Friday, 26 August 2016

Rock en Seine festival

The Rock en Seine festival kicks off today in Paris, one of the most significant summer music
festivals in France.

While not the biggest, it's location near Paris at the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, the Château de Saint-Cloud's park, gives it a high profile and a massive audience on its doorstep.

This year's again sees a well-curated bill, with French acts as well as international names, ranging from the developing artists to the massive headliners.

Friday sees The Last Shadow Puppets, Bastille and the Brian Jonestown Massacre on stage. Meanwhile, Flavien Berger, Caravan palace and Rendez-Vous fly the flag for French acts.

Saturday includes Wolfmother, Sigur Ros and Massive Attack, and Casseurs Flowters, Grand Blanc and La Femme are among the French names.

Iggy Pop, Chvrches and Peaches play on the Sunday.

There's no Eagles of Death Metal, after their ill-considered comments  earlier this year. They're at Reading and Leeds instead.

This year it takes place in a heatwave, and with the three day ticket coming in under 120 euros, it's not only better value for money but probably a much more pleasant experience than Reading or Leeds festivals in the UK this weekend.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Gaspard Royant: Citroen C4 Rip Curl advert

A surprise appearance by Gaspard Royant as the music behind the new advert campaign for Citroen cars.

The track Marty McFly is soundtracking the new ads for the C4 Cactus Rip Cury, an appropriately sharp tune for one of Citroen's more stylish offerings. I have my doubts about the advert, not really my thing, but there's no disputing quality of the tune.

The track comes from Gaspard's Ten Track Wonder debut album, originally released in 2014. We've been fans of Gaspard since then, so it's nice to see him get this kind of exposure in the UK.

Gaspard's most reccent album Have You Met Gaspard Royant was released in April this year, a fine follow up which was produced by Scottish music legend Edwyn Collins.

Great to see a French artist getting played on prime time television, and hopefully more people in the UK and beyond will get to know the king of the Haute Savoie Doo-Wop Garage and Roll scene.

He's just released the track Sevcen Inch Club as a single and Gaspard's got live dates scheduled across France, and plays Paris on October 12 during the MAMA Festival.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Festival Interceltique de Lorient

This weekend sees the start of the world's biggest Celtic festival, with the Festival Interceltique de Lorient held in the Breton city.

This year's festival, the 46th, puts the spotlight on Australia, while still featuring the Celtic  nations closer to home.

Around 4500 singers, musicians and dancers are involved in events, from traditional to contemporary, pipe bands to rock acts, and among the big names are the Corrs, Joan Baez, Alan Stivell and Dan Ar Braz.

Meanwhile, smaller scale events and workshops take place across the city. Some of the events such as the Grande Parade on Sunday will be broadcast online on Culturebox and on TV on France 3

The festival takes place in tighter security than ever before, in light of events in France. This weekend's Lille Braderie, a huge fleamarket event held in the northern city, event was cancelled over security fears.

The Festival Interceltique de Lorient  runs until August 14.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Savages: Hyundai Mercury Prize nomination

An announcement today of the shortlist for this year's Hyundai Mercury Music Prize, and while most of the attention goes to the inclusion of David Bowie's final album Blackstar, it was the inclusion of the album Adore Life by Savages that got our ears up.

They're a London based four piece, which no doubt gets them their place in the Mercury prize's UK and Ireland focused shortlist, but it's the presence of singer Jehnny Beth - or Camille Berthomier as her family knew her - that particularly interests us.

She was or course previously the singer with much-loved French indie duo John and Jehn who released two albums before becoming involved in Savages. John and Jehn founded the Pop Noire label, which has also released material by Lescop, whose video for La Foret was directed by Jehn.

Johnny Hostile, the other half of the duo, produced both Adore Life and their debut album Silence yourself . That collection was released to massive acclaim in 2013, reaching the top 20 of the UK album charts. Like Adore Life, it was shorlisted for the Mercury Prize.

Last year the Mercury Prize was won by Benjamin Clementine, a London-born artist who lives in France. This year hopefully it will be won by a band featuring a French songer who lives in London.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Yann Tiersen: Roc’h Ar Vugale Live at Abbey Road

 An appropriately cinematic session by Yann Tiersen ahead of the release of his new album.

The clip features the track Roc’h Ar Vugale, recorded at Abbey Road studio in London.

Roc’h Ar Vugale fetures on Tiersen's most new album Eusa, a collection that was originally issed as piano music. The album, to be issued at the end of September, is his first ever collection of solo piano performances.

Tiersen's last album was 2014's Infinity album, which saw works in Breton, Icelandic, Faroese and English, but no works in French.
Yann Tiersen plays the Edinburgh International Festival on August 21 and 22.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Lilly Wood and the Prick: Live at Paléo Festival de Nyon

This year it featured acts like Lilly Wood and the Prick, AaRON and The Avener, JC Satan and their sets have been made available to watch online thanks to Franco german broadcaster Arte.

With an audience of 230,000 over six days, and 210 acts it's by far the biggest music festival in Switzerland.

The event has been held since 1976, increasing in size over the years since then.

Next year's Paléo Festival is held from the 18th to 23rd July.

More of the videos can be seen on the event's website 

Holy Oysters: Summer Rain

A new track single by critically acclaimed Paris act Holy Oysters.

Their new song Summer Rain follows their debut single Take me for a ride, released in November last year.

It's another impressive piece of electro-informed psychedelia,

On their facebook page the band ask the big questions: "What is psychedelism? a dream without sleep?

"When your mind escapes your body?

"Everything can be psychedelic, a smell, a touch, a taste, a vision, a sound."

They add: "What is « Holy Oysters »? I don’t know, do you?"

It's worth finding out for yourself.