat electro by Les Gordon, with the track Les Cheveux Longs, the title track of
his most recent EP.

The five track release emerged at the end of May, featuring the title track, Hype, Alibi, Bill Murray and Grège.

Previously the three track EP Saisons emerged in autumn last year.

He's also made the track La Roche Aux Fées, an outtake from  Les Cheveux Longs, available as a free download from his Soundcloud site.

Les Gordon, known to friends and family as Marc Mifune, originally studied classical music and art - the cover of the EP is one of his own works - which perhaps explain his distinctive and precisely executed vision.

Earlier this year he toured with Fauve, supporting the collective on 15 of their arena dates  on their Vieux Freres tour, introducing him to a massive audience.  He's also supported Stromae in a packed hall of 7,000 at the Transmusicales de Rennes in December 2013, so he's no stranger to an electric live environment.

It's probably oly be a matter of time until he's playing to arena sized  audiences of his own.

FFS at the Bataclan Paris

There's always a good reason to catch up with Scotland's most Francophile band Franz Ferdinand, especially in the guise of FFS, where they collaborate with US new wave icons Sparks.

 Franz Ferdinand's French credentials are - for a band from Glasgow  - pretty much beond reproach. They've collaborated with Jane Birkin on the track A song for sorry angel on the Serge Gainsbourg tribute CD Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited.

 They've also worked with Marion Cotillard, recording the song The Eyes of Mars.

Sparks meanwhile, were close to working with legendary French director Jacques Tati on a film entitled Confusion in the late 70s, the Mael brothers playing two US TV executives brought in to to modernise a rural French station following the death of M. Hulot in a mix-up with a prop gun.

The film - probably one of cinema's most intriguing 'could have beens'   - was never made due to Tati's declining health and eventual death in 1982.

But you really need no justification to enjoy some razor sharp and stylish sounds on display in this live show.

The gig was filmed at Bataclan in Paris on June 26 and is available to watch until the end of December.

Maître Gims: I see you again

Another new release - I see you again - drops from Maître Gims, in quick succession to his last single.

With  Melynda Gates just released, he's followed it up with the track I See You Again.

There have already been two earlier releases,  Est-ce que tu m'aimes and  Laissez passer.

Gims relases his new album Mon cœur avait raison at the end of next month, his second solo album and follow-up to his massively successful Subliminal debut from 2013.

His new release will be a double CD, and the emergence of the new tracks ahead of it give a flavour of the variety of material presented on it, from ballads to rap.

Gims, with his solo career and his work with Sexion d'Assaut, has become one of French rap's biggest figures and his new album will be one of the scene's key releases of this year.

Live dates from Gims have been lined up, with a show at Bercy in Paris on December 14.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

New Acts: Peter Pitches - Nobody Knows

A track released last month by Peter Pitches, a four piece act from Tours.

The band features singer and guitarist Pierre Monzo, originally a solo artist now working with three accomplices.

This live version of Nobody Knows shows an agile indie rock, flavoured by the likes of Tortoise and with a charming wistfulness.

It follows the release of a five track Mini album in 2013, Offshore of the Island.  It's well worth a listen if masterly crafted modern dream pop is your thing, which it should be.

They recently played at the Printemps de Bourges festival, an important showcase for new French acts.

The live track is available as a free download from their Bandcamp site

The band promise there's more to come in the near future, and from what they've produced so far it will be worth watching out for.

Shy'm: Silhouettes

A new single by Shy'm, with the song Silhouettes.

It's the fourth track to be taken as a single from the R 'n' B star's 2014 Solitaire album.

The alum, her fifth, reached the top ten in France.

It follows last years's  La Malice, L'effet De Serre and On S'en Va which came out in January.

The release has been remixed to be more dance friendly and

The video gives a taste of her live show, something her fans will be able to exerience with festival dates over the summer and arena dates in October and November, including two shows at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy on November 17 and 18.

Carbon Airways: Break the Silence

A track by Carbon Airways that emerged last month, a tribute to the whistleblowers who risk their own freedom by revealing the truth that has been covered up by the authorities.

The video was shot in the suitably science fiction setting of Noisy le Grand near Paris

For an acts tacking a difficult subject, Carbon Airways are a very young act, with brother and sister Engus and Eléonore still not out of their teens.

Despite their young age, they launched their first EPS hake Your Rage in 2011, playing the Les Transmusicales de Rennes festival that year, and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami the following year.

This led to a record contract and more festival dates around France. Subsequent releases have followed, Oxydizer and Razor Edge in 2012, the four track Black Sun EP in 2013 and the four track EP You Walk Away in 2014.

A new EP by Carbon Airways is expected in September.

They've got live dates at the Oeno Music Festival in Dijon on July 11, the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan next month and the Zikamart Festival in Switzerland in September.

Monday, 6 July 2015

New Acts: Ghost Friends - Enlighten Me

Four piece indie rock act Ghost Friends come from Caen in  Basse-Normandie, and they make a
wonderful racket.

They two tracks Enlighten Me and Let You Down emerged at the end of May. Their self-titled debut EP was released in February, featuring six tracks including a cover of Teen Suicide track Everything is Fine.

There's a nod to classic acts like the Pixies in their music, even the VHS style video give a 90s flashback. There's a a strong sense of melody but with an experimental edge.

I reckon they're the kind of band who would sound superb live, hopefully we'll get the chance to see more of them before too long.

Maître Gims: Melynda Gates

A new video by French rapper Maître Gims for the track Melynda Gates.

The release comes ahead of Gims's second solo album Mon coeur avait raison.

 His most recent single Est-ce que tu m'aimes ? is currently one of the big sellers in France.

Gims is no doubt keen to repeat the success he enjoyed last summer with the song Bella. The album it came from, Subliminal, has been a massive seller. It reached number two in France and has had sales of over 600,000, so his follow up is certainly anticipated.

Even though he's a member of Sexion D'Assaut, one of France's most successful rap collectives,  Gims has also become one of France's biggest rap solo artists.

Mon coeur avait raison, a double CD,  is expected to be released on August 28.

Hyphen Hyphen: Monte le Son session

I featured Hyphen Hyphen recently on the blog, so nice to come across a session by them for Monte
le Son

The band plays Just Need your Love, the track that featured as their most recent single
The four piece, originally from Nice,  released a four track EP last month featuring the tracks The Fear Is Blue,  I See Myself and two versions of Just Need Your Love.

I always like a session clip like this, giving us a closer picture of a band than perhaps an official clip does, while obviously presenting them in the best possible light.

Hyphen Hyphen have been getting quite a lot of well-deserved attention, something that shows little sign of abating.

Their debut album Times is expected to be released on September 18 and I suspect that there are hopes they will be one of the breakthrough acts of 2016.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Johnny Hallyday: Rester Vivant tour

A new tour by the indifatigable Johnny Hallyday got under way in Nîmes last night, with the first
night of the Rester Vivant tour the show being held at the historic Roman amphitheatre.

Hallyday finished his last tour at the venue, maybe there's something about its age and ancient history of gladiatorial combat that appeals to him.

Reports and reviews reveal, unsurprisingly, that Hallyday wore his customary black leather and shades, defying the summer heatwave.

The set included  Rester vivant from his most recent album, Carol, the Chuck Berry song played by the Rolling Stones in the early 60s, amd some of is best known numbers including O ma jolie Sarah, Quelque chose de Tennessee, Gabrielle and  Le pénitencier.

Hallyday's tour continues until March 2016, including a number of summer festival shows including events in La Rochelle, Monaco and Biarritz. there are three nights at Bercy in Paris on November 27, 28 and 29, and another two shows there in February.

The Montreuz Jazz Festival 2015

The Montreuz Jazz Festival kicks off in the Swiss city  today, an international festival with a massive

Since 1967 the event has attracted some of the world's top talent from the fields of jazz, blues and rock.

Always an international event, and with the widest possible definition of what constitutes 'jazz'.  Lilly Wood and the Prick, Emelie Sandi and John Legend are among the acts playing today.

Between now and the 18th of July sees Lady Gaga performing with Tony Bennett, as well as shows by Mary J Blige, Sinead O'Connor, Paolo Nutini, Portishead and the Chemical Brothers.

More obviously jazz acts include  Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock, Gilberto Gil and Santana.

Dozens of other shows take place, from international stars to school bands performing free in the park.

La Famille Chedid and Zaz are among the big name French acts,  Thylacine and Fakear supplying the sounds from a new generation.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Festival: La Ferme Electrique

Another weekend of festivals on the horizon ahead, from the large to the small scale, bur one that
particularly appeals is the second editon of La Ferme Electrique in Seine-et-Marne, half an hour from Paris.

One the more intimate end of the festival spectrum, La Ferme Electrique last year offered up -amongst others - Orval Carlos Sibelius, Italy's Movie Star Junkies, Jessica 93 , and French new-wave innovator Charles de Goal.

This year the bill includes Chassol and Aquaserge, alongside Besoin Dead,  The Telescopes and many others.

This year sees it celebrate its sixth birthday, and beyond the live music there are exhibitions, T shirt and vinyl stalls.

It's an event with a laudible DIY attitude, and an atmosphere encouraging creativity and co-operation. Small but perfectly formed.

The event takes place in Tournan-en-Brie at the Ferme du Plateau in Seine et Marne Tomorrow, July 3 and Saturday July 4.

Latest details can be found on their website 

M Pokora: Voir la nuit s'emballer

A new single from M Pokora, one of France's biggest pop stars of the moment, with another track from his RED album

R.E.D., released in February gave him his third number one album in France.

It's his sixth studio album in a career that saw him initially come to prominence in the 2003 series of the  Popstars reality TV show.

Since then, as well as his solo career, he's appeard on Danse avec les stars - winning the first season - and appearing in the stage musical Robin des Bois.

Voir la nuit s'emballer is the fourth single from R.E.D., the new video giving a flavour of his live show.

Pokora is currently on tour in arenas across France, and plays at the Bercy palais Omnisport on December 11 and 12.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Blind Digital Citizen: Cumbia

A new clip from favourites of this blog Blind Digital Citizen for the track Cumbia.

The track comes from their Premières Vies album which came out at the end of March.

For an old school animation it's a wildly psychedelic piece, reminiscent of the work of Jean Giraud.

A perfect illustration to compliment the work of Blind Digital Citizen.

Blind Digital Citizen DJ in Paris on July 9 with label mates Moodoïd, Grand Blanc, Lafayette  and Bagarre at the Ground Control venue.

Paris International Festival of Psychedelic Music

While the summer sees a huge number of big budget festivals with big names across France, like
elsewhere, there are also a huge number of smaller boutique events catering for specialist tastes of every type.

One such event is the Paris International Festival of Psychedelic Music, an event running from Today until Sunday in the French capital.

It's the second time that the event's been held, and this year sees acts including The Horrors, Clinic and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

While it's a international event, the contemporary French psych acts are represented with the likes of Jessica 93.

There are also film screenings and DJ sets.

Psychedelia has since the 60s proved to be both an enduring and fertile area of music, and it has continued to adapt over the decades, from the garage rock of the mid 60s to the West Coast US hippies, to their more modern descendants continuing to push forward the frontiers.

As the festival organisers say: "This musical scene has always kept exporting and developing, but today a true artistic renewal is giving to psyche a previously unseen extent."

The festival is being held at multiple venues including Le Trianon, La Machine du Moulin Rouge and  La Gaite Lyrique.

More details are available on the event's website.

Editorial: July 2015

Another month takes us further into the summer and the festival season, with some if the year's
biggest music events taking place in France.

While June saw the likes of Hellfest in Clisson and Solidays in Paris, July sees Les Francofolies in La Rochelle, Main Square festival and les Eurockéens de Belfort.

A busy month for sure,  with French acts also in the UK for festival duties, including David Guetta
As always, I can be contacted on johnkilbrideAThotmailDOTcom, with the appropriate punctuation.

I'm always pleased to hear from record companies, PR companies and promoters, so be sure to 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