Monday, 31 August 2015

Slaughterhouse Brothers: No Free Romance

A new video by Caen indie rockers Slaughterhouse Brothers, for the song No Free Romance.

The track comes from their Hometown Boys album and the dystopian Mad Max style video was shot near the far-from dystopian  Bayeux.

Their debut album was released last year, and they've got live date in Normandy over the coming weeks, including a show at the Festival Unplugged Live Louvigny on September 26.

I featured them as a New Act on this blog a couple of months ago, noting that you'd get a "strong impression that they'd be a great band to see live."

Certainly reckon that's still the case.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Jean-Michel Jarre: Electronica 1 The Time Machine

More details have emerged about the forthcoming Jean-Michel Jarre album.

Entitled Electronica 1 The Time Machine, it is expected to be released on October 16 and is already available to pre-order,

The album features 15 different collaborators.  Moby, Air,  3D from Massive Attack, M83, Tangerine Dream, and Gesaffelstein are among those involved.

Little Boots, Laurie Anderson and Lang Lang and John Carpenter also feature.

Some of the tracks have already appeared, new details help fill in the blanks.

It's Jarre's first studio album proper since 2007's Téo & Téa and it's certainly been long awaited.

A second volume of his Electronica project is expected for next year.

Mylène Farmer: Stolen Car

A long-awaited moment for fans of  Mylène Farmer, with the release of a new single.

Stolen Car is a cover of a Sting song, and features Sting duetting with Farmer.

It's a bilingual version of the song that originally appeared on Sting's 2003 Sacred Love album.
The track was produced by The Avener, who had a hit with the track Fade Out Lines.

Her last studio album was 2012's Monkey Me, a collection that included the singles À l'ombre, Je te dis tout and the title track.

The album went straight in at number one in the French charts and went on to sell over 500,000 copies.  À l'ombre was a number one single the others reached the top three.

Since then she emberked on the massive Timeless 2013 tour, and released a live collection documenting it in both audio and film.

A video for Stolen Car is expected to be released shortly.

She's already had the most number one singles in France, with 12 solo tracks and one duet.

Farmer's next album is expected to be released in December.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Coeur de Pirate: Oublie

A close-up session with Coeur de Pirate ahead of the release of her new album.

Her new collection, entitled Roses is released at the end of this week, following her Trauma album which came out last year.

That album featured a selection of covers including Aint no Sunshine. Leonard Cohen's Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye and the Rolling Stones' Dead Flowers. The album was recorded as a soundtrack for the Canadian TV series of the same name.

The session, featuring three tracks,  was for RTL2's series Session Très Très Privée.

 Coeur de Pirate is touring in October, with a show in Paris at L'Olympia on November 5.

Coeur de Pirate en Session Très Très Privée... by RTL2

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Maître Gims: Brisé

With just days to go until the release of the new album by Maître Gims, a new track has surfaced.

Brisé will feature on Mon coeur avait raison, his much-anticipated second album.

Gims first solo album Subliminal was a massive success, with the tracks Bella and J'me tire giving him significant hits.

His status is now such that his membership of leading French rap act Sexion d'assaut has almost been eclipsed by his solo career.

In the month up to the release of the new album he's been dropping a series of new tracks.

He's got a series of live dates towards the end of the year, with his Warano tour taking him to the Bercy arena in Paris on December 14.

Eddy Mitchell: Quelque chose a changé

A new track by French legend Eddy Mitchell, ahead of the release of a new album in October.

Quelque chose a changé will feature in an album to be entitled Big Band.

The song was inspired by Sam Cooke's Change is Gonna Come, and there is much in the music that refers to the sound of 60s soul music.

Mitchell has had one of the longest and most successful careers in French music, being there at the birth of rock 'n'roll in the early 60s with Les Chaussettes noires and a solo career that spanned the decades since.

His last studio album was 2013's Héros and more recently he was on stage with Jacques Dutronc and Johnny Hallyday for the Vieilles Canailles concerts in Paris last year.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Lou Doillon: Where To Start

A new video by Lou Doillon, the track Where to Start emerging ahead of the release of her second

It follows her 2012 debut Places, a collection that went on to sell in huge quantities  with the success of songs like I.C.U and Devil or Angel. She picked up a Best female Artist award  in the 2013 Victoires de la Musique awards.

Before the release of her album, Doillon had made a name for herself as an actress, with roles in films since the late 80s. She's also a model, having worked for big names like Givenchy and Pirelli.

The fact that her mother is Jane Birkin and her father director Jacques Doillon may have helped a bit initially, but the length of her career and the success of her album are essentially down to her.

Douillon has got tour dates around France in the autumn, and plays at the Casino de Paris on
December 8.

Her new album Lay Low is expected on October 9.

Feu! Chatterton: Boeing

A new single by Feu! Chatterton ahead of the release of their much anticipated debut album in

Boeing will feature on their collection to be entitled Ici le Jour (a tout enseveli)

The five piece released their first EP almost exactly a year ago, and have been one of France's most talked about acts since. Their track La Malinche attracting considerable attention with its blending of a very French vocal style aesthetic with a biting electro indie soundtrack.

The new album features Boeing, as well as Côte Concorde and La Malinche from their EP.

While their old school dandy stylings may have helped them stand out from the crowd,  it's perhaps the thought that if Jacques Brel was alive and well and playing in a 21st century indie band he'd probably sound something like Feu! Chatterton that wins me over.

The album is due to be released on October 16.

Friday, 14 August 2015

La Route du Rock: Live streaming

Another major music festival in France under way this weekend, with La Route du Rock at St Malo.

It's the 25th time the event's been held, and even if Bjork isn't playing this year, there's still plenty on offer.

The Thurston Moore Band, Rone, Ratatat and Forever Pavot play today, as do Algiers, Wand, Girl Band and Fuzz.

 The Saturday sees Foals, The Soft Moon, Daniel Avery as well as Hinds, Spectres and Flavien Berger.

Sunday has Jungle, Ride and Father John Misty, while Savages, Viet Cong and  Dan Deacon are among the others.

In short, a very tasteful selection of established names and fascinating discoveries.

If you can't be there, there's a live stream of some of the performers available thanks to the good people at Arte.

Shake Shake Go: England Skies (Parrad remix)

A quality remix of the track England Skies by Shake Shake Go, the song re-created by Parrad, who
also goes by the name Atom as part of French turntablists C2C.

It comes as part of a remix EP, featuring four versions of the track.

England Skies originally featured on the band's debut four track EP that came out earlier this year.

Shake Shake Go have just finished a series of summer festival dates, and will be announcing some autumn dates very soon.

They've already confirmed an appearance in Paris on November 5 at La Cigale.

Their debut album is expected to be released in 2016.

Rebels of Tijuana: Mambo

A Swiss band today, but one from the francophone part of the country, and one that makes a
particularly fine garage rock sound.

The Rebels of Tijuana have been around since 2008, having apparently met up at a screening of cult movie Vanishing Point.

They describe themselves as a Psyche Yéyé & Rock'n'Roll band, In a Gainsbourg - Dutronc - Stones way.

While there's an obvious flavour of the 60s in their work, there's more than a nod to French new wave acts like Téléphone too.

They've released a number of albums including 2010's Where did this trip go wrong and 2012' La Bourgeoise.

Their Mambo EP featured a French version of Syd Barrett's No Man’s Land, entitled Lady Acide.

The band are currently mixing their new album.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Fireball FC: Echoes (Pink Floyd Cover)

Came across this astonishing cover of Pink Floyd's Echos by Lyon band Fireball FC, which combines 70s prog rock and 70s disco with astonishing ease.

It shouldn't work, but it does, perhaps due to its mix of technicolour  humour and bare-faced cheek.

Even the most serious Pink Floyd fan couldn't help but crack a smile.

Fireball FC have been around since 2003, releasing their debut album Jupiter & Beyond the Infinite the following year under the name Fireball.

They've released three albums since then, adopting the name Fireball FC for their second album You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Their cover of Echoes appears on their 2014 collection French Melancholy.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains: Musée du quai Branly

A DJ set by Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains ? Don't mind if we do!

They performed a set at the Siestes Électroniques at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris on August 2.

The set was largely influenced by their recent experiences in Africa, where they toured and collaborated with local artists.

For the performance they used a selection of rarities from the audio collection of the Quai Branly museum in Paris , an institution dedicated to non-western cultures.

Vive Le Fringe!

Today sees the start of the Vive Le Fringe event, part of  the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, held at the Institut Français d'ecosse.

The venue in Randolph Crescent is holding a short seaaon of performances in both the institut building itself and in the gardens outside.

Shows include dance performance Bruit de Couloir by Clément Dazin, where choreography is combined with juggling, L’Enfant qui… by T1J which brings together acrobatics, puppetry and live music.

A solo dance production Madama Butterfly by Cie Nathalie Cornille brings moments of  Giacomo Puccini’s opera alive for a young audience.

The Soundimals Tamer by CheeeseCakeCie is a physical theatre show that presents a circus tamer and his invisible - but noisy - creatures  in a work that combines dance, circus and sound manipulation.

Meanwhile, Skins and Hoods by Cie du Veilleur is an English-language theatre production exploring culture and race involving  film and live action.

Shows run from today until August 31.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Panteros666 fet Woodkid: Clear

I missed this track that came out a couple of weeks ago, some new material from Woodkid collaborating with Panteros666, a member of the group Club Cheval.

Woodkid last appeared with  Lykke Li on the track Never Let You Down, which featured on the Insurgent movie soundtrack.

The new track comes on an  EP, featuring four versions of the track.

Clear has a very different sound for Woodkid, marking his first excursion into a more overtly dance orientated environment.

Woodkid's not released an album since his 2013 The Golden Age debut, a remarkable album that has
if anything grown in status since then.

While he has apparently been focusing his attention on non-musical activities recently - he is of course a talented video director who has spoken about his wish to direct movies - the possibility of a new album is certainly something to look forward to.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Christine and the Queens: Live on US TV

An American TV debut for Christine and the Queens, with a performance of the song Tilted on the Late Night with Seth Meyers show on NBC.

Tilted is the English language version of the track Christine. It was released in February in the USA.

The debut album by Christine and the Queens, Chaleur humaine, remains a massive seller in France, with Christine and the Queens performing at a huge number of festivals over France this summer.

Meanwhile, she's  touring in the USA with Marina and the Diamonds in October and November.

Her debut US album is due to be released later this year.

M Pokora: Elle me contrôle

A tenth anniversary re-making of the M Pokora hit Elle me contrôle.

Pokora's most recent album R.E.D. has been a massive seller in France, with four hit singles of its own along with a successful tour.

For a singer who first came to public attention through a TV talent show - in this case  Popstars in 2003 - he's shown professional longevity that few veterans of similar shows in teh UK have been able to match.

Elle me contrôle featured on his eponymous debut solo album from 2004, released following the break-up of Linkup, the boy band formed for the TV show. It came out as a single the following year and reached the top ten in France.

It went on to win the NRJ Music Award for Francophone Song of the Year in 2006.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Jean-Michel Jarre and John Carpenter: A Question of Blood

More details emerge for Jean-Michel Jarre's forthcoming album E-Project, where he collaborates with
some of the finest figures in electronic music.

A piece of work with director John Carpenter has emerged , with a track entitled A Question of Blood.

Carpenter has for decades created the memorable soundtracks for his movies using electronic music, creating the memorable soundscapes for  classic films like  Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween and The Fog

An album Lost Themes was released earlier this year.

So far other tracks have emerged seeing Jarre working with Tangerine Dream, M83, Gesaffelstein and Vince Clark amongst others.

Details of some of the other collaborations will no doubt emerge in weeks to come.

E-Project is expected to be released in October.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Playlist: Rock en Seine

The end of August sees the Rock en Seine 2015 festival taking place at the Domaine national de
Saint-Cloud near Paris.

It's the 13th time it's been held, and the event has become one of Europe's key music events, with a crowd of over 100,000 and acts on multiple stages.

While headliners include Kasabian, The Libertines and The Chemical Brothers, other acts on the bill include  Etienne Daho, Fauve and Benjamin Clementine.

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, The Offspring, Alt J and Tame Impala also play, as do Miossec and Forever Pavot, slong with dozens of others.

Like previous years, it's an impressive mix of established festival favourite acts, alongside  acts that are likely to become better known before too long.

 Some tickets are still available, you can find them on the festival's official website alongside  details of all the acts on the bill.

Interview: Daven Keller

I've featured Daven Keller a couple of times on this blog before, and I was absolutely delighted when he agreed to answer a few questions by email - in English - for us.

His Reaction C album was released this spring, and has been met with an extremely positive critical reception.

He said: "First of all I’m happy that the album is out, that it has finally slipped from my hands to live its own life.

"I’m also happy about the great feedback from people who didn’t know my work till now. I like very much being intimate with my own music when I write and compose an album – and this intimacy is necessary to me - but I am delighted that it can generate enthusiasm among the people then."

It is a very different collection from 2012's Reaction B album

He commented: "Indeed, Reaction C is totally different from Reaction B which is an instrumental album based on string quartet.

"The idea behind my « Reaction(s) » is to catch the opportunity of each new album to explore a new musical field, in form as well as in substance, a bit like in the classical music where composers switch from one format to another, from chamber music to symphonic music for example."

The Reaction C  album first came to my  attention thanks to the track Slogan, with its striking video which he directed and edited the video himself.

Explaining how it came about, he said it was "A kind of fate/chance – as I couldn’t find anyone to shoot the video, I started to shoot it myself and I found out I enjoyed a lot directing as much as editing.

"Music and filming both shared a lot in common so I got into this new form of art with lots of interest and happened to make eight videos out of the album in the end to accompany its release. So I still have quite a few left to reveal in the next months!"

He's previously worked in a more classical music contest and with film soundtracks, so how does working with this kind of music compare to pop?

He explained: "The big difference is that for film soundtrack, the « star » is actually the film in itself. Music must be related to it, go along with it the best it can, and it should also – I think - stay, in the service of the movie.

"When it’s an album, music is independent and exits on its own by definition. "

So is the world of film soundtracks something he hopes to continue working in alongside his  more rock-orientated work?

He commented: "I have no soundtrack planned for now however I’d be very happy that the music in my albums happen to be in a movie some day, more specifically the instrumental works I’ve done.

"I prefer to compose instrumental music for my albums that could then find their place in a film instead of waiting for the opportunity of a soundtrack to compose instrumental music."

The music on the new album has a very modern indie pop/rock flavour, what particular artists influence him?

"As many musicians, I’m influenced by a lot of different composers and these influences get mixed with my music desires to lean to something – hopefully - original.

"I listen to classical music as much as jazz or pop and so what I listen to goes from Bach to Frank Ocean."

To these ears Reaction C  feels like it has been influenced by 60s pop, 90s indie rock as well as more recent electronic music. Would he agree?

"Yes it is – Reaction C is in that music « zone » like for example, the 60s-like sound of the bass I play in it. I love the pop music from the 60s, with all these great bands and this brilliant creativity.

"Sometimes I think that today’s pop is still based on the 60s influence except for rap which has been the only new music form since then and which happens to be fascinating because of it. "

I've always found that French musicians tend to be less bound by the idea of musical 'genre' than artists from the UK. Is that something he agreed with?

"Indeed, in my case at least, I think it’s very interesting to go from one musical genre to the other as the classic composers did, i.e. they would compose an opera then a piece for a string without asking themselves any question.

"Music has such a broad spectrum, it’s very exciting to venture to compose new pieces depending on the mood and the inspiration."

He currently works as an independent artist, with his own record label. How much of a challenge is this, and what are the benefits of this situation?

"To me, freedom is the main advantage as an independent artist. I can compose the music I precisely want to listen to and so be totally true with my aspirations and myself.

"That being said, it’s not easy to bring a project to fruition on its own, on the artistic level as well as on the financial level but maybe this is the price to pay for freedom."

Finally, would he ever see himself signed to a major label?

"I did take some steps for signing to a label on Reaction C as I felt this album could find its place on an indie or major label. As I didn’t get any feedback, I quickly understood it was better to release the album myself without waiting for a record company to get interested in it."

Editorial: August 2015

Another summer month draws to a close, with July being one of the busiest months here at Vive le
Roq, both in terms of visitors and number of posts. Not bad, considering I was on holiday some of the time.

This year we've upped things a bit and already have close to the number of posts we managed over the whole of 2014 .

We've certainly come a long way since 2010's grand total of 24 posts.

August is traditionally a quieter month, with much of France taking time off. Many releases are held off until La Rentrée at the beginning of September.

Meanwhile there are still  festivals taking place, including the Route du Rock at  St Malo  on August 13 and Rock en Seine in Paris over the last weekend  of the month.

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 again to the French Music Office in London and to the Institut francais in London for their help and encouragement.

Merci et à bientôt

John K