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

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Festival: Le Printemps de Bourges

The Le Printemps de Bourges festival pretty much marks the start of the French festival season for
the year.

 It's also such a well-curated event that is gives a pretty good indication  of the acts to watch over the coming months.

Some 30 of the acts on this years bill emerged last month, and the organisers have now revealed the final names.

Already announced were big names Jain, Placebo, Vianney, Renaud, Soprano et Boulevard des Airs as well as Fakear, Talisco, Vitalic, Yuksek and Mr Oizo.

Added to the listings are dozens of acts including François & The Atlas Mountains, Fishbach and Agar-Agar, along with Her, Paradis, Cléa Vincent and Juliette Armanet.

Covering hip hop, electro , indie and rock and all combinations of these, it's an event that casts a wide net and hauls in an interesting catch.

 Le Printemps de Bourges runs from April 18 to 23.

Jane Birkin: Academy Award nomination for film

This year there are no French entries in the Best Foreign Film category for this year's Academy Awards, but a  film featuring Jane Birkin has been nominated for an Oscar.

La femme et le TGV is on the short list for Best Live Action Short Film.

Birkin has the leading role in the 2016 short, by Swiss director Timo von Gunten, playing Elise, a woman whose daily routine for 30 years includes waving at the TGV train that passes her house. Her life changes when she finds a letter from the driver.

The 30 minute film has been described as light and enchanting, bringing to mind work like Chocolat or Amélie.

Birkin's film career stretches back to 1965, with roles in key British films of that era including Blowup,  meeting partner Serge Gainsbourg on the filming of the movie Slogan in 1969.

She's gone on to star in dozens of French and English language films in subsequent decades, with directors including Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, Bertrand Tavernier and Alain Resnais, as well as Gainsbourg and her later partner Jacques Doillon.

Elsewhere in the Oscars, Isabelle Huppert is in the Best Actress category for the film Elle.

The 89th Academy Awards are held on 26 February 2017.

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.