Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Festival: Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

With the summer festival season getting under way, details have emerged of one of the more interesting festivals in Paris this autumn.

The Pitchfork Music Festival Paris is held over three days in October at the Grande Halle in La Villette, and promises a taste of some of the most interesting contemporary acts.

So far for this year M.I.A., Moderat and DJ Shadow have been unveiled, along with Bat For Lashes, Daphni and Minor Victories.

Minor Victories consist of members of Mogwai, Editors and Slowdive and are something of an indie-rock supergroup. Their debut album is released next month.

More names will be added to the bill in the run-up to the event, and they'll almost certainly be quality additions.

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris is held on October 27, 28 and 29.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Renaud: J'ai embrassé un flic (clip)

A new video for the new single J'ai embrassé un flic by Renaud.

I like the video, a simple idea, the singer doing his bit to distribute some love on the streets of Paris.

While the song commemorates events in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack, the single comes at an interesting time, with tensions between many oft he public and the police force under stress like never before.

The song is vintage Renaud, funny and touching, clever and honest. He fully understands the paradox of the situation, where a few decades ago he would have been facing the police in the street with open hostility rather than embracing them. I suspect the feeling would have been mutual.

Where does this put Renaud amid the current state of emergency and anti-police tension? He's probably just glad to be here and able to articulate some of the strangeness that followed the horrors of last year's attacks.

Hopefully we'll get to hear his thoughts about what's going on at the moment before too long.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

France at The Great Escape 2016

The Great Escape festival begins in Brighton today, a major event showcasing some of the finest emerging talent as well as an opportunity for music business professionals to get together, discuss, swap notes and hear some interesting sounds.

It's the closest thing in the UK to SXSW, with hundreds of acts playing in dozens of venues across the town.

The event has in the past featured some of the best French acts and this year is no exception, with 12 acts from France featuring on the bill.

The event has in the past seen the likes of Christine and the Queens, while last year Jeanne Added, Hollysiz, Saycet and Camp Claude were among the French acts.

Jain might have been nominated for a Victoires de la musique award in February for last year's Zanaka album in the breakthrough album category,  the Yodelice produced collection going on to sell massively on the back of the number one single Come, but there's a rare opportunity to catch her in the UK as she plays Brighton this afternoon at the Queen's Hotel and at Paganini Ballroom tonight.

Hyphen Hyphen picked up the Victoires de la musique award for breakthrough act in February, following their Time album from 2015. I've liked their busy electro style since I featured it last year, and they're at Brighthelm on Friday afternoon and at Prince Albert on Saturday afternoon.

Her are one French act who have been making small but significant inroads to the UK recently, and they're playing Brighton as the last of four dates in Britain that saw two shows in London earlier this week.

Their Her Tape Number One EP  was released last year and it presented an act overflowing with very interesting ideas. They've followed it with Her Live tape One six track EP featuring live versions and covers of released earlier this month. They're at the Queen's Hotel this afternoon, and at the Hope and Ruin this evening.

Also on the bill are Fakear, who plays a set at 2am on Friday at Komedia, DBFC who play Horatios on Friday afternoon and Prince Albert on Saturday evening. Holy Oysters play on Saturday at Brighthelm and M. A. beat platy tonight at Patter and on Friday at Horatios.

Pollyanna meanwhile plays a shot n Saturday afternoon at the Spiegelpub and at the Queens Hotel on Saturday night,

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

David Guetta: This One's For you

We'll be hearing a lot more of this David Guetta track between now and the summer.

This One's For You is the official anthem for the Euro 2016 football tournament, being held in France in June and July.

It follows a long tradition of mediocre football-related songs over the decades. Zara Larsson is a winner of the 2008 Swedish version of Britain's Got Talent, and she's recently been in the top five the UK with the song Lush Life.

Guetta meanwhile faces accusations of plagiarism over the new song, with claims that the song is more than a close relative of Lean On by Major Lazer.

If France hopes to get a higher profile for French music onthe back of Euro 2016, it's a bit of an own goal. While Guetta's certainly an international French brand, there are plenty of more interesting musical acts in the country at the moment, plenty of which could have come up with something ahead of the tournament. Imagine what someone like Justice could have come up with.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Superbus: On The River

A new unreleased track by Superbus has emerged ahead of the release of the band's sixth album this summer.

On The River is available to anyone who pre-orders the new album Sixtape, which is due out on June 3.

Meanwhile, a new promo video has emerged for the track Strong and Beautiful, the first single from the album, marking the group's return to activity.

Their most recent track before was their version of Téléphone's Un autre Monde, the unquestionable highlight of the mixed bag that was the  Ça, (C'est vraiment nous) various artists tribute album.

Their last full album was 2012's Sunset album, which reached number five in the French album charts. Since then Superbus vocalist Jenn Ayache released a solo album, entitled +001.

Superbus have a tour in October and November, with a show at le Trianon in Paris on October 29.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Matthieu Chedid: Purple Rain at Cannes

A performance at the Cannes festival by Matthieu Chedid saw a tribute to Prince, with a version of Purple Rain by one of the French artists who was most influenced by him.

Chedid's -M- persona could be seen as inspired by the late star, with his playfulness and humour along with his genre-defying take on music, helped by his apparently effortless musical ability.

Of course, Chedid is a very different artist to Prince, but I reckon he took a few of his ideas and made them his own. He'd certainly not be the only artist to do so.

Chedid's been touring with his family, his last solo studion album was 2012's Îl, which he followed with a live album the following year.

He's just recently back in France following a tour of Asia that saw him play in Hong Kong, China, Korea and Japan.

Mathieu Chedid interprète Purple Rain en... by tuxboard

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Dom DufF: Kalon

A new single by Breton folk singer Dom DufF, with the track Kalon.

It's in Breton, the title means 'Heart'. I don't speak Breton, but that doesn't stop the track being an earworm after just a couple of listens.

Duff's releases a new album to be entitled Ker in October.

His last album, 2013's Babel Pow Wow won the best breton Album of 2014 award by France 3 TV

Artists like Dom DufF don't just keep the Breton language and culture alive, they keep it vigorous and essential.  Long may it continue.

Cannes Film Festival 2016

The Cannes film festival opens today, an event that sets the international standard for events that could be described as 'glittering; or 'star-studded.'

Hundreds of A-list stars and directors will be at the event, and while 21 films are  competing for the Palme d'Or , the Un Certain Regard category, Out of Competition and special screenings are packed with interesting work from France, the USA and beyond.

Needless to say many of France's leading names are on the bill, with movies featuring the likes of Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Isabelle Huppert, Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel.

There are no fewer than two films featuring Marion Cotillard in competion for the Palme d'Or, From the Land of the Moon and It's Only the End of the World.

Vanessa Paradis is on the jury for the Feature Films category and while better known as a singer in the UK, it's worth remembering she's had a lengthy film career and won a César award for her appearance in the film Noce Blanche.

Jim Jarmusch will screen his documentary about Iggy Pop Gimme Danger as well as his movie Paterson, one of the 21 contenders for this year's Palme d'or.

French director  Olivier Assayas has his film Personal Shopper in competition for the Palme d'or, a film featuring Twilight star Kristen Stewart. Assayas will forever be held in a high regard by this blog for his early work making the video for the track Rectangle by Jacno.

While careers will be made, deals done, reputations established and cinema and its stars celebrated, Cannes above all presents an international showcase for France as a world-leading arts producing nation.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Jean-Louis Murat: French Lynx - C à Vous

An appearance by Jean-Louis Murat on C à Vous

Murat recently released his latest album Morituri last month, French Lynx is the opening track of the new collection and emerged as a single in February.

Murat's last studio album was 2014's Babel album, a critical and commercial success for the singer who's been releasing work since the mid 80s. 

I've been a fan of Murat since I first heard him in the early 90s and he's always been a class act. His new collection continues to add to that reputation.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Christophe: Océan d'amour

 A new video by Christophe, with a clip for the song Océan d'amour.

The track features on the veteran chanteur's new album Les vestiges du chaos which was released last month.

The album was one of the key releases so far this year, kept off the number one position in France only by the new album by Renaud. Not bad for two of France's senior figures on the music scene.

The 70-year-old's last album release was 2013's Paradis Retrouvé collection, his career going back  to the mid 1960s.

Christophe features on the new album by Jean-Michel Jarre to be released later this week, revisiting their collaboration from the early 70s.

The new video follows the release of the clip for the track Dangereuse which came out just ahead of the album.

Christophe begins a series of live dates at the end of this month, with shows until July and more scheduled for the end of the year and into 2017 with dates in Paris at the end of January and into early February.

Editorial: May 2016

Back to work again on the Vive le Roq blog after a few weeks that have seen me taking it a bit easier than usual, but we're back to regular service.

I've been delighted to see the traffic coming to the site has maintained the high level of the previous month, despite (or because of?) fewer posts going on the site. Our second busiest month in terms of traffic since we started, just a whisker behind the record set in March.

This month sees Christine and the Queens play in London, France's favourite female artist of the moment attracting a higher profile than any French act for quite some time.

Releases this month include the second volume of Jean Michel Jarre's Electronica project, the Heart of Noise,  featuring another batch of fascinating collaborations.

Festival season gets under way seriously this month, with events like the Art Rock festival in Saint-Brieuc running for three days from May 13. This year looks a vintage year for festivals in France, with events all summer covering a vast range of genres, featuring international acts as well as some of France's biggest names.

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.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq or you can find me at @karnag

If you're around Facebook, remember to like the French Music Podcast UK page, where you can get regular updates with both fresh and vintage French music.

Thanks as always 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