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.


Monday, 1 August 2016

Superbus - C à vous live

A great appearance on French TV by Superbus, with a visit to the evening chatshow C à vous.

I missed it when it went out, but it's still worth a watch even a few weeks later.

They performed their single Strong and Beautiful.

The band , now a four piece, are promoting their new Sixtape collection which was released in June. They've been making a few TV appearances on the back of their new collection.

They've been on the show before, but this marks their return following singer Jennifer Ayache's solo interlude.

Superbus have a series of live dates across France in October and November, with a show in Paris at Le Trianon on October 29.

Editorial: August 2016

It's been a quiet couple of weeks here in terms of posts, but we're refreshed following a summer break and ready to write about French music more than ever.

Last month saw festival season at its peak, and the there's been plenty of inetresting releases. But above all this comes the massive success of Christine and the Queens in the UK, with France's favourite act reaching (so far) number two in the UK charts.

Tilted has been one of the big songs in the past few months, with appearances at Glastonbury and Latitude festival over the summer cementing her position. The UK's not the first country to fall for her, she's been a major star in France for a while now, but it must be particularly rewarding for an artist who was so inspired by London to be so successful here.

It's been quite a journey for her since we first wrote about her playing at the Great Escape festival in Brighton a few years ago. A tour later this year with dates across the UK are something to really look forward to.

Meanwhile, last month saw a bit of a record for us, with the number of visitors to the site reaching over 10,000 in one month for the first ever time. Thanks for your support. We've come a long way since we got a few dozen visitors a month in 2010.

There's more coming this month, with the summer festivals continuing, August seeing Rock en Sein in Paris and the Route du Rock in St Malo among them.

As always, I can be contacted on 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 get in touch.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq or you can find me at @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 French Music Office in London and to the Institut francais in London for their help and encouragement.

Merci et à bientôt

John K