A tour of the UK gets under way today for the legendary Jean-Michel Jarre, probably one of the best known French artists both commercially and critically outside France.
He's inspired generations of musicians over his career, as his two recent Electronica collaborative albums show. The collections also showed that there's a huge audience for Jarre who perhaps weren't familiar with his work, but who had grown up listening to contemporary electronic artists who themselves had looked to Jarre for inspiration.
He is also one of the artists who inspired the creation of this blog, and one of my first experiences of French music many decades ago.
His Elecronica tour is first proper UK tour since 2010, and it sees arena shows across the country. Perhaps smaller than some of the shows he's played in the past, but its always going to be tough to top the world record for attendence at your shows. I doubt we'll ever see 2.5m in one place again for a gig like there was at his show at La Defense. Never mind over a million for his shows at Houston, Paris in '95 and at Place de la Concorde in 1979.
Jarre of course played in the UK over the summer at the Blue Dot Festival at Jodrell Bank, an appropriately forward-looking science flavoured festival.
The UK dates are just part of his tour, with 38 shows in 22 different countries scheduled.
Dates in the UK are Cardiff tonight, Brighton, London, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow on October 14, with a show in Dublin on October 10.
Beyond the tour Jarrre's confrmed his next project is a third volume of his Oxygene collection.
Hw said earlier this month: "When I was recording Electronica, two years ago, I did a piece of music
(today Oxygene 19) that made me think about what Oxygene could be if I
was composing it today."
Oxygene 3 is released on December 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of the original landmark release.