Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Jenifer: Paradis Secret

A new single with a clip by Jenifer for the track Paradis Secret, the first track from her forthcoming new

Her new album, her seventh, is expected in the autumn. It's been a successful career for the Star Academy graduate, winning the first season of the reality TV series.

She's gone on to become one of France's most high profile performers, and appears on the french edition of The Voice as one of the regular coaches.

Her last album was 2013's Ma Declaration , a collection of interpretations of songs originally performed by France Gall. It reached number two in the charts, and led to a number of singles.

The new track has already reached the top ten in France, enjoying more success than any of the tracks off her last collection.

She's recently announced a series of concerts in 2017, with shows across France in February and March.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Christine and the Queens: Tilted on the Graham Norton Show

Another major step forward in Christine and the Queens' gradual world domination with a memorableappearance on one of the UK's most popular entertainment shows.

The artist formerly known as Héloïse Letissier performed a live version of the song Tilted, the English take of the song originally known as Christine. 

Letissier was of course originally inspired by her time in London to create Christine and the Queens, nice to see her finally being so widely accepted here.

The song's gone on to receive national radio airplay on Radio One, and while Chaleur Humaine might have originally emerged two years ago, it's still evidently still winning people over. 

The album is now sitting at number one in the UK iTunes chart, ahead of Radiohead, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers and er...Rick Astley. Tilted sits at number 15 in the iTunes singles chart. No small achievement for a French act.

Christine and the Queens play Glastonbury on June 24, and the Latitude festival on July 15.

Fête de la musique 2016 #fdlm2016

Every day on this blog we celebrate a fête de la musique, but today's the day that France as a whole celebrates music.

In venues across the country from concert halls to street corners, music is being celebrated in all its variety. Events are free, and participation and involvement is encouraged.

The French government via the Ministry of Culture supports the event, as does cultural media institutuions like Radio France, France Télévisions and TV5monde.

It's been an annual event in France since 1982, and it's being marked this year in around 120 countries.

In London, the French Music Bureau are hosting an event at the Rich Mix on Bethnal Green road featuring Talisao, rapper Man Like Nells and a DJ set from C.A.R.

Elsewhere, the Alliance Française Glasgow has been linking with the Cottier Chamber Project to put on a series of several classical music performance, and organising a series of lunchtime cultural conferences. Today, as well as a screening of the film Il est minuit, Paris s’éveille, it's also  hosting an open stage for performers.

The Institut français d'Écosse in Edinburgh has a busy programme, and is hosting French acoustic folk singer Adrian and French- Cameroonian indie perormer Djana Gabrielle.

Playing in the venue's theatre there's also Edinburgh indie band Fuzzystar, and local based (But Buenos Aires formed)  band The New Beans and Franco Scots act Jack and The ' .

So while France enjoys a day of Music, there's plenty going on elsewhere, and of course this blog remains a place where French music is celebrated every single day.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Hellfest 2016

Another major festival weekend in France, with among other events the Hellfest event being held in Clisson.

While there are other major metal festivals in Europe, among them Download in the UK and its associated French event, but Hellfest looks head and shoulders above the rest.

It genuinely features metal in its widest possible definition, from classic rock to underground, heritage acts to developing artists.

This year was the eleventh time it's been held and its reputation has grown to the extent that an increasing number of fans in the UK are now attending Clisson or considering heading there next year.

Given the choice of Clisson or Donnington, the French venue seems all the more attractive, and with 140acts there was something for pretty much every rock fan on the menu.

This year Black Sabbath and Rammstein headlined, with Megadeth and Slayer among the many, many acts worth seeing.

Some acts played both Download and Hellfest, including Rammstein and Sabbath, and while Download may have had Iron Maiden, Hellfest had Ghost who cancelled their appearance at Download.

However, for this blog the prospect of Magma playing was something special. Sunn o))) and Earth were on the same stage, all presenting extreme rock that falls beyond any normal category.

Hellfest will be on again next year, on June 16, 17 and 18.

Transmusicales festival: 2016 Visual unveiled

The visual for this year's Transmusicales festival in Rennes has been unveiled by the event
organisers, with an eyecatching work by grafitti artist WAR!

His work is familiar on the streets of Rennes, he describes his work as ' a little poetry amid the concrete.'

Tickets are already available for the event in December, and again reasonable by UK festival standards, with a VIP three-day pass for the Parc Expo where the main acts play coming in at 66 euros, the regular weekend pass coming in at 49 euros.

Preceding the event many of the acts involved play local shows across the west of France, with shows in Caen, rennes, Morlaix, Nantes, St Avé, Quimper and St Malo between November 9 and November 25.

There will also be a series of free concerts and workshops in the  Ille-et-Vilaine department in the run up to the festival from November 12 to 25th.

More details will be released by the event on September the first.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Mylène Farmer: C'est pas moi

A new single from Mylène Farmer, with the track C'est pas moi the third release from her
Interstellaires album.

It follows Stolen Car - a duet with Sting - and  City of Love. Both songs reached number one in the French charts, City of Love featuring a particularly memorable video, something Farmer's been synonymous with throughout her career.

Interstellaires, which came out in November last year gave Farmer her 12th number one album.

The cover for the new single is a watercolour by Farmer herself.

There's no video out as yet for the single, I'm certain one will follow before too long, and it will be interesting if she can add to her total of 15 number one singles in France.

It's a quite extraordinary achievement and one that few artist would be able to match.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Grand Blanc: The Unexpected Festival, Forum des Halles, Paris

A nice little clip of Grand Blanc playing at the Unexpected festival, an event held at the Forum des Halles in central Paris at the weekend.

The Festival, which ran from the 8th to the 12th of June,  was organised by the team behind the Rock en Seine festival as five days of free shows, with a particularly well chosen line up.

Other than Grand Blanc,  other favourites of this blog made an appearance including Gaspard Royant, O, Jil is Lucky and acts from further afield including Shells, Shock Machine and Rocky.

It's a nice use of the new civic space, hopefully we'll see more of this kind of event at the recently-renovated Les Halles.

Grand Blanc meanwhile play the Rock en Seine festival in Paris at the end of August.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Euro 2016 Tournament

The Euro 2016 tournament gets under way in Paris today, with hosts France playing Romania.

For once France are going into an international tournament tipped as possible winners.

But the performance by Les Bleus on the pitch so far isn't being matched by the musical performances associated with the tournament.

The official anthem for the event is by David Guetta, featuring Zara Larsson.

It's not Guetta's best work, it has to be said and although he's certainly a big international 'brand' he's probably not  most interesting artist in the country.

He headlined last night's Euro 2016 opening show at the Champ de Mars, while other acts on the bill at the event included the likes of will.i.am, Louane, Kendji Girac, Soprano, as well as Christophe Maé and Florent Pagny. They could have fielded a stronger team to be honest.

France's anthem for the event is a cover of the Kiss track I was Made for Lovin' You by Skip The Use. Needless to say, there's been much debate about the song for the French national team in the Euros - held in France - being in English.

All in all, a missed open goal given how much premier league class French music there is around to select from at the moment.

Let's be honest. The track record for football-related anthems hasn't set the terraces ablaze.

However, I reckon the BBC scored a last minute winner with the promo they're using for their Euro 2016 coverage.

If there's one French football-related song that wins any championship, it has to be Santa Maradonna by Mano Negra from their 1994 Casa Babylon album.

While perhaps a bit dated in its production, it manages to capture on the surface much of the excitement of the game, but a closer investigation reveals it's a pretty astute take on the ambiguities that fuel it.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Festival: We Love Green

Mixed reports about last weekend's We Love Green festival in Paris, held over Saturday and Sunday at the
Bois de Vincennes.

Much of the blame seems to go to the weather, something that's very much outwith the control of the best organised outdoors music event. Problems with the security, control of the crowd leaving the event and complaints over the price of drinks are, however, probably things that organisers should take into consideration.

It was the fifth time that the event has been held, and hopefully the problems that seem to have emerged can be taken care of. We love Green is a well-intentioned event and it's delivered well-considered line ups year after year so far. Hopefully organisers will learn from this year.

Fetty Wap cancelled, but all others scheduled for the event still played, including Air, PJ Harvey and LCD Soundsystem, as did Savages, James Blake, Hot Chip and Minuit.

However, no complaints about the quality of the acts, with Les Inrocks saying that the event was saved by the sets performed by Air, PJ Harvey and LCD. Three very different acts, but each of which were rated among the best concerts of the year by the influential publication.

Fréro Delavega: Le coeur éléphant

A new clip for the track Le coeur éléphant by Fréro Delavega, the song coming from the duo's album Des ombres et des lumières.

While the album - their second - was released in November last year, they've enjoyed continued success since their initial appaerance on The Voice in 2014.

Despite not actually winning, they were part of Mika's team and subsequently had a significant chart success with the single Sweet Darling and a debut album that reached number one in France.

Des ombres et des lumières has already spawned the singles Ton Visage and Autour de Moi.

They've got a huge schedule of live dates over the summer and have organised dates from March leading up to a show at the Accorhotels Arena in Paris on April 7.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Martin Solveig: Do it right

A new single and clip from Martin Solveig for the track Do it Right.

The new song comes in perfect time for summer, and its release coincides with the French Open Tennis championship in Paris, an event Solveig's been associated with since the release of his 2011 Smash album, with the tracks Hello and Ready to Go bringing hin to international attention, thanks in some way no doubt to the memorable videos.

Since then of course, he's worked with Madonna and has released tracks like +1. This release sees him collaborate with Australian singer and rapper Tkay Maidza.

The new video is a colourful and arty affair, and with more attention on France over the next few weeks on account of the Euro 2016 football, it will no doubt help to keep his profile high.

Solveig's got a full schedule of live dates over the summer, with regular appearances at Pacha in Ibiza as well as festival appearances across Europe including Creamfields in the UK on August 24.

Editorial: June 2016

I know, it's been quiet round here apparently. Not too many updates over the past few weeks, but these things happen. This blog isn't my day job, and there's been a lot of stuff going on to occupy my time outwith then recently.

While the number of posts may have been *ahem* 'more selective', there's been a huge number of visitors, with another record month in terms of traffic. Thanks for visiting, and hope you come again soon.

That being said, I'm hoping this month to get things back on track and quickly. There's plenty going on over the next few weeks, with the summer festival season getting into full swing. With events from We Love Green in Paris over the weekend to massive events like Hellfest and Glastonbury some of the biggest events of the summer.

Also worth remembering that the fete de la musique at the end of the month sees music on the streets of towns across France, from large scale events to community gatherings, A-listers to buskers in an annual performance that puts music back in the heart of the country's cultural landscape.

I'll be keeping an eye on these and other events throughout the month.

Meanwile, the schedule of French music releases continues as well as French acts touring in the UK. Selah Sue plays London on June 8 and M83 have got shows in the UK, and the likes of Christine and the Queens and Caravan Palace are playing at Glastonbury, Air and Rone also make British festival appearances this 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.

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