Let’s be honest. Sex, that’s what was missing in music posted here. So merci Holybrune (= Laura Chaudet) for uploading the free downloadable EP ‘TRIP’; four tracks that feel like bodies writhing, chocolate dripping and windows steamed. She’s influeced by Japanese comics, rapper Nas and disco queen Donna Summer, Holybrune is all silk ‘n lace. Or, as this posting on the Les Inrocks site would have it, ” Sainte vierge, femme rêveuse, figure romantique, créature provocante, maman et putain réunie dans un seul corps”. 4×4 beats, sultry voice, crispy hi-hats and phat basslines – it’s nouveau disceau for your boudoir, baby.
Stéphanie and Mélanie Boulay – by far Gaspésie’s and my favourite sisters – are back with a brand new song from their eagerly awaited (by me at least) new album that is scheduled for release in the autumn.
“Fais-moi un show de boucane” hints at the more expansive and band orientated sound that the sisters have honed during their shows. While those majestic vocal harmonies still shine, there’s a defined rock-edge; solid percussion, electric guitar and horns fill the senses, marking a departure from the girls’ gentle country-folk melodies. This by contrast is bold, brash, and just a little bit sexy…
Frequent guestposter Mark sees the great Béatrice live
The Francofolies de la Rochelle, founded in 1974, has the finest setting of any popular music festival in the world. In an amphitheatre holding 12,000, created in France’s most attractive historic port, a town with 1,000 years of history, it now hosts the best of Francophone pop over five days. Every performer wants to be invited there, and the quality is very high.
Coeur de Pirate was first here in 2010 when she only had her original album. Five years on, her repertoire is bilingual, her appearance more mature, and her versatility unsurpassed. While some stars need large bands, light shows and nightfall to stun (and Julien Doré’s show was certainly stunning later that evening),
Béatrice came on in daylight, with little build-up, and with a band of four. New is a female keyboard player who acts as her backing singer. The others are unchanged – Renaud Bastien, now lead guitar, Alexandre Gauthier, bass, and Julien Blais, drums.
The Francofolies impose a tight schedule on singers. Sunday 12 July 2015 offered us no less than five acts, starting with Rose, then CdP, Véronique Sanson, Julien Doré and finally the old rocker Hubert-Félix Thiefaine who came on after midnight. The ‘Monte le son’ summary has extracts of the sets by Doré, CdP and Rose here in that order.
Béatrice was given one hour only, on at 19.20 hrs and off at 20.20. In that time she delivered no less than sixteen songs. She didn’t rush her show – it just progressed smoothly. She didn’t have time to introduce her band individually.
Francofolies officially bars audience filming of performances, which doesn’t stop them all but means only two songs filmed close-up have reache dYoutube. They convey the style of her set and the atmosphere well.
Coeur de Pirate’s set list, 12 July 2015
1. Ocean’s Brawl (then short welcome)
2. Our love
3. The Way back home
4. Golden Baby
5. Pour un infidèle
7. Drapeau blanc (new song introduced)
8. I don’t want to break your Heart (first use of extended stage)
9. Place de la République (filmed from a distance)
13. Adieu (she held up two fingers at the line ‘tu fait l’amour à deux poussées’ !)
14. Crier tout bas (new song announced)
15. Comme des enfants (with audience participation)
16. Oublie-moi (used extended stage)
The last link shows how fast she and band had to wave farewell; This clip is the best daylight close-up of Béatrice in open-air festival performance that I have seen.
Five songs were in English – all from the as-yet unreleased ‘Roses’ album. About half were sung at the keyboard, the rest standing. (Unlike Véronique Sanson after her, she did not bring on a piano.)
See a good amateur film of CDP at Les Ardentes in Belgium, a few days earlier, singing her majestic new song ‘Crier tout bas’.
CdP’s hair is now magnificent – long, blonde, no longer swept back over her right ear and hanging on her left (which was her style in past years to play piano at right-angle to the audience).
So how did Coeur de Pirate compare with the big draws of Véronique Sanson and Julien Doré? They both had larger bands, backing singers, light shows and longer on stage. Béatrice delivered more for less, under a time limit, and looks very comfortable on stage before huge audiences.
Bruxelles-based, all-female trio Sirius Plan made quite an impression last year with their version of Bashung’s La Nuit Je Mens. Their debut album is about to be released, on first single Du Rose Dans Les Veines the girls sound like an Belgian answer to (the acoustic side of) duo Brigitte: hiphop-influenced, sultry, crystal-clear innovative pop. Which is nice.
A young and striking Sophie Huriaux at 32, filmed singing ‘L’amour, ça ne pardonne pas’, has just emerged from the INA Chansons archive.
This acoustic performance on 13 March 2002 of a song on her second album ‘Le Porte-bonheur’ reminds us that she worked her passage to success through the clubs and bars of Paris and why she is as good with a single guitar as with her four-man band of today. The occasion, the late-night TV discussion programme ‘Des mots de minuit’, reflects LGS’s own love of words and ability to play on them in her intriguing lyrics, tricking us with an English-sounding phrase in the first lines:
Ah! t´en verra d´autres ma fille
Des gars puissants avec du sex à pile
Fais attention aux marioles à chaque instant
Te fie pas à leurs bagnioles à leurs diamants
The confidence with which Sophie later dared to take on Barbara’s classic ‘Dis, quand reviendras-tu?’ with only a guitar in her 2009 album ‘Des vagues et des ruisseaux’ can be seen here. LGS discussed her view of ‘Dis, quand reviendras-tu?’ and sang it here.
Mark Sullivan has been following Béatrice Martin’s growing confidence this year, as her third album is awaited.
When Béatrice Martin told us a year ago that she was making a new, bilingual album, it was likely that 2015 would be Coeur de Pirate’s year. And so it is proving, even though ‘Roses’ is not out until 28 August. She has already achieved a ‘double first’ – the first single to be issued contemporaneously in two language versions, and the first video in which the star performs a modern dance with a professional ballet dancer. It has been followed by revelation on stage of Béatrice’s new English-language songs. To come are festival appearances this summer, and a major tour both sides of the Atlantic running into 2016.
CdP’s video for ‘Oublie-moi’ / ‘Carry on’ , has reached 1 million hits in French, and over 360,000 in English. The Accès Illimité film of how the dance video was shot, in November 2014 at the atmospheric St Raphael’s Church Ruins, South Glengarry County, Ontario, 60 km west of Montreal, is here.
The choreographer Nico Archambault, and the principal ballet dancer Sam Colbey, are with Les Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. The film while short shows well how Béatrice has outdistanced the general run of pop performers’ videos by learning real modern dance herself, and doing it well. (The second half of the video shows her being taught in the Ballet Company’s studio).
The launch of the single on ‘La Voix’ on 5 April (with parts of ‘Place de la Republique’ and ‘Comme des Enfants’) is here. Béatrice dared to introduce her major new song by having the competitors sing it with her. You cannot imagine anyone else doing that, but it works.
A live performance of ‘Carry on’ did not however take place for another 6 weeks. Béatrice cleverly chose the CBC Music Festival, at Echo Beach, Toronto on 23 May 2015, to reveal her new English-language songs. Her performance was broadcast live by CBC radio but not available outside Canada then, and we have had to wait (more expectation) until 3 July when good quality film of her and her band made it to the internet. Ron Skinner of CBC Radio 2’s blog about her set is here.
This isn’t all. Just posted is Béatrice’s Collective Arts Black Box Session, filmed in Toronto in June. It presents a different version of ‘Carry on’, and a song not filmed at Echo Beach, ‘The Way back Home’ – played on keyboard, with a single guitar and backing singer
The quality is excellent and the short interview is classic CdP in English – charming and succinct. As usual every word she says is worth listening to.
Meanwhile, Béatrice has kept her French audiences expectant for this summer’s festivals by turning in a new solo version now on-line of ‘Oublie-moi’ on 3 July at the studio of the newspaper ‘Le Parisien’ and a nice version of her 2010 Victoires de la Musique winner, ‘Comme des enfants’.
The rugby scrum of journalists watching her at RTL’s studio on 6 July, singing ‘Crier tout bas’ with her leading musician Renaud Bastien on acoustic guitar, shows (despite the poor sound) how the press interest in the world’s most talented 25-year-old is as great as ever.
And Béatrice has published a clear photo at last of her daughter Romy (now nearly 3), mimicking her mother with a microphone. It’s on her twitter here.
We may now have most of her new English-language songs. ‘Crier tout bas’ whets the appetite for as-yet-unrevealed ones in French.