Thursday, 14 July 2016

Comett: Love 2.0.

Delighted to see a new video by Comett, with the release of the track Love 2.0.

It's a charming piece, packing more ideas into four minutes than many acts can fit into a whole album.

I love the video's  retro sci fi feel, something of a space odyssey with cute details like the ENG/FR lyric language indicator.

The band have been teasing the track for a few weeks, and it's certainly been well worth the wait.

I was taken by Comett's first release, Once upon a time/city of Lights, as fine a piece of electro pop as you could hope to find. Their My Reality is Your Fiction debut collection in 2014 proved they had a whole lot more to offer.

They're working on their second album, to be entitled Back to reality, which is released in the autumn.

In the meantime, the new track is available from the usual download sites.

July 14: Bastille Day

I always like publishing something appropriate to mark La fête nationale, Bastille Day, the annual commemoration of the French revolution.

While military parades and French presidential interviews fill the TV and fireworks light up town squares at night, La Marseillaise will no doubt be performed.

I've always liked the way Gainsbourg re-makes La Marseillaise, taking it from the hands of the establishment and re-connecting it to its popular origins.

This live version of the track from Le Zénith de Gainsbourg is quite different to the better-known studio version. While his reggae albums were pretty great, I've always thought his later work was quite under rated in comparison.

Interesting that the live version of Hey Man Amen from the same release features an early appearance by the then toddler Lulu Gainsbourg on stage, although not actually doing much other than being a very small kid.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Christine and the Queens: UK dates

Some exciting news today with the details of three dates in the UK by Christine and the Queens later this year.

While no stranger to playing the UK, she's already played two shows in London and a set at Glastonbury so far, it's great to see her play some dates outside the UK capital, particularly a show in Glasgow.

Safe to say she's finally cracked the UK market, with her album sitting high in the charts, and the track Tilted getting some serious airplay and being rewarded too with a high placing in the charts.

I even heard it played on a local commercial channel recently, given that it's the most commercially driven place for music, it's not usually a forum for anything terribly interesting.

Ahead of the shows in November, Christine and the Queens play the Latitude festival in the UK this weekend.

Grand Blanc: Verticool

A new video by Grand Blanc for the track Verticool, in quite a different visual style from their previous offerings.

The music remains as gritty and epic as ever.

It's another track from their Mémoires Vives abum that was released earlier this year,  probably one of my favourite French releases this year.

Grand Blanc have some festival dates in France and surrounding countries, including the Paleo festival in Nyon, Switzerland in July 19 and Rock en Seine on August 28.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Julien Doré: Le Lac

A new track by Julien Doré, with Le Lac getting a release after some short clips last week.

Doré's come on a long way since he won the fith season of Nouvelle Star, his last album Løve in 2013 reaching the top five in France and reaching double platinum sales.

The track Paris-Seychelles was the first single from that album, reaching just outside the top ten in France.

A subsequent live album came out documenting his extensive live shows that supported the release of the album.

Le Lac, a song which has some of the feel of Paris-Seychelles, comes ahead of Doré's forthcoming fourth album. As yet there are no details of the name or release date of the new collection, but it's certainly much anticipated.

A video for the new track is expected shortly.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Justice: Safe and Sound

A new track has emerged by Justice, with the track Safe and Sound played during a  DJ set by the band's manager at the Sonar music festival.

The new track was played by Busy P at the Ed Banger House Party, and a check on Shazam recognized it as a new unreleased track by Gaspard Michel Andre Augé and Xavier de Rosnay.

Their last studio release was 2011's Audio, Video, Disco, with a live collection Access All Arenas released in 2013 documenting their live show at the  Arena of Nîmes the previous year.

A new album by Justice is expected to be released later this year.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Damien Saez: Le Manifeste

A welcome return to activity from Damien Saez,an artist who is to these ears certainly one of France's finest singer songwriters.

Be's confirmed a series of concert dates, including three nights at the Bataclan in Paris in December before a tour across France in March and April, with more Paris shows in April.

He'll be releasing two albums before the end of the year, and is offering the opportunity for a year-long subscription to his new project which he has titled Le Manifeste, running from the end of July this year until the end of July next year, including streaming of the new releases and access to other material.

Saez's last album was Miami, released three years ago, an incendiary work from an artist who remains capable of not only surprising, but constantly delivering material that surpasses what for others would be regarded as artistic peaks.

I don't know what's ahead for Saez in the next 12 months, but I do know that it will be fascinating to find out.

Feu! Chatterton - Bruxelles Ma Belle session

A five-star session by the mighty Feu! Chatterton for Belgian blog Bruxelles Ma Belle.

An acoustic take on Boeing at the Hotel Metropole gives the track a stylish setting, the band looking at home in the plush surroundings.

The vesion of Le Pont Marie takes another track from the band's debut album in the photogenic and luxurious setting at the heart of the city.

Feu! Chatterton continue their live dates that followed the release of their Ici le jour (a tout enseveli) album with festival shows in the next few days,  including the Montreux Jazz Festival and the festival Pause Guitar.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Marc Lavoine ,Coeur de Pirate and Arthur H: Vivre ou ne pas vivre

A new track featuring the combined talents of Marc Lavoine and Coeur de Pirate, collaborating on the song Vivre ou ne pas vivre.

The release comes ahead of Lavoine's forthcoming new album, a project that sees him undertaking musical adaptations of the work of Hans Christian Anderson.

The album sees Lavoine work with Coeur de Pirate and Arthur H, the son of French music legend Jacques Higelin who has enjoyed a successful career of his own.

Lavoine established his career with the track Elle a les yeux revolver in the mid 80s, his most recent studio collection is 2012's Je descends du singe.

Coeur de Pirate is of course no stranger to this blog, her most recent album being last year's Roses, a top five release in France and in her native Canada.

The album, entitled Les souliers rouges is to be released in September.

Editorial: July 2016

Another month begins, with July smack in the centre of festival season. Some of this year's big ticket events in France have already taken place in the last month, from Hellfest to Solidays, Les Eurockeenes to Mainsquare.

Other high profile events are happening in the next few weeks, such as Les Francofolies and Vieilles Charrues.

We've been quieter here than usual, but aim, to make up ground again this month. There's certainly no shortage of things requiring an urgent listen to.

Again, we've seen another record number of visitors to the blog, which is always encouraging. Hopefully we'll see this continue month, with a significant milestone on the horizon.

June of course saw the UK take a massive step backwards on the international stage, with a vote to leave the European Union. It was a vote influenced by blatent xenophobia, misinformation, small mindedness and political shortsightedness. If anything, it shows the scale of the challenge anyone who is an advocate for French or any other European culture faces in the UK. The scale of the decision is horrific, and more will no doubt emerge in the months to come, and it will be a long time until the dust settles.

Ironically it happened at a time that saw French acts enjoy more success in the UK than they have for a while, with Christine and the Queens crowned at Glastonbury, Gojira delivering the molten metal materpiece that is their Magma album, while Kungs takes some French deep house to the high end of the UK charts.

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