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.
Le A are a quartet of shoegazy alt-rockers who hail from Bordeaux. The band are Blandine Peis on vocals and synths, the guitars and vocals of Ita Duclair and Emeline Marceau, together with the xy chromosomes of drummer Michaël Martin. Named in homage to the bande dessinée series “Philémon”, the band have recently released a five-track EP full of indie-inspired wondrousness entitled “Pale Echo.”
It’s an EP chock-full of dark and moody indie and alt-rock; pounding percussion and a fusillades of crashing, reverbed guitars that are counterpoised with angelic, honey-dripped vocals and the most soothing of harmonisations. But what makes this EP stand-out is when the band take a genre that is so arguably English in nature and crafted the most incredibly powerful song that is cent-pour-cent French. Magnifique!!!
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.