Monday, 25 December 2017

Johnny Hallyday: Noel Interdit

Given the momentous events in the past few weeks, it was only fair that we give Johnny Hallyday a mention on Christmas Day.

A 1973 acoustic version of Noel Interdit on TV, with Jane Birkin watching on.

If the death of David Bowie shook fans - and at the end of the day anyone who was into music in a big way had to be a fan of Bowie -  the death of Johnny meant France lost not only their Elvis, but their Beatles, Stones, Tom Jones and Bruce Springsteen at once.

The French music landscape in 2018 will be a very different one from previous years. Whatever your view about Johnny, there was no denying his presence. He was measure against which, in music terms, success, celebrity, popularity, and career could be measured.

So 2018 will see a posthumous album recorded in 2017, but there will be no promised rock and blues tour. Stadiums and arenas across France will each stand empty and silent one extra night.

We'll never see the likes of Johnny Hallyday again.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Anggun: What We Remember

French star Anggun is currently appearing as a judge on Asia's Got Talent for the second time, but
she's still found the time to release a new single entitled What We Remember.

The song gives a flavour of Anggun's most recent album,  an English-language collection entitled 8. Throughout her career she's released material in French, English and Indonesian, normally with an English and French version of each album.

Her last album was 2015's Toujours un ailleurs, and rather than record an English version of that collection, she went instead on to record completely new material in English for the 8 album.

Anggun is a hugely successful French Asian artist, reaching an international audience following her move to France from Indonesia in the late 90s, her Au nom de la lune album establishing her in France after generating huge sales and a Victoires de la musique nomination. 

She's gone on to sell millions of copies of subsequent albums, become one of Indonesia's most high profile celebrities and become a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

If there's something that looks a bit familiar in the video, it's maybe the bridge. If you've seen the Orelsan video for the track Basic, the scenes for Anggun's video were shot at the same location in Ukraine.

It's a small world after all!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Bertrand Cantat: L'Angleterre

There will always be a problem with Bertrand Cantat. His return as a solo artist following the years of Noir Desir and later with Detroit has been matched by the storm over the events that separated those musical endeavours, his killing of  Marie Trintignant and subsequent prison sentence.

The decision by Les Inrocks to feature Cantat on the front cover, to interview him and the arguments, polemics and debates that followed showed quite clearly that the death of Marie Trintignant will never be forgiven or forgotten. The very question of whether or not Cantat is allowed by society to be a public figure remains unresolved, and is unlikely ever to be.

In the meantine, Cantat's debut solo album Amor Fati came out at the beginning of the month, with the song L'Angleterre released as a single. It would of course be convenient to write Cantat off completely, but he was an outstanding artist before the killing, one whose worldview and politics were seemingly in the right place, and to a large extent that is what he remains, albeit with something of an elephant in the room.

Cantat's always been a politically aware artist, and this song has Brexit England as its target. With refugees fleeing the horrors of their homelands, England decides it wants its money back. For those running for their lives, Cantat tells us, there's no light at the end of the Channel Tunnel.

The hopeless guardsmen in the video are as accurate a metaphor for the pathetic situation England has chosen for itself as you can imagine. Tradition, ridiculous costume and the folk memory of an imagined military might from the past is all that there is left.

Even the Beatles flavour of the music is appropriate, again reminding us that while European countries are facing the future and the difficulties that are involved in that, England chooses to look back to the past.

While there's always been an argument (usually from me) about the French using the word L'Angleterre (England) to describe the UK, in this instance I'd say it's perfectly justified. Scotland didn't vote for Brexit and neither did Northern Ireland, both countries instead wanting a peaceful future as part of Europe, with the benefits of co-operation and friendship. Cantat's right to target l'Angleterre rather than the Royaume Uni  here.

I remember Renaud's Miss Maggie making the news in the UK when it was released in France. Politicians in the UK questioned how a French singer could dare criticise the British PM. That same arrogance towards our fellow European countries is now leading the country towards a very bleak future. I doubt Cantat's criticism of England will now even register with the media in the UK.

Cantat's got a tour in March April and May of next year, where the next round of the Cantat debate will play out. He plays the Olympia in Paris on May 29.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Les Oxalis

A new video by Charlotte Gainsbourg, with an appropriately sombre clip for Les Oxalis.

The track again comes from her Rest album, released last month and arguably her finest work.

I'm a big fan of her previous albums, and this one may even surpass those. It's a crafted and dense work, with much to take in.

If there were any doubt that Gainsbourg was a successful actor whose music work could be regarded as a side project, this album made clear that she very much remains a unique musical artist, deserving of the commercial success and critical praise she's received.

It's another extraordinary clip, the video for Les Oxalis was, like her previous video for Lying with you, directed by Gainsbourg herself.

Gainsbourg stars in the film La Promesse de l'Aube, due to be released in France on December 20.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Art Rock festival and the return of Marquis de Sade

With festival details continuing to emerge in recent days, the Art Rock festival held in Saint-Brieuc in Brittany is the latest to confirm their headline act and it's an interesting one for sure.

In a well-curated decision, Rennes-based act Marquis de Sade, one of the original post punk acts are set to headline.

Marquis de Sade were heavily influenced by UK post punk, and were active from 1977 to 1981, releasing two albums in their career, Dantzig Twist (1979) and Rue de Siam (1981).  Essentially a three piece with supporting musicians, their career may have been short, but they left a memorable impression and were one of the acts that helped establish Rennes as a credible place for music.

Their sound had an angular modern flavour with a taste of funk, more sophisticated that the reheated rock n roll revival sounds of many punk bands. While pioneers of cold wave rock, there's something of UK 70s prog outsiders Van de Graaf Generator in what they do, albeit perhaps more streamlined.

Their work stands well alongside UK contemporaries like Magazine or Gang of Four but also with later acts like The Cure and Bauhaus.

Marquis de Sade signalled their return with a gig at Le Liberté in Rennes in September, although apparently it was to be a one off performance.

The 35th festival Art Rock is held at Saint-Brieuc on May 18, 19 and 20. More acts are to be announced in forthcoming weeks.

Moodoïd: Au Pays Des Merveilles de Juliet on  C à vous

Another great appearance on last week, with Moodoïd performing Au Pays Des Merveilles de Juliet
on the France 5 evening chat show.

Moodoïd are one of the recent French acts I've had the pleasure of following over the past few years, from underground act to their debut album, and now hopefully some mainstream success. It's certainly well deserved.

The song is a cover of a track originally by Yves Simon and it features on Moodoïd's five track Reptile EP that came out in November, alongside two versions of the title track and the songs Miss Smith and Planète Tokyo.

Moodoïd made a welcome return to live appearances last month, with a show at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris as part of the Les inrocks festival.

There are no plans for any other live dates at the moment, but I'm sure the prospect of more gigs cannot be far away.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Orelsan for We Love Green festival

French rapper Orelsan is the second headliner to be announced for this summer's
We Love Green festival at the Bois de Vincennes in the east of Paris in June,

Bjork was confirmed as the other headline act a few weeks ago, making her only 2018 appearance in France on Sunday June 3.

Orelsan has a French tour in 2018, but it has already widely sold out including two dates at the Bercy arena in Paris in March.

Orelsan's La fête est finie was one of 2018's most significant releases, marking the rapper's return as a solo artist after his success as part of the Casseurs Flowters duo.

Last summer We Love Green featured Justice, Solange and Benjamine Clementine, the two day event hosting three stages of musical acts, others hosting events including talks, films and debates that reflect the environmentally aware tone of the event.

Held in the largest public park in Paris, the festival aims to be ecologically sustainable, and features events to raise awareness of environmental issues as well as hosting a well-curated selection of musical artists from indie-rock to dance and electronic.

We Love Green 2018 is being held on the weekend of June 2 and 3 and tickets are already on sale.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Roméo Elvis: Nappeux

However you measure it, there's something very strange about the Atomium building in Brussels. It's a landmark like no other, sitting over the city like something from a science fiction movie.

It's an appropriate visual metaphor for the video by Roméo Elvis for the track Nappeux.

French rapper Grems also makes an appearance on the track which was produced by Le Motel. It originally featured on the Roméo Elvis/Le Motel album Morale 2 which is being re-issued as a deluxe edition next year.

Some of the video is shot at the Théâtre royal des Galeries, a more traditional landmark for the city but it's the Atomium that makes it clear that the action for Roméo Elvis' track centres on Brussels.

La Magnifique Society Festival

French music festival details are coming in thick and fast, with the schedule for the summer's music
events looking like a busy one again.

Today a mention for the La Magnifique Society festival in Reims in June. It's a three day event at the heart of France's Champagne country, with a strong bill of French acts taking to the stage.

Orelsan, Jain and Etienne Daho are the big names, but also playing are Selah Sue, Petit Biscuit and Cigarettes after Sex, among others. There's a strong French flavour to the acts, but given that the festival's pretty much in the heart of the country that's maybe no bad thing.

Worth mentioning that tickets for the three days are a very reasonable 60 euros, meaning that even with the unfavourable pound/euro exchange rate it's still pretty fine value for money for a three day festival. Single day tickets are 35 euros.

With ticket prices for festivals in the UK now so high they should probably be offered with a mortgage, it's heartening to see events where they can still get big name acts and charge a reasonable price to see them.

Maybe it's because there are more French acts on the bill and fewer big ticket international acts pushing the prices up. But it's a good thing to see for sure, and the prices might temp a few adventurous UK festival fans to go along and see some of France's best acts in their natural summer environment.

More names are to be added to the event, which takes place on June 15, 16 and 17.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Booba : Friday

Something of a Star Wars theme to the new video for the track Friday by Booba.

The desert, the cinematography and the stylings all reference the world's best known science fiction film series, but perhaps the appearance of the black R2-D2 gives the game away.

The track comes from his most recent album Trône one of the biggest selling rap albums in recent years.

Booba wants it known he's playing at a galactic scale these days. It's been two years since his Nero Nemesis album was released, but his popularity and his ambition remain undiminished.

Trône, his ninth album, was released earlier this month, the title both a nod to the longevity of his rap career and to TV show Game of Thrones.

Ozzy, Foo Fighters, Manson and Guns n' Roses for Download Paris

Another day, another big French summer music festival releases details of who's on the bill for their
big event. This time it's the turn of Download Paris, the rock festival in the capital scheduled for four nights in June.

There are four big names at the top for each day Ozzy Osbourne for the first night, Marilyn Manson the second, Foo Fighters on the third night and Guns 'n' Roses on the Monday night.

Also playing are Ghost, the Offspiring and the Hives and alongside Volbeat, Opeth, Alestorm and dozens of others including Black Veil Brides, Slaves, Turbonegro and Wolf Alice.

There are still more names to be added, but what's striking is how many acts there are, and the range of rock genres on display.

Hellfest 2018, France's biggest rock festival which takes place later in June has some serious competition. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Avenged Sevenfold are among the acts confirmed for this event, with more to come. Looks like it will be quite a summer for the festival-minded French metal fan.

Download Paris takes place from June 15-June 18 and tickets are on sale now.

MC Solaar: Live on C à vous

Last week saw French rap pioneer MC Solaar appear live on French TV evening chat show C à vous.

Solaar recently released a new album, Géopoétique, ten years after he last released an album, 2007's Chapitre 7. If there were any concerns he'd lost his touch over the past ten years they were quickly put aside. 

Géopoétique gave him his first number one album in France since 1997 and has been one of the key releases of this year.

Solaar's always been head and shoulders ahead of the others an it's a remarkable appearance on C à vous, showing rap's widespread appeal in France isn't limited simply to fans of the genre.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Vielles Charrues 2018 lineup

The acts playing this year's Vielles Charrues festival in Brittany have been revealed, with Depeche
Mode, IAM, Gorillaz and Orelsan among those set to play.

Jain, Liam Gallagher, Massive Attack, Young Fathers and Romeo Elvis are among the others playing.

The festival, held in Carhaix, is one of France's biggest summer music events with over 200,000 people attending. Last year's festival included Justice, Manu Chao, Phoenix, Renaud and Arcade Fire and there's always a good mix of French and international acts on the bill.

It's certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1992.

The Vielles Charrues festival is being held over four days, July 19, 20, 21 and 22. Tickets go on sale on December 13.

Grégoire: Mes enfants

A touching video for the track Mes enfants by Grégoire, the second song to be taken from his recently released album entitled A écouter d'urgence.

It's the kind of classically sentimental chanson that the French do very well. It could have been written any time over the last 100 years although has something of the favour of Renaud's ballads about it.

Grégoire's 2008 debut album Toi + Moi was a massive seller and established him as an artist in France.

A écouter d'urgence is Grégoire's sixth album including the Thérèse, Vivre d'Amour concept album that saw him directing the musical settings of poems by St Thérèse of Lisieux.

His most recent album was 2015's Poésies de notre enfance which again saw him again take poetry and adapt it to music.

A écouter d'urgence was released in November, publicised by the track La Lettre.

The Limiñanas: Shadow People

A new video for the track Shadow People by French psych duo The Limiñanas.

The video comes ahead of the release of their new album in January, also to be entitled Shadow People.

The track originally emerged on their Istambul is sleepy EP in October, and features a contribution from actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner. While best known as an award-winning actress and wife of Roman Polanski, Seigner has also enjoyed a music career as part of Ultra Orange & Emmanuelle who released an album in 2007 and as a solo artist who released her debut solo album in 2014.

The Limiñanas are a duo of Marie and describe what they do as Garage/Pop/Psyche. They have been working together in the deep south of France since 2009 and released their self-titled debut in 2010 and have released three subsequent albums, the most recent being 2016's Malamore.

The Limiñanas have dates in February and March, including a show at the Trianon in Maris on March 29.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Carla Bruni: Live in London

A chance to see that very sophisticated chanteuse Carla Bruni in London this weekend, with the former first lady playing at the Union Chapel on Saturday night.

With her husband no longer in office for the past few years, she's been able to resume her musical career and has released two albums since then, Little French Songs in 2013 and French Touch earlier this year.

She released her Comme si de rien n'était in 2008 while her husband was president, the collection reaching number one in France. She was already an established artist be then, her debut Quelqu'un m'a dit from 2003 reaching number one in the French charts, her second No Promises from 2007 doing the same.

French Touch sees her covering songs originally recorded in the English language. While some like Moon River or Crazy are standards, there are some interesting choices including a version of Highway to Hell and Enjoy the Silence.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

#acoustic: Arcadian on @tv5monde

Another strong edition of TV5Monde's music show Acoustic, with a set by Arcadian.

The band, a trio of Jérôme, Florentin and Yoann have the kind of sound that fits the format of the show perfectly and they emerged from the fifth season of the TV show The Voice.

Their self-titled debut album was re-issued in November with extra tracks, the album already featuring the tracks Folie arcadienne and Ton combat.

Arcadian are in the middle of a tour of France that has dates until April, and they play at the Bataclan in Paris tonight.

Tracks performed include Ou je serai demain?, Les sables emouvants, Ton combat, Carmen - their cover of the Stromae song - Folie arcadienne and La fuite.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

La Féline: Live in London

Despite the magnitude of today's music news from France, there are many other things going on that deserve a mention on the blog.

One such event is a concert in London by La Féline, appearing at the Institut francais du Royaume-Uni, with former Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier as support act.

Quite a bill for the latest of the IFRU's Music Rendezvous events, with the acts performing and intimate show in the historic building's Art Deco library.

Following their performances, the two acts will have a chat with their audience.

La Féline singer Agnès Gayraud appeared on BBC Radio's World at One news programme this afternoon to pay tribute to Johnny Hallyday, with a thoughtful interview that gave a good flavour of what he represented in France, and an idea of the ambiguities surrounding him. She performed an acoustic version of Hallyday's Quelque Chose de Tennessee.

It's available to listen to online on the BBC Player, about 40 minutes into the programme.

I'm a big fan of Gayraud's work and while the circumstances are difficult, it's hard to imagine a better ambassador for French music today.

Johnny Hallyday RIP

Terrible news this morning. Johnny Hallyday nous a quitté.

Somehow despite the fact he was gravely ill his death still comes as a shock. We'd seen Johnny face what seemed like the end before, and he always managed to rise above it. But it's the end of the story now.

It's easy for the Anglophone press to sum him up as the French Elvis, but there was so much more to him than that. He was - in France - the spirit of rock 'n' roll.  He was the Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, the blue collar bluesman, the sequinned showman, the wise old guy on the TV talent show. A career that embraced rock 'n' roll, pop, country and blues and he mastered them all.

The fact that in recent years he faced so many serious health problems and kept going was an inspiration to others facing similar challenges.

He was one of the first celebrities to see his career followed by the media in intense detail, his triumphs and his blunders, the mistakes and the triumphs.

He may not have had a final act like Johnny Cash, but his output in his later years saw him dig deep into the defiant spirit of rock 'n' roll, his voice all the more powerful.

There was no one like Johnny, and there never will be anyone like him again.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Main Square Festival: More acts added

of the blank spaces on the bill of next summer's Main Square Festival have been filled in with the announcement of more acts to take to the stage of the three day event in July in Arras.

It's one of the biggest summer festivals in France, and this year's headliners are Queens of the Stone Age, Depeche Mode and Orelsan.

Today sees fourteen more more big names added, with BB Brunes, Girls in Hawaii and Gojira among the French acts. Nekfeu, IAM and Loic Nottet are also there.

International acts include Liam Gallagher, The Breeders and Wolf Alice.

2017 saw Radiohead, Major Lazer and Jain as well as Talisco, and La Femme play at the event in the town centre.

Main Square festival is held on July 6, 7 and 8 and tickets go on sale on December 5.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Lying with you

A touching video for the track Lying with you by Charlotte Gainsbourg, a track from her recently
released Rest album.

The video was shot in the home she grew up in with her father Serge Gainsbourg and her mother Jane Birkin, the famous 5 bis rue de Verneuil which has been left by his family as it was while Serge was alive as a memorial.

Fascinating to see things like the L'homme à tête de chou statue, some of the keyboards he would have played and composed on, as well as the Gitanes and lighter still where Serge left them.

The song deals with Charlotte's memories of her father, her experience of his death and her subsequent feelings. It's a powerful piece and a haunting video that was directed by Charlotte herself.

Charlotte's album has been one of the key releases of 2017, and from a career that's already seen a couple of albums that are favourites of this blog, it's a real pleasure that an artist you've admired has released a piece of work that even surpasses what they've done before.

The young girl in the video is Charlotte's daughter but it feels like her father is somehow part of it too, his absence like a shadow.

Editorial: December 2017

November saw things get back to a more usual regular footing on this blog. Regular for a time
preceding 2017 that is.

Things have been strange this year and this blog has had to take a bit of a back seat while things come together, but hopefully we're in a position now where we're able to get back to normal.

November shows that this is certainly possible, with just about as many posts in a matter of weeks as I managed to get through in the course of the rest of 2017.

One thing that's sure is that there's been some impressive work released over the past few week and months. From Charlotte Gainsbourg to Feu! Chatterton some acts I've been writing about here have put out new work that ranks with their best. In coming weeks and moths I'll certainly be doing my best to represent as many of these as I can and pass on some of my enthusiasm for the French music scene.

Elsewhere there are a good many new acts that I've been impressed by and intend to write about. With both the Trans Musicales de Rennes festival and the Bars en Trans event over the same weekend in Rennes in a matter of days, I intend to look at some of the acts on the bill at these two events, both impressive and well-curated showcase events for some of the finest emerging talent from France and further afield.

December can be a strange month for releases, with the last weeks of the Christmas release rush, with special editions and repackages for the gift market, but there are some interesting things scheduled. Similarly, some big acts are firming up their plans for 2018 and others are touring at the moment, and more details are emerging about this summer's festivals in France. I'll be across all of this, with

As always, you can contact us at 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 drop me an email. I'm always keen to hear new things, and relay information about acts I already know and love.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq, although that's pretty much just an autofeed when we update with a new article. You can usually find me on my personal Twitter account quicker, @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 good folks at Oui Love Music From France .

Merci et à bientôt,

John K

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Ibeyi: Deathless on C à vous

A very strong performance from Ibeyi on France 5's C à vous show earlier this week, with the track Deathless.

Ibeyi are the kind of act that thrives in the French music scene. The sisters might be French by birth, but they were raised partly in Cuba, and influenced by Yoruba and Santeria.

Their music takes the best elements of this powerful mixture and presents it with the best modern production into something quite unique.

Their album Ash, their second, was released in France at the end of September, reaching the top 20.

Ibeyi have dates around Europe in early December, and go on to play some shows in South America before returning for more European gigs including London on February 28 and at the Olympia in Paris in October.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Sébastien Tellier and Dita Von Teese: Rendez-Vous

There was always a tendency amongst lazier commentators to describe Sébastien Tellier as 'the new Serge Gainsbourg', but given the fact that many critics and their readers might struggle to name other French artists, you can understand where they're coming from.

Tellier's an artist with many sides to him, but his latest project sees him very closely following the footsteps of Gainsbarre, in that he's created an album for a female act who's perhaps not exactly well known as a singer.

Gainsbourg is well known for the albums he created for Jane Birkin and Vanessa Paradis, but he also created collections for Bambou, Isabelle Adjani and Catherine Deneuve.

The collaborative album between Tellier and Dita Von Teese is the burlesque artist and model's debut album.

Tellier described working hwith Von Teese saying: "When I saw Dita dance to a piece of music I had written for her, I had a feeling that her physical presence and her personality were a perfect fit with my music and I started to compose only for her,”

He added: "When you think that you’ve finally pierced Dita’s mystery, she turns out to be more than ever, a creature of dreams, totally out of reach."

I'm uncertain whether this release will establish her as a singer, or if it remains an interesting diversion to Tellier's career. Either way, it's an interesting development in the careers of two remarkable people.

 Von Teese's album will be released in February 2018 on Record Makers.

Calogero: La vraie vie

A new track has emerged from Calogero, an out take from his most recent album that has been added to a new edition of the album along with a selection of other bonus tracks.

The track La vrai vie features on the special edition of his most recent album, Liberté chérie, which originally came out in August.

Liberté chérie is his seventh album and includes the hit Je joue de la musique and it's already sold over 125,000 copies in France and reached number one in the charts.

The new edition also includes alternative version and a session recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Calogero is an immensely popular musician in France, his last collection 2014's Les feux d'artifice selling over 800,000 copies and becoming one of the biggest sellers in a career that had already seen two of his albums achieve diamond status.

Calogero is currently working with Johnny Hallyday, having contributed his version of Johnny's Elle m’oublie on the On a tous quelque chose de Johnny tribute album that's currently France's biggest seller.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Festival: Le Print­emps de Bourges 2018

Are we already thinking about 2018's festivals? Some of the big events happening over the summer have already named their headliners, nice to see some of the names emerge for this year's  Le Print­emps de Bourges event.

The big name is Orelsan, who plays on April 26 .  Also on the bill are Juli­ette Armanet and Véronique San­son as well as Catherine Ringer who play on April 24

Elsewhere there are LEJ and Brigitte who play with Rag 'n' Bone Man on April 25

Shaka Ponk, Ibeyi and Hollysiz play the Happy Friday night on April 27 and Rone and Laurent Garnier play the Rock 'n' Beat night on April 28.

Le Print­emps de Bourges pretty much kicks off the annual festival season in France, and it's got a firm reputation for delivering a well-curated mix of artists, this year looks no exception.

 Le Print­emps de Bourges takes place from the 24 to the 29th of April.

Benjamin Biolay and Chiara Mastroianni: C à Vous

A live appearance on French TV show C à Vous from Benjamin Biolay, a musician who has the kind of ubiquity in French music that Mark Ronson has elsewhere.

The performance of iEncore Encore! features an appearance by Chiara Mastroianni who appears with him on the album Volver, released earlier this year.

Mastroianni is perhaps better known as an actress, the daughter of French acting legend Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni.

She was married to Biolay from 2002-2005 and they released the album Home as a duo in 2004.

Biolay's Volver album sees him continue to explore latin music, and features appearance by other singers including Catherine Deneuve and Mala Rodriguez.

I managed to miss out on quite a few very fine live performance on C à Vous over the past few months, and I'm tempted to spend some time checking them out and putting together a page with a few of my favourites.

TV5Monde #Acoustic: Barbara special

A special edition of TV5Monde's music show Acoustic this week, with artists paying homage to French chanteuse and singer-songwriter Barbara.

The show marks the 20th anniversary of her death.

The focus is on classical pianist Alexandre Tharaud, whose recently released homage double album entitled Barbara saw him interpret some of her work alongside Albin de la Simone, Hindi Zahra and Tim Dup who feature on this broadcast, as well as others including Jane Birkin, Vanessa Paradis, Dominique A, Juliette Binoche and Radio Elvis.

It's a mark of the respect and affection that Barbara is held in that a cast like this was assembled to pay tribute.

Songs featuring in the session are  Pierre – Valse de Franz, La dame brune, C’est trop tard, Pierre and Say, when you will return?

Monday, 27 November 2017

Michel Sardou: Sardou et nous

While the compilation album of younger artists performing the work of Johnny Hallyday is attracting  huge amount of attention and subsequent sales, there's also a similar work looking at the career of Michel Sardou, entitled Sardou et Nous.

Sardou, who is 70, recently announced that he intends to retire from performing and recording after a career in music and film that has lasted over 50 years/

His recently released album Le choix du fou has been a massive seller in France where his popularity over the decades has withstood changes in fashion and style, as well as political controversy.

The tribute album features contributions from much younger artists, alumni from Kids United and the Voice Kids, such as Nemo Schiffman, Lou, Ilyana, Dylan and YouTube star Angie Robba.

Robba's version of Sardou's song Rouge, originally from 1984 has been released with a promotional video, with Sardou himself appearing in the clip.

Sardou has been playing some final live dates across France, and plays at La Seine Musicale near Paris from December 26 to January 7 with more dates around the country in February and March 2018.

BB Brunes: Terrain vague / Pyromane

A cinematic recent video by BB Brunes for the tracks Terrain vague and Pyromane, two tracks that feature on their Puzzle album.

It's their fourth album, released in September five years after their last release. It's a difficult situation for a modern rock band to be in at the moment, faced with the possibilities of becoming artistically stale and reheating earlier successful formulas, or adapting to more modern influences and risking losing their audience.

But I reckon BB Brunes managed it well, and while obviously a very commercially orientated act, they've managed to come up with something that sounds fresh and doesn't alienate those who grew up with the band.

The new video follows the release of ones released for the track Éclair Éclair in June and Coups et blessures that came out in August. Lalalove U emerged in March with its wonderfully retro stylings.

BB Brunes have an extensive tour of France in their diary from January to April next year, and play in Paris at the Elysee Montmartre on February 14.

Fishbach: Live in London tonight!

If you're in the London area, there's an chance to see one of France's finest acts live tonight, as Fishbach plays the Garage.

She's in the middle of a large scale tour that sees her play dates in France in December, January and February.

It gives me a great opportunity to feature a recent video of a special show she performed in Paris, in the crypt below Notre Dame in Paris.

Fishbach's A ta merci debut album was released in January 2017, perhaps a bit early to be a  contender for album of the year 2017, but none the less a work that helped establish her as one of France's most distinctive artists in recent years.

With any luck the opportunity to see her perform in London is a chance to see an artist who will before too long get the attention she deserves from the anglophone audience.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Gaspard Royant: Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Can it be that time of the year already?

Yes, that time when a strikingly dressed man comes from a cold part of the world with gifts for all the good girls and boys.

It certainly is, and Gaspard Royant, the king of the Haute Savoie Doo Wop Garage 'n' Roll scene is the man of the season again.

His new collection Wishing You a Merry Christmas features the hit (C'mon Baby) It's Christmas Time - which, like Gaspard's other work, should be a hit by the time you read this along with a bunch of other festive favourites.

Gaspard's released Christmas tracks over the past few years, and this collection brings them together in a fine Christmas bonus.

You can find it on a variety of digital platforms to stream or download and with a few weeks to go until the festive season proper, you've got plenty of time to replace those Mariah Carey tunes in your playlist.

A few words about Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest

A week after its release, I thought it worth reflecting on Charlotte Gainsbourg's new album Rest.

It's probably the best release of her career so far, and I'm a huge fan of her previous work.

Gainsbourg always faces a couple of major critical hurdles. The first is that she's the daughter of two of France's most famous and critically respected artists. Serge and Jane are both pretty large figures to be measured against. It's difficult for any artist who's the progeny of a famous parent to get the respect they perhaps deserve in their own right.

Perhaps Charlotte's success in cinema has helped her break this perception. I think Serge Gainsbourg  wanted to be a bigger figure in cinema than he managed to be. The films he directed remain an interesting footnote to his biography despite his success with soundtracks and title songs and Charlotte's success showed her excelling in a field that her father only had limited success.

Meanwhile, she was up against the regular sexism that all too many female artists face. The success of her earlier work was too frequently credited to her male collaborators. See how many articles discussing her career mention Beck, Air or Jarvis Cocker.

The new album features production credits by SebastiAn, as well as Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo from Daft Punk and a songwriting credit from Paul McCartney, but none of these dominate the work that she stages. They set the scene, and it's as classy a production as you could hope to come across.

But it's Charlotte who really shines here. It's the work of a mature artist, confronting real life issues with poetry and grace and probably one of the finest works to emerge in 2017.

Shaka Ponk: Wrong Side on C à vous

An appearance on France 5 TV show C à vous for Shaka Ponk, following the release of their new album The Evol,

Shaka Ponk are one of France's most distinctive rock acts, taking elements of punk rock, dance, funk, hip hop and world music, making the kind of colourful and energetic racket that can't help but entertain.

They've been around since 2004, and have the kind of following that propelled their last two albums, 2014's The white pixel ape and The black pixel ape - which were released simultaneously - into the top ten.

In many ways they take up the challenge set by bands like Mano Negra, producing a music that reflects the cultural kaleidoscope that is present-day Paris.

As a live act Shaka Ponk have a formidable reputation, and are touring arenas around France from the end of January and play Bercy in Paris on March 23.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Les Inrocks 2017 festival

Paris hosts this years Les Inrocks festival until the weekend, with acts, DJs, talks and events at the city's Gaite Lyrique and Casino de Paris venues.

The event, which kicked off yesterday and runs until November 26,  celebrates the 30th anniversary of the magazine, which has become one of the country's leading publications, going beyond music and becoming essential reading for wider cultural and political issues.

Among those on the bill are Ibeyi and Django Django,  while Marie Flore played a set at Les Bains  last night.

Moodoid play on Saturday at the Gaite Lyrique in what will probably be one of the highlights of the event.

Other events include appearances by writers including Will Self and a DJ set by Franz Ferdinand's Paul Thomson.

Organisers say that this year's event is faithful to the publication's ambition to be there when things start, and have curated acts and artists that will feed conversations for months to come.

BB Brunes: Live set on Acoustic on TV5Monde

I've not followed TV5Monde's Acoustic show as regularly as I should have in recent months, and as a consequence I've been looking back at some of the recent sessions that I've missed.

Standing out is the set from October by BB Brunes, one of France's brightest modern rock acts.

This year marks ten years since the band released their Blonde comme moi debut album, a top ten hit in France that established them as one of France's most popular rock bands of their generation.

It's been five years since they released Long Courrier, an album that featured regularly on this blog.
BB Brunes recently released their fourth album entitled Puzzle, described as a more dance-orientated collection.

BB Brunes are touring France extensively form January until April next year and play the Elysee Montmartre in Paris on February 14.

The Acoustic show also an interview with Berald Crames and Adrien Gallo.

The tracks played during the session include Pyromane, Éclair Éclair, Lalalove U, Coups et blessures and Terrain vague.

Lamomali: Solidarité

An uplifting new video that features -M- and a cast of thousands is the latest release from the
Lamomali album, a collection that sees him accomplish his ambition of creating an album that celebrates the musical heritage of Mali.

M has been inspired by Mali since he was young, and for this collection that came out earlier this year he's working with some of the biggest names in that country's music, kora player Toumani Diabaté, Sidiki Diabaté and Fatoumata Diawara. 

The new video features contributions from Nekfeu, Santigold and Youssou N'Dour.

Lamomali are about to release a live album, Lamomali Airlines, in a few days time.

Lamomali have been playing at festivals over the summer, and are just about to undertake a series of live dates at Arenas around France. They've got two shows at the AccorHotels Arena on December 18 and 19.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Louane sings Johnny Hallyday

The various artists tribute to Johnny Hallyday has emerged - just in time for Christmas - featuring a
number of younger artists taking on their versions of classics by Le Rocker National.

On a tous quelque chose de Johnny, released last week, includes contributions from Benjamin Biolay, Nolwenn Leroy and Garou, with 16 tracks, all of which are so well known in France that they have become of standards.

You'll hear then on TV talent shows, and they're regularly covered by other French artists, and it remains a source of bewilderment to many in France that the songs popularised by Johnny are not better known to the Anglophone music world.

Johnny is again fighting serious health problems, but remains indefatigable. 2017 saw a tour with les Vieilles Canailles, and he's recording a new album with Yodelice and Yarol Poupaud, the team behind his most recent studio collection De l'amour.

That 2015 album - his 50th studio album - was a number one seller in France, and went on to pick up the Best Chanson award at the Victoires de la musique 2016 ceremony.

There's also the prospect of a 2018 tour by Johnny on the horizon.

In the meantine, the new collection puts the focus on new interpretations of his work

Louane, who is currently the number one selling album artist in France, has a version of Toute la musique que j'ame. It's a very bluesy take of the song and while she might not have the power of Johnny's voice,  she makes it very much her version of the track.

Bjork to headline We Love Green 2018

Nice to see it confirmed today that the We Love Green festival next summer will feature Bjork as the
headline act.

It will be the iconic singer's only French date in 2018 and she plays on Sunday June 3.

We Love Green is being held at the Bois de Vincennes in the east of Paris, the largest public park in the city.

The festival featured Justice, Solange and Benjamine Clementine in June 2017, with artists playing three stages over two days, two other stages hosting events that reflected the festival's green credentials, including talks and films.

It aims to be ecologically sustainable, and features events to raise awareness of environmental issues as well as hosting a well-curated selection of musical artists from indie-rock to dance and electronic.

Bjork is a natural act for an event like this, a cutting edge artist whose heart is always in the right place.

It's a perfectly sized event, and its location in the city means it's easy to access and to find accommodation for the weekend.

We Love Green 2018 is being held on the weekend of June 2 and 3 and tickets go on sale on November 29.

Melody's Echo Chamber: Some welcome news!

Delighted to see some good news from Melody Prochet, singer with Melody's Echo Chamber following a serious accident earlier this year.

In June she was involved in an accident that resulted in her being in hospital for several months. Her tour was cancelled and the release of her album which was expected to be released this year was postponed.

Melody's 2012 self-titled album was a key release in recent French psychedelia, as much informed by dream pop as it was by the retro future sounds of Stereolab.

The album was produced by her then partner Kevin Parker, from Tame Impala, and was met with a serious amount of critical praise and attention. Noticeably it got a great deal of favourable press in the English language media from the likes of Mojo and the NME.

The track Cross my heart was released earlier this year, ahead of the planned release of her follow-up album Bon Voyage. However, these plans were put on hold as a consequence of her accident.

With her attention fully on her recovery in recent months, a recent update on her Facebook page has been a very welcome piece of good news.

I'm delighted to see things going well for her, and hopefully the message marks the beginning of a new phase in her career that sees health and success for her in equal measure.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Orelsan: Tout va bien

A new video for the track Tout va bien by Orelsan, from his recently released La fête est finie, a
collection that looks like being one of 2017's key releases.

The track was co-produced with Stromae, the video reflecting perhaps a more thoughtful and reflective tone. Stromae, one of the biggest names in francophone rap, has been quiet recently due to health issues, but his presence is on both this track and on the track La pluie.

La fête est finie is Orelsan's third solo album. He resumed his career as a solo artist after working again as half of Casseurs Flowters. The track Basic introduced the album in some style, its video like the one for Tout va bien shot in Ukraine.

The new album has been the biggest selling release of his career so far. Basic has had over 30 million views on YouTube so far. While Tout va bien might have some work to catch up on this total, it's certainly an impressive piece of work in its own right.

Orelsan has got dates in arenas around France and bordering countries from February, and has a gig at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on March 15

Hollydays: Léo

A very psychedelic flavoured video by the duo Hollydays for the track Léo.

Hollydays, a duo of Elise Preys and Sébastien Delage, recently signed to Polydor in France, are a duo who have been working together since 2014.

They released an EP in 2015, Les insatisfaits, a classy five track affair that followed Les Animaux the previous year.

I featured them in this blog in 2015, and it's encouraging to see their talent being recognised. They've got the potential to make a considerable commercial impact, and to hopefully continue to do some interesting things.

Hollydays release a four-track EP in January.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Moodoïd: Reptile

With my focus being elsewhere last month I missed mentioning the new track by Moodoïd, one of
this blog's favourite acts to emerge in France over the past few years.

Moodoïd, featuring Melody's Echo Chamber guitarist Pablo Padovani, made an impact with their Je suis le montagne and De folie pure singles, their reputation cemented by their Le monde Möö album in 2014.

They're also a convincing live act, I was delighted to have the opportunity see them at the Transmusicales festival in Rennes.

Reptile continues the funk flavoured strangeness mission made explicit with their Au Pays des Merveilles de Juliet cover released earlier this year.

The new track is something that wouldn't be out of place on Prince's Around the world in a day album.

Moodoïd play in Paris at the Inrocks festival at La Gaîté Lyrique on November 25.

Nolwenn Leroy: Quelque chose de Tennessee

Ahead of the release later this week of a various artists tribute album to French rock legend Johnny Hallyday, a clip of Nolwenn Leroy performing her version of the Hallyday classic Quelque chose de Tennessee has emerged.

It's more or less the title track of the collection, named On a tous quelque chose de Johnny, which features contributions from a cross-generational collection of artists including Thomas Dutronc, Florent Pagny, Benjamin Biolay, Calogero and Patrick Bruel.

Some of Johnny's best known works feature, including Noir c'est noir, Ma gueule, Marie and Que je t'aime.

This kind of album has been a fairly constant feature of the release schedule in the run up to the Christmas season, with collections in recent years featuring work originally by Telephone, Daniel Balavoine, Jacno and - probably the most commercially successful - Jean-Jacques Goldman.

Some have been better than others, most stick to a pretty successful commercial format - get some young reality TV stars to perform a song by an act from a previous generation - and it's an item for fans of the young acts or for fans of the older act curious to hear the new versions.

Leroy's no stranger to the works by the Grand Fromage of French rock, and has performed alongside him repeatedly over the years. She appeared with Johnny during the 2002 season of Star Academy she later went on to win, and has since  featured on other TV shows alongside Johnny.

With a cast featuring some of France's big name recent pop stars and a heritage,  reputation and fan following as large as Johnny's, the only surprise is that this hasn't been released already.

Monday, 13 November 2017


London hosted this year's edition of the MTV European Music Awards at the weekend, one of the biggest budget music award ceremonies on the continent.

The focus, being MTV, was firmly on the north American and UK music world, with three awards going to Canada's Shawn Mendes - Best Artist, Best Song and Best Fans. Kendrick Lamar  took best video award for Humble, and Dua Lipa the best breakthrough act.

Coldplay, 30 Seconds to Mars and Eminen picked up the best rock act, best alternative and best rap act awards.

However, the Best Electro award went to France's David Guetta, who performed a set in London's Trafalgar Square after U2, recipients of this year's  MTV EMA Global Icon Award,  played there.

Elsewhere the Best French Act award went to Amir, who picked up the award for the second year in a row.

French-born Amir originally competed in the Israeli version of the TV show Pop Idol in 2006, before eventually signing to a French label. He competed in The Voice: la plus belle voix in 2014/15, finishing third.

He went on to represent France in Eurovision in 2016, releasing his second album Au cœur de moi, a double platinum seller in France. This year his single États d'Amour was released in September, his new album Addictions released at the end of October.

Bataclan anniversary

It's two years on since the Bataclan atrocity, and while coverage of the event moves quietly from music sites to a few paragraphs on news sites alongside a picture of the president as just another routine ceremonial political event, it's worth reflecting for a second on what happened.

Ninety people died at the Bataclan, in a night that saw a total of 130 people killed. It was the worst terrorist attack ever on French soil, and anyone who ever read a music blog, went to a gig or was moved by music could have been in that audience.

That it was the Eagles of Death Metal mattered not at all.  Those behind the atrocity did not discriminated on musical genre, style or artistic merit. Nor did they discriminate on ethnicity, race, country or ideology.

There remains a debate as to whether or not it's appropriate for bands to have played the Bataclan  following what happened. Personally, I think to have closed the venue would have seemed a victory to those who perpetrated the violence.

It's not dancing on the graves of those who died. No one could attend the Bataclan unaware of what happened there. And to go the Bataclan, to celebrate live music, art and culture, to dance, to be happy and free however briefly from the worries of everyday life remains a pretty positive act of defiance against those who would rather see us dead.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Rone: Mirapolis

A new album by French electronic artist Rone is something worth celebrating. Mirapolis comes three
years after his Creatures album, a favourite of this blog.

Mirapolis features contributions by a wide variety of artists including Baxter Dury, John Stanier from Battles,  Kazu Makino from Blonde Redhead and Bryce Desser from The National who appeared on Creatures.  Cellist Gaspar Claus makes a repeat appearance. The cover was designed by French film director Michel Gondry.

 Creatures was, to these ears, a work that took contemporary French electronic music to another level, and Mirapolis looks set to do much the same. It's a work that reveals more depth and colour with repeated listening. Expect to see it on a few 'album of the year' lists over the next few months.

Rone played at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris, where he played at the Grande Halle de La Villette last week. His set's available to watch thanks to the good people at Culturebox.

Rone plays in London at the Steelground on Saturday.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Editorial: November 2017

So last month wasn't exactly a success in terms of writing content for this blog. Onwards and upwards.

November sees the new release by MC Solaar at the end of this week after a ten year absence. He's already confirmed a series of live dates for next year to follow up the release.

Last month saw the return of Orelsan, with La fête est finie reaching number one in the charts, a release that looks like the biggest seller of his career so far.

This weekend also sees the NRJ Music Awards 2017, perhaps France's most mainstream music award, and one that normally sees non-French acts dominate the headlines, but it's always interesting to see the results.

So a promise to do better this month, and this time we mean it!

As always, you can contact us at 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 drop me an email. I'm always keen to hear new things, and relay information about acts I already know and love.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq, although that's pretty much just an autofeed when we update with a new article. You can usually find me on my personal Twitter account quicker, @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 good folks at Oui Love Music From France .

Merci et à bientôt,

John K

Monday, 2 October 2017

Editorial: October 2017

Finally a busier month here on the Vive Le Roq blog as we move towards a more regular service again.

September was our busiest month so far this year for posts, a good thing, but still well behind where we should be, and where we've been in previous years. So onwards and upwards and into the closing months of 2017, with a flurry of activity and a huge number of interesting releases.

September saw a huge number of French music related events in the UK and beyond, from Justice in London to a significant Francophone presence at the Liverpool International Psychedelic Festival.

This month sees Lou Douillon playing in Sheffield among other live highlights of the weeks ahead. There are also some significant new releases on the cards, including the new offering from OrelSan, following the release of his astonishing new video.

There's also a new album from Charlotte Gainsbourg out in early November, so we can hopefully see some more activity from her in the forthcoming weeks.

As always, you can contact us at 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 drop me an email. I'm always keen to hear new things, and relay information about acts I already know and love.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq, although that's prety much just an autofeed when we update with a new article. You can usually find me on my personal Twitter acount quicker, @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 good folks at Oui Love Music From France .

Merci et à bientôt,

John K

Friday, 22 September 2017

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Deadly Valentine

Another new track by Charlotte Gainsbourg ahead of he relase of her new album later this autumn, with a video for the track Deadly Valentine.

The title track of the new collection, entitled Rest, came out earlier this month.

Charlotte's been busy with her film career over the past few years, and hasn't released an album since 2011's Stage Whisper collection of live material and out-takes.

Rest features collaborations with Paul McCartley, Daft Punk's Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Connan Mockasin and is released on November 17.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Marietta: Nos Ventres Nus

There's a chance to see one of France's most interesting developing artists in London tonight, with Marietta
one of the acts on the bill at Birthdays in Dalston.

Marietta is a project that revolves around singer songwriter Guillaume Marietta.

The clip comes from his second album, La Passagère, which  was released last Month on Born Bad Records, the label wihich is also home to some of France's most colourful and interesting acts of the moment such as La Femme and Orval Carlos Sibelius.

It follows his 2015 debut Basement Dreams Are The Bedroom Cream, albeit it with a  bigger budget than that album's lo-fi handmade production. Despite being performed in French, La Passagère was recorded in the USA.

Marietta play live in London tonight as one of the acts on the bill of the latest Oui Love club event at Birthdays in Dalston, alongside Aquaserge and Dead Sea.

Dead Sea: Lotion

A striking video from Dead Sea for the song Lotion, originally released in May.

It's a dark and hypnotic work from the Paris-based four piece, with the kind of video David Lynch might have made were steeped in eastern European modernist architecture and design.

They describe what they do as 'turbo chillwave', and that sounds fair enough to us.

It follows their debut track 8.50 that emerged earlier this year.

Les Inrocks rate Dead Sea as one of the key new French acts worth following at the moment. they supported UK showgaze legends Slowdive at a show in Paris last year.

Dead Sea play live in London tonight as one of the acts on the bill of the latest Oui Love club event at Birthdays in Dalston, alongside Aquaserge and Marietta.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

OrelSan: Basique

A new clip from French rapper OrelSan, announcing the release of a new solo album.

The video for Basique was shot on a partially-constructed bridge in Ukraine with the help of a drone. It's quite a piece of work and was directed by Greg&Lio who have previously worked with Jain and with Orelsan's Casseurs Flowters project.

Orelsan hasn't released a solo album since 2011's Le Chant des Sirènes, a top three seller in France. It went on to win best urban album of the year Victoires de la Musique award the following year, OrelSan also picking up the breakthrough artist of the year award that year.

Since then he's been concentrating on his work with Casseurs Flowters, the duo of OrelSan and Gringe enjoying massive success in France with two albums and a film so far.

Orelsan's success has not been without controversy, with accusations of misogynist and homophobic lyrics over the years. His work with Casseurs Flowters has probably helped with his critical and popular rehabilitation, the stripped down rap he delivers for Basique seems to target those who he believes have failed to understand his work.

Orelsan's album is released on October 20.

Oui Love Psych Made in France

There's a pretty special gig in London tomorrow, with three of France's contemporary psych acts taking tothe stage of Birthdays ahead of the Liverpool Psych Fest at the weekend.

Aquaserge, Makietta and Dead Sea are the acts performing in Dalston, all much rated by this blog.

The event is being held by the good people at Oui Love Music Made in France, in partnership with Rockfeedback and The Line of Best Fit.

It's the third time Oui Love has been held this year, and it's developing into a well-curated showcase for French acts in the UK.

France has been a fertile ground for fine psych acts in recent years, and the chance to immerse yourself in three of then is an opportunity not to be missed.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Francis Cabrel: Le Fils unique

Francis Cabrel is marking the 40th anniversary of his career with the release of two previously unreleased songs, and the release of his back catalogue on streaming platforms.

Cabrel has always been a principled artist, and had for a long time refused the use of his music on online streaming platforms, and only this week confirmed his change of heart.

He announced his back catalogue would be available to listen via streaming on September 18, the 40th anniversary of the release of his debut album Les murs de poussière, a collection that featured his top five hit single Petite Marie.

Cabrel's gone on to release 13 studio albums and half a dozen live collections in his career so far, and written some iconic modern chanson works including Je l'aime a mourir and Je t'aimais, je t'aime et je t'aimerai. His most recent studio album was 2015's In extremis, a follow up to 2012's album of Dylan covers Vise le ciel.

Cabrel's initial decision to prevent the release of his material on streaming sites was down to a number of reasons, he told le Parisien, including the fact that he ragarded the sound quality as inferior to CD, that artists - particularly young artists - were not getting sufficient renumeration and that streaming was slowing the sales of albums.

But his opinion changed on seeing his own children's use of streaming as a means to consume music, and his own subscription to a streaming service saw him realise how practical it was. He could access new releases when they came out, he could download then as he would a newspaper, and appreciated how it could actually encourage those who loved music to buy a CD.

Two new previously unreleased songs have come out to mark the occasion, and a new album from Cabrel is expected some time next year.