Articles: France

05
Joanna Newsom (live in Paris)
Joanna Newsom (live in La Villette, Paris, 31 May 2010) Review Snapshot: An excellent album takes flight as a sensational live show. With careful arrangements, the indie harpist and her band deliver a dramatic and stirring performance with all the force of a full orchestra. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: "Kate Bush," says someone behind us, trying to describe tonight's star before she appears on stage. It's an understandable comparison, given that both ladies write idiosyncratic songs which they then sing in an arabesque upper register. But it would be more interesting and accurate to compare Joanna Newsom with Owen Pallett, appearing at the same venue the following night as part of an imaginative 'Villette Sonique' series of shows. Ostensibly indie acts, both singers make sweeping, ambitious music beyond categorisation, flavoured by diverse influences like show tunes and American folk - yet ... [Read on]
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28
The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live in Paris)
The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live at the Nouveau Casino, Paris) Review Snapshot: Two loud doses of U.S. alt-rock, which may be surprising for some fans of 'Hospice'. But at high volume and with lots of reverberating bass, The Antlers reveal even more of the emotions that inspired that fabulous album. Cymbals Eat Guitars, at war with your eardrums, are an uncomplicated pleasure. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: Every band on tour will stop in Paris - but alternative rock and pop have a relatively small audience in the French capital. So tonight two great American bands, Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Antlers, are playing on the same bill in a small venue in the hip Oberkampf district at only 15 euro a ticket. And still the place isn't even two-thirds full. (It was a similar story for another cracking double bill, DM Stith and The Acorn, that we reviewed for you back in May.) Tonight's show is part of the Custom series organised by Fren... [Read on]
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17
Grizzly Bear, Telepathe, Bill Callahan (live in St Malo)
Grizzly Bear, Telepathe, Andrew Bird and Bill Callahan(live at la Route du Rock, St Malo, France) Review Snapshot: Telepathe's cracking NY electro gets lost in a large theatre; all hail Bill Callahan; neither Andrew Bird nor Grizzly Bear have a good game. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: So far we've focused on the main festival venue at the old fort a few miles outside St Malo. But there's also a second site - a hall on the seafront back in town. We decide, then, to start day three of La Route du Rock by checking it out. This isn't just a whim or for the sake of variety; we want to see Telepathe. For the festival, the Palais du Grand Large has been rather crassly renamed after a well-known mobile phone manufacturer. It's a large, plush, modern theatre that has headphone sockets and volume knobs in the armrests. Telepathe's gear is set up compactly in the middle of the vast stage, like a small car parked on the Wembley pitch. Th... [Read on]
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16
St Vincent, Papercuts, Camera Obscura (live in St Malo)
St Vincent, Papercuts and Camera Obscura (live at La Route du Rock, St Malo, France) Review Snapshot: A sensational performance from Annie Clark is the highlight of day two and perhaps eventually the entire festival. Papercuts shore up their alt-folk sound for maximum festival effect, while Camera Obscura are sheer pop fun. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: The second day of La Route du Rock promised more subtle charms than last night's sonic thunderstorm. While headliners My Bloody Valentine eventually left many people cold, today the festival's first real star appeared. More of that later. First, though, we were impressed by San Franciscan Jason Quever and his band Papercuts. If you like the haziness of their album, 'You Can Have What You Want', you may be surprised to hear them live. On record their songs are alt-folk shuffles but tonight they have a sturdier indie-rock shape to them - the pulsing bass of 'Future Primitive', f... [Read on]
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15
My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter, Tortoise (live in St Malo)
My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter and Tortoise (live at La Route du Rock, St Malo, France) Review Snapshot: Three cult acts share an impressive bill on the Breton coast. The excellent Deerhunter continue the fine tradition of VU and Sonic Youth alt-rock. Tortoise get loud and funky but once or twice go over the head of the more party-minded festival-goers. And MBV leave mixed feelings; while impressive in many respects the whole thing feels a little stale and there's so much more to their music than bludgeoning noise. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: The first day of La Route du Rock, and everyone is preoccupied by noise. The nearby village of Chateauneuf-de-Ille-et-Vilaine has been warned about the aural assault they can expect around midnight, and residents there are scowling slightly at any blow-ins collaborating with the forces of sonic blitzkrieg. On the festival site, there's a scramble for earplugs. And in the media zone all talk is of tod... [Read on]
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18
DM Stith and The Acorn (live in La Maroquinerie, Paris) Review Snapshot: A cracking double bill of cinematic, romantic North American folk-rock to warm this cold Paris cellar. DM Stith is the quiet small-town Everyman with an otherworldly voice; The Acorn are your ideal college roommates. In their own ways, the two acts win over the crowd with their invention, sincerity and vision – though most punters will go home talking about Stith. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: The average rock fan, on heading out on a Friday night, probably worries about catching things other than pneumonia or the common cold. But here we are in La Maroquinerie, a popular Paris venue, on a May evening and it actually feels chilly down here when normally these cellar walls are running with punter perspiration. You see, the place isn’t even half full – and whenever the door opens, a draught sweeps round the room. It’s odd that more people haven&r... [Read on]
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11
Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert - WARP 20 (live in Cité de la Musique, Paris) Review Snapshot: To honour one of electronic music's best-loved labels, a birthday bash featuring two cult figures from different points on the spectrum of that genre. Vibert's DJ set is cool and seductive; Aphex Twin sets your head and entrails to spin-cycle. Two different live experiences but each great in their own way. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Gouging the mind’s ear for two decades now, Warp Records are currently celebrating their twentieth birthday by putting on shows in major cities around the world. The Paris leg at the Cité de la Musique comprises two nights: last night Pivot, !!! and Jarvis Cocker were among those getting the party started (Nightmares On Wax apparently pulled out at the last minute) and tonight Aphex Twin (right), Luke Vibert, Hudson Mohawke, Leila and Plaid are blowing out the candles. Luke Vibert is here doing a DJ set i... [Read on]
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23
Carly Sings (live in La Bellevilloise, Paris) Review Snapshot: Despite incessant audience noise and diabolical sound problems, which she really should just put aside, Carly Sings pulls out a strong performance of fine material - including some promising new songs. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Tonight’s venue, a trendy music bar in the slightly bohemian 20th district of Paris, is full of lively punters out for a good time. For Carly Sings, this is bad news indeed. You see, La Bellevilloise is fashionable because its clientele like to hang out here and chat with friends while having live music in the background as sonic wallpaper. By the bar it’s standing room only, as packed and noisy as a Friday evening train station. The disinterested audience din is overwhelming, quite possibly the loudest we’ve ever heard at a concert. More used to dedicated Dublin listeners, Carly Blackman is up against it tonight. You’d hardly ... [Read on]
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06
Sebastien Tellier (live at the Centre Pompidou, Paris) Review Snapshot: An unusual location for, it must be said, a singular performer. The hairy, scary electronician brings his French lover routine to the famous Paris contemporary art museum. Unfortunately, his new synth-ballad material is nothing to get excited about. But the stripped-down version of 'La Ritournelle' was marvellous - and Tellier is always an engaging and entertaining live performer. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Have you been to the Centre Pompidou? You know where we mean. Wedged between naff Les Halles, sleazy Rue Saint Denis and ultra-hip Le Marais. Ugly on the outside, conceptually-arty on the inside. Music blaring on the plaza in front of it, either cutting-edge Tecktonik dancers or hitsville buskers. From the top, a great view of all Paris. No better location, then, for Sebastien Tellier to showcase his new album, 'Sexuality', on 29 February last. A mixture of naf... [Read on]
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