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

MTV EMAs

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.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Moodoïd: Au pays des merveilles de Juliet

Delighted to report a new release by Moodoïd, to these ears one of the most important acts in France's fertile psych scene.

Pablo Padovani from Moodoïd was previously guitarist with Melody's Echo Chamber, one of the acts that helped bring France's  new psychedelic acts to the world's critical attention.

I've been a fan of Moodoïd since before the release of their 2014 debut Le Monde Möö. Their work has consistently surprised, shot through with a playful strangeness that refuses to be easily constrained by genre conventions.

Their album had flavours of jazz, Bollywood, electro and funk, a widescreen and technicolour creation with more creativity and adventure in one album than many artists manage in their entire career.

The new track is a very disco informed cover of Au Pays des Merveilles de Juliet, the title track of a 1973 album by Yves Simon. While making an instantly approachable track, Moodoïd keep the strangeness of the track to the fore.

Padovani's continuing to release surprising work, and it bodes well for future Moodoïd material. fingers crossed we won't have to wait too long.

Moodoïd play La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris as part of Les Inrocks Festival on November 25.


Friday, 15 September 2017

Lescop: Live in London

I've been a fan of Lescop since before his 2012 debut album, the artist known to his family as Mathieu Peudupin delivering a work that was as modern as it was steeped in the classic cold wave environment of the 80s.

So delighted to see he's got another show in the UK tonight, only a short time after he played here over the summer.

His second album Echo, released last year delivered on the promise of his debut, establishing him as one of France's most distinctive acts. Sophisticated and intelligent, but with an immediate accessibility.

You could reference the likes of French heroes like Daniel Darc or Jacno in relation to Lescop, or you might even recall some of the post-punk work done by Iggy Pop in the early 80s.

He's playing in London again tonight as the closing show of a series of autumn dates that quickly followed his summer festival engagements across France.

Lescop plays the Lexington tonight, with support from C.A.R and tickets are available here.


 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Rone: Brest

A new track by French electro pioneer Rone, ahead of the release of a new album later this autumn.

Brest continues his groundbreaking electronic work that began in 2008 and has seen him become one of France's most respected artists.

While perhaps not as commercially orientated as other French artists, he's gained some serious critical praise for his music, at times as close to modern classical as it is to the dancefloor.





Last year Rone collaborated with Jean-Michel Jarre on his Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise album alongside other collaborators ranging from John Carpenter and the Pet Shop Boys to Sébastien Tellier and Christophe.


Brest comes from Rone's forthcoming fifth album entitled Mirapolis, which is due to be released on November 3. The much-anticipated follow up to his 2015 Creatures album is released on Infiné Music.

Rone plays live across france and neighbouring countries in November and December and is in Paris at the Trianon on December 13.


BogZH Celtic Cats: Kazh ar Lagenn EP

We've  not been at our best in flagging up the developing French talent in recent months, due to inactivity on our part rather than the lack of interesting acts out there for sure.

BogZH Celtic Cats have a short video ahead of the release of their forthcoming six track EP, featuring a cover of the Dropkick Murphys' Prisoner Song, Scottish rebel favourite Ye Jacobites by Name and a couple of their own rousing numbers.

I've always loved French celtic music, maybe it's because I'm based here in Scotland and it seems a solid cultural link between our countries. Maybe just that celtic music really does sounds great in a rough rock setting.

I featured Daonet, the band that included some of the members of BogZH Celtic Cats way back when this blog was young. Good to see them getting on and releasing the kind of material that we need to hear more of.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Charlotte Cardin: Main Girl

Charlotte Cardin is a Canadian artist who has been making an in impression in France, particularly with the song Main Girl, the title track from her recent EP.

The Montreal-born former model appeared on The Voice in Canada in 2013 and made it to the finals. She went on to guest on Garou's Au milieu de ma vie album, duetting  on the song Du vent, des mots.

Last year she released her debut solo EP Big Boy, featuring lyrics in English as well as French.

Main Girl features on her six track EP of the same name that was released at the beginning of this month.

With a soulfulness that belies her youth, Charlotte Cardin has the kind of voice that we'll be hearing a lot more of in the months and years to come.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest

A new track by Charlotte Gainsbourg is always going to get our attention, especially when it's a track involving Daft Punk's Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo.

The light electro backdrop he creates is a perfect stage for Gainsbourg's distinctive vocals.

The song Rest comes from her forthcoming fifth album, her first since 2011. As well as Daft Punk, the cast of guests includes Paul McCartney, Owen Pallett, and Connan Mockasin.

Her last collection was 2011's Stage Whisper album, a double album that featured out-takes from her IRM album and a live set.

Since then a cover of Hey Joe, for the Nymphomanic soundtrack, is all that she's released since.

Still, given that there was 20 years between her Charlotte For Ever debut and her 5:55 second album, it's really not been that long a wait.


In recent years she's maybe been concentrating more on her acting career than on her musical output. Given the career she's had, you can't blame her. Her father worked with film throughout his career but never attained the level of artistic and critical success that Charlotte has enjoyed, with César and Cannes awards to her name.

The next chapter in her musical career  is expected to be released on November 17 on Because Music.




Thursday, 7 September 2017

MC Solaar: Sonotone

A welcome return from French rap legend MC Solaar, with the track Sonotone emerging ahead of his forthcoming new album.

It's ten years since he released his Chapitre 7 album - a top ten release in France - almost a lifetime in rap music.

But timne has not diminished him, and Solaar sounds on form here, his new track still featuring the urgency and the intelligence that has made his work appreciated well beyond the French rap world.

The video makes nods to some of his previous work, Solaar's been a major star since the early 90s and was one of the pioneers to establish rap music in France with his early hit Bouge de La, 1997's Paradisiaque album reaching number one in France.

Solaar's new album Géopoétique is expected in November.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Yan Wagner: It Was A Very Good Year

A new video from Yan Wagner, with the track It Was A Very Good Year featuring on his second album This Never Happened.

It's a cinematic and disturbing video for this moody piece of electro showcasing his dark crooning perfectly. If Scott Walker ever fronted a particularly melancholic Kraftwerk it might sound a bit like this.

It is a song made famous by Sinatra which has been covered by dozens of other artists since, from Robbie Williams to the Flaming Lips. Maybe best to ignore William Shatner's cover of it.

Yan Wagner's album came out earlier this month, a follow up to his widely acclaimed debut Forty Eight Hours which came out in 2012 and it's his first release on new label Her Majesty's Ship.

Expect it to be mentioned again by many others as one of their highlights of 2017 before too long.

Editorial: September 2017

A quiet month from us last month, despite quite  a lot going on. This month we'll endeavour to make amends, and we will actually post a lot more than we managed over the last four weeks. It is La Rentrée after all.

Plenty happening over the next few weeks, with some releases, tours and the last of this summer festivals, September seeing the Fête de l'Humanité run over three days from September 15-17.

Later this month three fine acts are playing in London under the Oui Love banner, with Aquaserge, Marietta and Dead Sea playing on September 21 at Birthdays.

Psych Made In France also features in the bill for the Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia, with Laetitia Sadier, Acid Arab, as well as Aquaserge making another UK appearance.

Acid Arab also have a show in London at the Jazz Cafe on September 23.

As we move towards the run-up to Christmas, record companies are preparing a ton of releases and we'll be across what comes out.

In the meantime,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

Monday, 7 August 2017

Vive le Fringe: The Institut Français d’Ecosse at the Edinburgh festivals

For the month of August, Edinburgh becomes the centre of the UK's cultural  and artistic world, with
the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh festival  Fringe taking place in the city. Thousands of events are being held at venues from the grand to the makeshift, and shows ranging from undergraduate student performances to events featuring some of the world's biggest artists.

While there is, as always, a significant French presence in Edinburgh at this busy time, the Institut français d’Ecosse again plays a starring role in giving a French flavour to events in the Scottish capital.

This year's programme at the IFE includes theatre, music and author events, but there are three shows central to their programme.

An adaptation of Marguerite Duras' work La Maladie de la Mort by Poitiers based Collectif Or Normes features dance, electonics and theatre.




Lost in Translation: A Bilingual Journey by Théâtre sans Accent is a theatrical exploration of language through the experiences of one girl, in French, English, Gaelic and Occitan.


The IFE is set to moves to new premises shortly, with the historic Lothian House in the centre of the Old Town becoming home to not only the IFE but also the French consulate, an auditorium and an exhibition space, language school and library. It will be a significant French presence at the heart of Scotland.

This building hosts a show by Erwan Keravec and Mickaël Phelippeau entitled Membre fantôme, a show that sees the piper and the choreographer reflect on the idea of identity in art.

Beyond these shows, the IFE's programme also includes a light and music installation by Heather Lander and Robert Bentall, while the Edinburgh International Festival includes clasical performances by François Leleux and Eric Le Sage and a performance of La Damnation de Faust at the Usher Hall.

With the IFE set to take a more visible part of Edinburgh and Scotland's cultural landscape, we can hopefully expect more events in the very near future cementing the historic links between France and Scotland that go well beyond the Edinburgh festivals season.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Scotland at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient

This weekend sees the Festival Interceltique de Lorient event take place in the Breton town, one of the biggest celtic music events in the world.

It's a surprise to some that such a large-scale celebration of celtic music takes place in France, rather that Ireland or Scotland, or even Canada, all places that could with some justification claim to be at the centre of contemporary celtic culture. But France's celtic heritage is something that the country is proud of, and not just in Brittany.

This year's Festival Interceltique de Lorient places the focus on Scotland. Runrig, Altan, Amy Macdonald and Capercaillie are among the dozens of of acts performing over the weekend. 

There are also dozens of French celtic acts from crossover celtic rock/folk to more traditional choirs and pipe bands, from Brittany and elsewhere.

A parade of the celtic nations on Sunday serves as a centrepiece of the event, attracting thousands of artists and spectators to the streets of the town.

While the festival's been running since 1971 and regularly attracts some of the biggets names in the genre, it's more than just a showcase for a genre of music.  It's a major part of Brittany's celtic culture and acts as a catalyst. It's a celebration where artists can not only find an audience but also meet and collaborate. Where the audiences can also learn and get involved in discovering their own relationship to celtic culture.

It's an inclusive, outward looking and international event, very much in the spirit of the music it celebrates which has spread its influence around the world far beyond the shores of the celtic nations.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The return (?) of Manau

I was delighted to see the news a couple of days ago that French celtic rap act Manau are set to return
with a tour next year to mark the 20th anniversary of the celtic hip hop act that became one of France's biggest sellers in the late 90s.

Formed in '98, Manau had massive hit singles with La tribue de Dana, their first release, and Mais qui est la belette?, tracks that took Breton and celtic legend and looked at them through the lens of contemporary street culture.

The band's debut album Panique Celtique merged rap with celtic sounds from Brittany and picked up a best rap album award at the 1999 Victoire de la musique ceremony and sold over a million copies along the way. It remains a great listen, intelligent and witty, smart and original, an intoxicating potion brewed bu by bards with beats


Initially a trio, after their debut they became a duo of Martial Tricoche and Cédric Soubiron after RV Lardic quit.

Cédric Soubiron has had a tough time with health problems and debts over the years, leading to his eventual leaving the band. Recently he's begun working as a stage actor in Paris while remaining on good terms with Tricoche, who remained the last member of the band's central trio still at the mic under the Manau name.

So 2018 sees a return of sorts, although Manau never actually went away. However, some addditional promotion for the band is no bad thing,

Maybe there will be some new material too. Personally I can't wait to hear Le nouveau son de Manau!


Editorial: August 2017


We're quietly getting things back on an even keel here, with a reasonable amount of updates last month despite being on holiday for much of that time.

Of course, August is traditionally the month France shuts down for the summer, with fewer releases and events taking place. But there's no shortage of interesting

While July saw significant festivals pretty much every weekend, from Hellfest to Vieilles Charrues and Les Francofolies de La Rochelle, that continues this month with a number of events from the Festival Interceltique de Lorient to the Rock en Seine festival in Paris at the end of the month.

Other interesting things are in the pipeline, as previews for the key releases for la rentrée emerge over the coming weeks and artists unveil their plans for what is coming up over the next few months, still a key time of year for the music industry.

In the meantime,you can get a hold of me 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.


Merci et à bientôt,

John K

Monday, 31 July 2017

Jeanne Moreau RIP

And so another icon of 20th century France passes. Jeanne Moreau, probably the face of the Nouvelle Vague, the French cinema movement that influenced the world, has died aged 89.

Moreau was for many one of France's most iconic actors.

Her music career saw releases from the early 1960s to her work with Etienne Daho in the last decade, a parallel and less-well known career to her screen performances.

A list of the films she starred in reads like the viewing list for a film studies degree in 20th century European cinema, and the names of the directors she worked with looks like a list of the giants of 20th century film.



Friday, 7 July 2017

Festival: Les Eurockéennes de Belfort

Another of France's biggest festivals is underway this weekend, with the four day long Les
Eurockéennes de Belfort event.

With a scenic location and temperatures expeceted to be in the 30s all weekend, it's the kind of event that British festivals can only aspire to be like.

But are there any decent acts on the bill? Funny you should ask!

It's a four-day long event, with proceedings starting yesterday and continuing until Sunday

Yesterday saw the likes of Iggy Pop, Jain and PNL, Today sees Editors and Gojira, La Femme and HF Thiefaine among the dozens of acts scheduled to perform.

Saturday includes Booba and Justice, as well as Vitalic and Dropkick Murphys.Fishbach and HER are also among the acts.

Sunday features Arcade Fire, Phoenix, Royal Blood and Solange.

Plenty of big names, both French and international, for an event thathas become established as one of Europe's key big summer music events.






Thursday, 6 July 2017

Pierre Henry RIP

So farewell Pierre Henry, whose death was confirmed today aged 89.

A giant of contemporary music of the last 100 years, his ideas pushed the boundaries and tested the possibilities like few have done before or since.

It's facile to call him a pioneer of electronic music, there's much more to his work than just that, but it is true to say that his work blazed a trail for generations to follow. His intellectual weigh ensured that electronic music was taken seriously by the musical establishment, rather than just considered a novelty branch of cinematic sound effects which it could easily have been categorised under.

Henry saw the possibilities that were open to music in the 20th century and explored them with curiosity.


La Ferme Electrique festival

Tomorrow sees one of my favourite small festival events take place, with La Ferme Electrique taking place over July 7 and 8 at Tournan en Brie, in the Seine-et-Marne countryside not far from Paris.

Despite its rural setting, it's just an RER ride from the centre of Paris. Free parking, free camping and a two-day ticket that costs less than 30 euros is pretty enticing.

2017 is the eighth time the festival has been held, and like previous years the event has continued to thrive thanks to its innovative programming and a belief in the value of keeping things small and simple.

La Ferme Electrique is actually held in converted farm buildings, with a bar, restaurant, chip shop and pancake place. Nothing grand, but you can bet it will be perfect.

Getting the opportunity to catch some well-chosen emerging acts in a warm and encouraging environment is usually a much more pleasant experience that catching some well-known faces at a corporate enormo-event.

This year's bill incudes Bryan's Magic Tears, Sheik Anorak, Stratocastors and Le VilleJuif Underground among the acts on the Friday.

Saturday has Do The Dirt, En Attendant Ana, Chinese Army, Daikiri, Housewives and Pogo Car Crash Control and others.

It's a varied line up in terms of musical styles, with plenty of talent there to guarantee two memorable nights.

Sometimes you don't need all the facilities of a luxury Glastonbury yurt, just a meadown in France to pitch your tent, with a tap for water and a stall in the morning where you can buy pastries and coffee. Sounds good to me!