Thursday, 31 March 2011

Rétro: Johnny Hallyday - Noir C'est Noir

With Johnny Hallyday back with a new album a tour, I thought a look back at one of Johnny's earlier clips was in order for this week's Rétro feature.

Noir c'est Noir is another masterpiece of 60s television, an unintentionally hilarious production that could only have been made in a more innocent time when TV stations and film companies would have the budget to make this kind of thing but didn't really now what they were actually doing.

With televised performances so controlled these days, and even live performances for the camera tweaked and styled and approved by the artist's management to the point that it's more about marketing a product that the music, this kind of clip comes as a refreshing surprise.

Initially I wondered why the only colours were black and white and some red, but it's easy to forget that TV at the time would have been in black and white. It would have been interesting to see the White Stripes making a video that was influenced by this one, it would probably have worked well.

The song is a French version of the song Black is Black. Again, with the weirdness of popular music, the original English version was actually performed by a Spanish band Los Bravos, the first band from Spain to have an international hit, the song reaching number two in the UK, top five in the USA and number one in Canada.

Johnny's French version was a number one in France in October 1966, one of two number one singles he had that year.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

New - Askha - Nameless

Ashka are a young rock band from Paris, who have released their debut album Ritual (M & O Music) at the end of January.

While the band are on the heavy end of the rock spectrum, there's no denying that metal is as hugely popular in France as it is elsewhere.

There's a tendency amongst critics to lump all metal acts together, a kind of impenetrable cult that only appeals to initiates, but there is a huge amount of great music being made in the metal genre. There are some genuinely innovative acts, and many that deserve to be more widely known.

Of course, it's a hugely competitive field, although one where the rewards are great. It's also a genuinely international scene, with bands from Brazil to Finland and all points in between having massive international reputations.

Ashka are among the many wanting to make their mark, and they're certainly in with a chance. While frontwoman Syhem commands attention, with a unique voice for a female-fronted rock band and a style that will certainly get her noticed, the rest of the band have risen to the challenges of a metal scene that demands only the highest quality musicianship and songwriting.

Skills that would have in the past only been seen in the rarefied atmosphere of progressive rock or free jazz are stripped down and presented as a hard-boiled showcase of brutality and melody.

In short, they also have the kind of sound that could easily fill some of the biggest stadiums or rock festivals.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

New: French Music Podcast, Nouvelle Vague

There's a new edition of the French Music Podcast UK online, and as usual it features some great stuff.

On the menu for this edition is Botibol, Splendour in the Grass, Yelle, Team Ghost, Nouvelle Vague and many others.

French Music Podcast UK - Number 13 - 27th March 2011 by French Music Podcast UK

If there's a highlight from this edition for me, it's a track by Nouvelle Vague, from their album Couleurs Sur Paris. Nouvelle Vague are best known for their unique take on New Wave songs by artists like Joy Division, Depeche Mode and Echo and the Bunnymen but this, their fourth collection, sees them tackling songs that were originally hits by French artists.

The songs are all classics from the late 70s to late 80s period, the title track is a version of the Oberkampf song, and there are also versions of Kas Product's So Young But So Cold and Etienne Daho's Weekend A Rome. All the songs are done in the band's distinctive Bossa Nova/Easy listening style, radically different from their original versions.

Guest cocalists on the album include Yelle, Olivia Ruiz, Vanessa Paradis and Coeur de Pirate.

I don't know if the collection will engage so well with a non-French audience as much as their previous works, where in most instances the songs would have been familiar to the listener, even if that audience was a small but influential one that was well-versed in post 80s alternative sounds.

These songs require a different listening approach, as rather than comparing them to the original, the non-French listener has to take them at face value and then perhaps track down a more elusive original.

But the songs and the arrangements on Couleurs Sur Paris are so strong it should certainly introduce a few French classics to a much wider audience.

A highlight for me has to be their version of Noir Désir's Où Veux Tu Qu' Je R'Garde with Emily Loizeau, this a version from Le Live, Le Figaro's music programme.

Monday, 28 March 2011

New: Johnny Hallyday - Jamais Seul

Today marks the launch of Johnny Hallyday's new album Jamais Seul.

It's a remarkable comeback, considering how Johnny seemed to be facing his final curtain last year due to serious health problems.

Johnny's presence in the French music scene could have been taken for granted in previous years, a figure seemingly more at home in the pages of Paris Match than in the music press, his success measured in 'millions sold' and in 'years in the business' rather than being subjected to any real artistic scrutiny or given any real credit for what he does.

But last year's medical drama was a warning that even the biggest figure in the French music scene is as vulnerable as any of us, and there really is no one who could come close to replacing him.

While often described as the French Elvis, Hallyday is a far more complicated figure, with the blue-collar appeal of Bruce Springsteen, the career longevity of Cliff Richard but with a rock attitude more in common with Guns 'n' Roses.

Maybe now is the time for Johnny's legacy to be re-assesed, in the same way that Johnny Cash was once regarded as a fairly washed-up country act before he hooked up with Rick Rubin, restoring his reputation.

Johnny himself was at the virgin Megastore in the Champs Elysees on Sunday night at 11.30pm for the launch of the album. Marking his 50 years on the music scene he was presented with a book signed by fans with messages from them.

Tour dates have been confirmed for the summer, there was a TF1 television special broadcast at the weekend as well as the new album's release, and it certainly seems that there are still a few more chapters to be written in the Johnny Hallyday story.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Commercial break:Justice

Justice are back with a new single Civilisation (Ed Banger/Because Records) on April 4, but ahead that the band have given a preview of the song on a new advert for Adidas.

The ad, directed by French filmmaker Romain Gavras, who previously collaborated with the band on the controversial Stress video in 2008 and on the A Cross The Universe project, directing the documentary on the DVD that accompanied the live album.

The new album follows Justice's 2007 debut 'Cross' album. The band has posted an image that will probably be the cover of their new work, bu there are no details yet of a title for the work.

What is certain though is that expectations are high about this album, their debut setting a new standard for possibilities.

Justice go far beyond any conventional understanding of what constitutes 'dance music', 'techno', 'house music' or 'club music', and inhabit an area that is both avant-garde and experimental but immediately understandable.

With Daft Punk seemingly sidetracked with soundtracks, live albums and remixes since their 2005 Human After All album, their next being remixes of the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, it looks like it might be Justice that delivers the next chapter in French cutting-edge modern music.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Rétro: Magma - Otis

This track Otis is from Magma's 1984 album Merci, which was a very different Magma album from their other work. It is closer to soul music that the large-scale progressive work that they are better known for.

Magma's creative force, drummer Christian Vander, has always been open about the way Magma was influenced by jazz and soul music, and it was on this album that the soul influence was most noticeable, breaking with the heavy progressive sound that they had been previously associated with.

It's not the most popular album with Magma fans, the band seemingly trying a new musical direction that didn't meet entirely with success. The only band members at the time who were in the earlier line ups were Vander and his wife Stella, and they would soon revert to work that was more in keeping with their earlier vision.

Don't worry about not understanding the lyrics. Vander took a decision to step around the problem of French bands not being understood by the English speaking listener by having the band's lyrics in Kobian, their own language, apparently the language spoken by aliens from the planet Kobaia who are descended from refugees from Earth.

I love this video on account of the Eurovision Song Contest stylings of the show, with Vander a most unlikley crooner. To a Magma fan like me it also seems curiously subversive. I wonder how many people picked up their more difficult work after hearing this?

It's not the first time I've featured Magma, and it will not be I expect the last time they pop up on Vive le Roq

There is more Magma on the vey active Zeuhl and Beyond blog >

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Rétro: Kas Product - Never Come Back

An electro classic from the early 80s by Kas Product, a duo from Nancy consisting of Mona Soyoc and Spatsz.

Never Come Back sounds so on-trend it's hard to believe that it was recorded almost 30 years ago.

Although from the era of Soft Cell, Human League and Depeche Mode, Kas Product were closer in their sound here to early synth punks Suicide. A primal rock 'n' roll played on the era's most modern equipment, making it clear that energy and attitude are not the sole reserve of guitar acts.

Maybe that's why it has dated so well.

The video is so well filmed that it could be far more recent, a modern act trying to appear knowingly retro could not do a better job. Although I suspect Spatsz's hair would be different.

They released two early albums, Try out (1982) and By Pass (1983) that are regarded as their best, and another two later albums Ego Eye (1987) and Black & Noir (1990)

The band split in 1990, but reformed for a gig in 2005 at the Eurockéennes festival in Belfort.

Their first two albums were re-issued on CD in 2005 by French record label Les Disques du Soleil et de l'Acier, a company founded by the band's producer Gerard Nguyen, which featured a number of releases by left-field/experimental acts on the fringes of rock like Coil, Jac Berrocal and Fushitsusha.

Mona Soyoc most recently appeared on the album Team up! by Variety Lab, another band from Nancy, as guest vocalist on the track Money (That's What I Want.)

It would be extraordinary to hear a contemporary band cover Never Look Back. They wouldn't have to do much for it to, although to be honest, if it was released just now, exactly as it was when it first came out, it would still sound amazing.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New: Yelle release second album

Yelle release their second album this week, Safari Disco Club, the long-awaited follow-up to 2007's Pop Up.

The band - a three piece of GrandMarinier (Jean-Francois Perrier), Tepr (Tanguy Destable) and Yelle (Julie Budet) - have taken a step up with their brand of day-glo electro-pop. The songs are still bright, punchy and smart, and there is a cleverness that takes it beyond simple 80s revival playground-pop without losing its sense of fun.

As I said in January, if there's a French act likely to make it big in the UK in 2011, my money would be on Yelle.

The band have made the most of their successful debut, and rather than just rushing into a quick follow up have taken their time to craft something worthwhile, with a wider scope and broader sonic palette.

In the press release for the album, GrandMarnier explained: "Pop-Up was produced differently, we did Je Veux Te Voir then waited two or three months, then started another song… Safari Disco Club is a more fluid, cohesive album."

Yell said: "There’s a lighter and darker edge to each track. All the songs on SFD are dual in this sense, but it’s up to the listener how they take it."

The band have already attracted international attention with their debut, and Safari Disco Club looks likely to secure their place as France's most colourful pop export.

Yelle are currently touring the UK opening for Katy Perry and play in Glasgow on April 5, and follow the British dates with a huge North American tour in April and May.

Monday, 21 March 2011

New: Tindersticks - Claire Denis Soundtracks 1996 - 2009

I watched the Claire Denis film Vendredi Soir (Friday Night) at the weekend, and thought it worth a mention of her regular collaborations with UK band Tindersticks, especially considering the imminent release of a box-set of the music used in their collaborations.

Their work together began with the 1996 film Nenette et Boni, and continued with Trouble Every Day (2001), 35 Rhums (2008) and White Material (2009), as well as Vendredi Soir (2002), the soundtrack to which was by Tindersticks Dickon Hinchcliffe and L'Intrus (2004) by the band's Stuart Staples.

The band make a late-night lushly orchestral sound, shout through with elements of jazz and soul. They have made eight full studio albums so far, as well as soundtracks and live releases. That they are not wider known is little short of a major injustice, although the use of one of their songs (Tiny Tears) in the soundtrack for The Sopranos did give them some well-deserved publicity.

The band have long been favourites of mine, and a 5CD/5LP box set of their Claire Denis soundtrack's is to be released on April 26 by Constellation records. The label has put a sample of songs on their website here >

According to Stuart Staples, the band began working with her at around the time she was writing the screenplay for Nenette and Boni, when they met at one of the band's gigs in Paris and she described what an impression their song My Sister made on her.

The band are promoting the release with some cinema-related shows, playing the Istanbul International Film festival on April 11, and playing at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on April 26 and 27, with a screening of Nenette et Boni and a discussion with Denis and singer Stuart Staples talking about their collaborations.

The band also appear in Los Angeles on April 30 and at the San Francisco Film festival on May 2, and Sweden's MADE film festival on May 13

Friday, 18 March 2011

Chart: Colonel Reyal - Celui

There's a new number one single in France, Colonel Reyal's song Celui (Step Out productions)

It seemed for a while that Israel Kamakawiwoole's Somewhere Over The Rainbow would be at number one for the whole year, but it seems the dancehall zouk stylings of the Colonel won over the record buying French public.

Quite different from Israel's song, but there might be something going on with a singer from Guadeloupe taking over the top spot from a singer from Hawaii. People seem to thinking about sunnier places...

A big budget video, with over 20 million views on YouTube so far. A few more from here probably won't hurt.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

St Patrick's Day: Nolwenn Leroy

Last year the blog marked St Patrick's Day with a track by Alan Stivell singing an Irish song, so time again to mark the celtic connection between France and the other celtic nations.

This time with Nolwenn Leroy, currently at number one in the French album charts, and her version of the Irish song Mna Na H-Eireann.

It's been sung by others, including Alan Stivell and Kate Bush, and while I've featured Nolwenn before, it's quite remarkable to have an album of Breton songs at number one, even with an Irish folk song in gaelic included on it.

I could hardly image he same thing happening in the UK.

For a winner of the Star Academy academy TV talent show, it's a bold choice to sing in Irish gaelic. I'm sure there were plenty of other more commercially friendly songs that she could have done, even one of the many Irish songs in English that could probably have reached a wider audience.

But a gaelic song fits in well with a collection of Breton songs, and maybe one day Brittany's national day will be as well known as Ireland's is.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

New: Mylène Farmer - Bleu Noir Video

Mylène Farmer's eagerly-awaited new video for the song Bleu Noir has been released.

I've already featured the song, co-written by Moby, from the album Bleu Noir that was released in December 2010. It's one of seven songs co-written with Moby on the album, who wrote the music while Mylène wrote all the lyrics.

The album was a number one in France and set a record for the number of downloads. Her eighth album has certainly secured her position as France's most significant female artist in recent years.

Oui Mais...Non, which was the last single released from the album, was at number one in France for most of December. Unlike Bleu Noir it was co-written by RedOne, who despite having worker with a huge number of artists is probably best know for his collaborations with Lady Gaga.

While comparisons with Gaga were made with both the song Oui Mais...Non and the video, Bleu Noir is certainly very different. I've always liked Moby, and Mylène's voice and lyrics sit perfectly with his music. My favourite song on the album, no doubt about that.

The video for Bleu Noir was directed by Olivier Dahan, the director best known for the film La Vie En Rose, the Oscar-winning movie about the life of Edith Piaf. It's a tasteful and cinematic video, that not only looks incredibly polished and classy but keeps an edge that makes it seem very natural and almost spontaneous.

Mylène Farmer's record company has set up a website for the video here >

You can watch the video and tweet a link to it so your Twitter message will be included in a montage of Twitter users who have passed on the link. Nice idea and clever bit of new media marketing!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

New: Sonic Youth - Simon Werner a Disparu

A slight detour to a US band whose latest release has a heavy French influence, Sonic Youth's new release, the soundtrack to the film Simon Werner a Disparu.

The film , retitled Lights Out for the English-speaking audience, is a thrilled directed by Fabrice Gobert. It's his first film, after a career working in TV series es and documentaries

The film stars Jules Pelissier, Ana Girardot, Arthur Mazet, Laurent Delbecque, Serge Riaboukine and Laurent Capelluto

The majority of the cast are young actors making their first outing on the big screen, although Riaboukine and Capelluto have both had long careers.

It's not the first soundtrack that Sonic Youth have been involved in, having been involved in cinema from their early years and throughout their career.

Their music's been used in films since their time on SST records (Lovedolls Superstar in 1986) to include the likes of Leos Carax's Pola X in 1999 and on US Indie hit Juno in 2008. Their first full original soundtrack was for the movie Made in the USA, which although recorded in '86 came out in '95.

I've always though Sonic Youth would work well with a French art house style of cinema than with more commercial styles, so it's a good match. The band are of course no strangers to things French, with J'accuse Ted Hughes release number seven on Sonic Youth Records. I can also add that I saw them at the Zénith in Paris on the Dirty tour.

The Simon Werner a Disparu soundtrack was released on the band's Sonic Youth Recordings label, the label that they set up to put out their more experimental releases, with less commercial pressure. In keeping with their style of having the titles and details in a language other than English, all the tracks - which are instrumental - have French titles, in keeping with the film.

The soundtrack features longer pieces than the soundtrack, as obviously there are fewer constraints on making the music fit in with images and a narrative, and for my money it's one of their best releases in years.

Monday, 14 March 2011

New: Seed From the Geisha, French Music Podcast UK

More good work from Parris with a new edition of the French Music Podcast being made available online.

Artists being featured this time include Laurent Garnier, Seed from the Geisha, Anne B and Mylene Farmer.

The French Music Podcast's home page is here>

You can also follow the French Music Podcast on Twitter and Facebook.

French Music Podcast UK - Number 12 - 10th March 2011 by French Music Podcast UK

One of the acts featured is Seed From the Geisha (M & O MUSIC) a five piece from Paris. Their debut album Talk Peace to the Wolf is out at the end of March.

They're certainly a very promising young rock act and hopefully the album will get the attention that it deserves.

They've got a few live dates at the end of April in Paris and nearby. If you're in the area you'd be wise to see them before they're playing much bigger venues which they certainly should be before too long.

There are certainly in the same ballpark as some American bands that are massive right now, and they certainly deserve to be up there too.

More about the band at their MySpace here>

Friday, 11 March 2011

New: Hindi Zahra

Another award winner, this time it is singer Hindi Zahra who won the award for the Best World Music album at the Victoires de la Musique music awards in France.

The video is a performance of her single Beautiful Tango (Blue Note/EMI) from her 2010 album Handmade, during the ceremony on March 1, which was shown on France 2.

The album won the Prix Constantin for best album in November 2010, the prize that is roughly the French equivalent of the UK's Mercury Music prize.

It also got a recommendation from The Wire magazine, certainly my favourite music magazine in the UK, who described her as a worthy successor to Billie Holiday. No arguments from me.

It's certainly a hugely attractive sound, jazzy and soulful and with an edge that lifts it beyond just easy listening.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

New: Stromae - Je Cours

Another track by Belgian dance act Stromae is being promoted with the release of a video, this time its a tune called Je Cours

It's another track taken from his debut album Cheese (VERTIGO RECORDS FRANCE - MERCURY - MOSAERT / UNIVERSAL), and the fourth to come from the album that won the Best Electronic Music Album award at the Victoires de la Musique awards in France last month.

No easy task to follow up the success of Alors on Dance, which was number one pretty much everywhere in Europe in 2010, even managing a respectable impact in the UK where it remains on regular rotation on dance music channels.

But its got a cool groove, and with his laid back delivery its certainly easy on the ears. Another gem from the maeStro.

UK ears might draw comparisons with Faithless, but Stromae seems much more approchable and comes across as less pretentious and wittier, combining a clever lyric and a massive beat with appareant ease.

Hopefully it will get some attention and airplay off the back of Alors... and it certainly deserves it.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Chart : Yael Naim - Come Home

France's most downloaded song at the moment is Come Home, by French Israeli singer Yael Naim, the video her performance from France's Victoires de la Musique awards last month - the French equivalent of the Grammys or the Brits - where she won the Female Singer of the Year award.

A great song and a great voice, and quite a performance on TV that no doubt led to the rush to download the tune. She was shortlisted against Vanessa Paradis, Coeur de Pirate and Asa. Yael had previously won the award for Album of the Year in the world music category in 2008 for her second album Yael Naim.

This was the first album that saw her working with musical collaborator David Donatien, who she continues to work with.

That album got a huge amount of attention after the song New Soul was featured in Apple's MacBook Air advert, reaching the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 11 and number 2 in France after it picked up a lot of MTV airplay. It was also featured in a number of films. She even reached the giddy heights of voicing a character on the Simpsons.

Naim's third album, She was a Boy (Tot ou tard/Wagram), was released in late 2010.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

New: The Plasticines - Pas Avec Toi

Possibly as a result of last week's exploration of French punk, I was keen to bring things both up to date with a recent release and with one that keeps the spirit of the original punk acts alive.

The Plasticines are a female guitar band, playing an instantly recognisable high-octane garage rock with a stylish polish that caught the eye of US style magazine Nylon, magazine publisher Jaclynn Jarrett signing the band as the first act on the magazine's record label.

Influences from the White Stripes to Blondie are easy to see, a classic garage rock with a modern polish. Think more The Strokes than something off the Nuggets or its many follow-up compilations though.

The band have been going since 2007, and have released two albums, LP1 and About Love.

The Plasticines have also been featured on the TV series Gossip Girl.

The song Pas Avet Toi comes from their album About Love (Because Music/Warner)

The band are currently undergoing some changes after it was announced that Marine Neuilly had parted company with the other members. Quite what the future holds is uncertain, but fingers crossed they will bounce back.

Friday, 4 March 2011

News: French punk on the BBC

Today a link to a wonderful an unlikely documentary that was on Radio 4, the quiet voice of establishment broadcasting in the UK, highlighting the development of French punk music.

Listen to the programme again here >

The presenter Andrew Hussey makes the point that without the French, punk rock would just have been pub rock but with shorter hair. There are interviews with Stinky Toys and Marc Zermati from Skydog records, and brief blasts of some very great music.

The documentary makes a strong case that France had a pivotal role in punk rock, in both the broader picture by adding the intellectual and artistic ideas that underpinned the movement, and in detail, with such things like the singer of the stinky toys being the first to wear safety pins.

While making it clear that punk originated in the US, France picked up on it and developed it long before the UK. The ideas fell on fertile ground in France, Paris having a long history of rebellion and youth unrest, and earlier artistic movements centred there such as Situationism, Dada, Surrealism, and the 1920s modernists.

Malcolm McLaren spending time in France and took the influences of the French punks on board, but to these ears at least much of the French punk material has dated better than its UK counterparts. Maybe because it is because it is not as over-familiar, maybe because much of the UK punk was just pub rock repackaged or maybe because the French punks were a bit cleverer in their approach.

Take Métal Urbain's use of synths - still sounds like something most contemporary electro bands could only dream of achieving.

Anyway, there's a rich seam of music there that's been mostly written out of history and the documentary goes some way to redress the balance.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Retro: Serge Gainsbourg week continues

So this week's celebration of the work of Serge Gainsbourg continues, marking the 20th anniversary of his death.

I put on one of his later performances yesterday, so here's one of his early ones, La Chanson de Prevert, very much a classic song and one that makes clear why Gainsbourg was so much more than just the provocative figure he was later known as, also posessing a poetic ability that was second to none.

Quite an astonishing piece of work this song.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Retro: Serge Gainsbourg 20th anniversary

For those that have missed what's been going on here this week, today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Serge Gainsbourg.

No two ways about it, he was such a big figure that we have to mark the occasion. I've been highlighting his legacy so far, an influence that still permeates the French music scene, so I though it appropriate that on the day we should use one of his songs.

While much of his work has been re-assessed and re-evalued critically, his late 80s work remains less well known. His last two albums were regular residents of the second-hand racks when I lived in France in the 90s.

I personally don't think they've dated well. Love on the Beat and you're Under Arrest are patchy at best, with elements like the disco synths on Love on the Beat and the rapping on Your Under Arrest best forgotten. true, they have their moments, like Aux Enfants de la Chance or Sorry Angel, and there are clever lyrics, but few would defend them as anything like his best work.

However, the live material he was producing around this time is well worth a second listen, a heavy funk sound, with thick grooves and Gainsbourg's unmistakable presence across the work.

Le Zénith de Gainsbourg was actually the new last album he released, and if you ask me its a more fitting finale than either of the last two studio releases.

He can even be forgiven the double denim fashion faux pas.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

New: The Serge Gainsbourg Expérience

Always tricky to continue the legacy of an iconic artist without it being little more than a tribute act, like the Bootleg Beatles, or the legion of Pink Floyd and Queen tribute acts.

Just being able to play a decent cover version or staging a decent show is not really the best that can be done. What really should be done is taking an artist's work and putting it in a new context, taking it to a new audience, re-creating the work in a way that the artist them selves might have done.

Take the Serge Gainsbourg Expérience. They pay tribute to the giant of French music in a way that you imaging Serge himself would approve. (Their album is available on LA LUNE ROUSSE/SOCADISC/ABSILONE)

He was always re-inventing his work, taking a new approach to his back catalogue and was prepared to take risks. I doubt he would have wanted his work to remain as a museum piece, to be approached only with reverence and respect. Take his late period re-interpretations of his early songs, or his reggae versions of his hits.

But above all, it's great that a band are not only taking his work into new realms, but are playing it live as well. I, like many others, never saw Serge live and hopefully this band will playe somewhere I can see them.

They tour extensively, and have been playing in Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Syria, and are soon in Japan.

I suspect they would go down an absolute storm at the Edinburgh Festival.

There's a massive audience for Serge's music, and this band get closer to the spirit of his music than even the most expensive box sex.