Monday, 27 February 2017

Magma et le Mëtalïk Orkestraah on France 3

A TV report on France 3 about the mighty Magma, in particular their recent shows at the Olympia in
Paris earlier this month.

For their two gigs on February 2 and 3, the band were accompanied by a group of young musicians under the name Magma et le Mëtalïk Orkestraah for a unique series of performances.

The young musicians were students of Didier Locksood, the jazz violinist who himself played with magma in the 1970s. His career also saw him play with Pierre Moerlen's Gong as well as a lengthy discography of solo works covering jazz and jazz rock.

There's some brief footage of magma performing, both vintage and present day, confirming if there could be any doubt, that they remain today every bit as breathtaking a live proposition as they did then.

It would be ideal if more of the Olympia gig was made public, but the band said they would not be releasing recordings of the shows or video footage, probably balancing up the expense makes things more difficult that they used to be.

A few clips have appeared online, but it would be nice to get more full-length live Magma. Still, with a double DVD of their Emehntehtt-Re trilogie released at the end of January, there's no shortage of new Magma material so far this year.

Meanwhile, live dates around France and Switzerland in march will be well worth catchnig if you have the opportunity.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Gojira: The Cell

A new single released by the mighty Gojira, a French act who have in recent years become one of the world's most respected metal acts.

The Cell comes from Magma, their sixth album, a release that dominated their genre last year.

Gojira were nominated for two Grammy awards, and while they may have lost out to other acts, a double nomination for a French act in two of the most high profile - and most competitive - categories is quite an achievement.

The four piece were up for Best Metal Performance for their track Silvera - which went to Megadeth's Dystopia - and best rock album, which went to Cage the Elephant.

The album reached the top 30 in the UK following its release last year and was one of 2016's most significant metal releases, getting that increasingly rare combination of artistic respect from critics as well as commercial success.

The band are set to tour the UK next month, having performed in arenas around the country in November and December last year supporting Alter Bridge.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Victoires de la Musique 2017 winners

Friday night saw the big annual showcase for French music held at the Zénith in Paris and screened
around the country.

This year's big winner was Jain, who picked up two awards, best female artist and best video for Makeba.

Her live performance of the song Makeba was perhaps the highlight of the show.

Jain had been nominated in the breakthrough album category last year, but lost out to Louane's Chamber 12 collection. It might not be the same kind of award collection that Christine and the Queens picked up over the past couple of years, but it will certainly do her a lot of good as she aims to conquer the English speaking market in 2017.

Elsewhere, I was delighted to see the return of Renaud rewarded with a best male artist award, but particularly pleased to see Radio Elvis win the breakthrough album category for Les Conquêtes.

Elsewhere, best rock album award went to Louise Attaque, the best electronic or dance album went to Kungs.

Vianney's Je m'en vais was the best original song of the year, Benjamin Biolay picked up the best chanson album for Palermo Hollywood. Best breakthrough act was LEJ.

JAIN "Makeba"

Friday, 10 February 2017

Victoires de la Musique 2017

Tonight's a big night for the French music industry , with this year's Victoires de la Musique winners being unveiled in Paris.

The Zénith hosts the 32nd Victoires award ceremony and it's shown on France 2.

Of those on the verious shortlists, this year I'd like to see wins from Jain, Acid Arab, Jean-Michel Jarre, La Femme, Julien Doré, Radio Elvis and Minuit.

It would be something special if Renaud picked up best male artist.

It remains a massive high profile showcase for France's musical talent, whether established artists and emerging acts. many of the shortlisted acts will be performing and there should be some memorable clips.

Hopefully many will be made available o an international audience, I'll be watching attentively.

Editorial: February 2017

If you're a regular here, and I hope that you are, you'll have noticed there's not been much on the blog for the last couple of weeks.

I can only apologise, but other things have unexpectedly taken up much of the time that I would normally give to Vive le Roq. The blog is very much a one-man operation and I'm afraid these things can sometimes happen.

It's been frustrating, but bear with us and we'll be back to normal as soon as we possibly can.

There have been a huge number of new releases I've not had time to write about, along with many other interesting developments in the French music world that I've not been able to reflect.

Fingers crossed I'll be able to catch up over the next few weeks and get things back on an even keel.

Thanks for your support.

John K