Friday, 20 January 2017

Carpenter Brut: UK Tour

Carpenter Brut begin a short run of UK dates with a show in Glasgow tonight.

The music a blend of rock, 80s electro, video nasty soundtracks. In short, there's much to love there. Hollywood should green light a raft of films just for the purpose of using Carpenter Brut in the soundtrack.

The Trilogy album from 2015 which compiles his three previous EPs was repressed on vinyl recently, but has already sold out . Another pressing is expected later this year.

The tour sees Carpenter Brut, in the form of Franck Hueso with a guitarist and drummer, play Milton Keynes, Bristol, Manchester, and London and then on to Dublin in Ireland.

After this, they'er  off to North America for an extensive series of dates in March.

Carpenter Brut are also on the bill for the Download festival in Paris on June.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Vitalic: Use it or Lose it

A new track by Vitalic, with the release of the track Use it or Lose it being released

It's the second track to emerge from his forthcoming album Voyager which comes out on January 20.

It's his fourth album

Use it or Lose it  follows the the track  Waiting For The Stars which came out in October last year.

Vitalic has just begun a tour, with shows in France this month and across Europe in February before coming to the  UK in March with dates in Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and London.

He's back to mainland Europe after, with shows including a night at the Olympia in Paris on March 23.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Fránçois and the Atlas Mountains: Grand Dérèglement

A new video by the very wonderful Fránçois and the Atlas Mountains ahead of the band's new album.

The track Grand Dérèglement sees the band continue their work combining indie music with north
African sounds.

It's as unique as it is enjoyable. they sound like no one else and are instantly recognisable.

The band achieved a significant breakthrough with the 2012 album E Volo Love, their last album was 2014's Piano Ombre.

The new album from Fránçois and the Atlas Mountains entitled Solide Mirage is expected on March 3 and they've got live dates across the UK.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Victoires de la Musique 2017

The early months of the year are very much award season,l and no sooner are the Golden Globe awards over in Hollywood out of the way than details of the big event in the French music awards calendar emerge.

The shortlist for this year's Victoires de la Musique award has been published, with some interesting possibilities among the nominations.

Best male artist sees Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Delerm and Renaud, while best female artist features Imany, Jain and Véronique Sanson.

Breakthrough album features work by Amir, Claudio Capeo and Radio Elvis while the live breakthrough list includes Broken Back, LEJ and Minuit.

Chanson album has Julien Doré, Christophe Maé and Benjamin Biolay and best rock album features Louise Attaque, La Femme and Mickey 3D

The urban music album shortlist has Georgio, Jul and Kool Shen, while the world music category includes Acid Arab, Calypso Rose and Rokia Traore.

The best electronic or dance music album category has Electronica 2 by Jean-Michel Jarre, Layers by Kungs and Woman by Justice.

There are four tracks in the best original song category, A kele nta by MHD, Et je l'appelle encore by Véronique Sanson, J'ai cherché by Amir and Je m'en vais by Vianney.

The concert or show category has Jain, Ibrahim Maalouf and Nekfeu.

Best video features Coward by Yael Nain, Makeba by Jain and The Missing by Cassius.

So no Christine and the Queens or Johnhny Hallyday this year, a few previous winners possibly back for more and a few interesting nominations.

I'll have a think over the next few weeks about who I reckon will pick up the trophies. I'll probably, as in previous years, get it mostly wrong...

The 32nd Victoires de la Musique ceremony is held on February 10.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Renaud: Hyper Cacher

A track from Renaud's album from last year, with a song that pays tribute to the victims of the Hyper
Cacher killings in Paris on January 9 2015.

The album, a thoughtful collection from Renaud shot through with his usual humour, was according to SNEP the biggest selling album in France in 2016.

It was a remarkable return to form for an artist who many would have written off years ago.

The track Héloïse has recently been released as a single, and his tour continues at venues around France and beyond from January 11 with dates confirmed until September.

Ray Lema and Laurent De Wilde: Acoustic session

A new edition of Acoustic, the music show on TV5Monde with a session in the studio by Ray Lema
and Laurent De Wilde.

It follows the release of the duo's album Riddles, an album that saw them working together for the first time, having known each others for 25 years.

Lema and De Wilde have worked across a wide cross section of music, from jazz to world music and orchestral, and they've brought their skills and experience to create something that isn't easy to categorise

On his website Ray Lema says: "This project is more than an encounter. It’s a journey."

The session features four tracks; Liane et Banian, Fantani, Congo Rag, Edward K  and Montecristo as well as an interview with Sébastien Folin.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

We are (still) Charlie

Today we remember the Charlie Hebdo killings, an event that while profoundly shocking was to be only the first act of a tragedy that seems not to have concluded yet.

We remember the 12 victims, those who were doing their jobs when they fell, whether journalist, cartoonist, building worker or police officer.

We also remember that this act of terrorism was intended to snuff out the diversity of our culture, to silence forever voices that disagree with a minority of extremists.

And we remember how they failed.

We remember how the names of the victims were championed, how until then obscure counter-culture heroes like Cabu, Tignus and Wolinski became household names. We remember how the killing of a Muslim police officer brought communities together in mutual respect.

And we remember how communities across the world stood side by side.

It was a dark day in 2015, and there have been dark times since. But we remember that an act that was intended to bring us to our knees brought us to our feet, standing together like never before.

Frédéric Boisseau, Franck Brinsolaro, Cabu, Elsa Cayat, Charb,Philippe Honoré, Bernard Maris, Ahmed Merabet, Moustapha Ourrad, Michel Renaud, Tignous, Wolinski.