The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


It's 2010! For your information, the French are calling it a futuristic-sounding deux mille dix (two thousand and ten) and not vingt-dix (twenty-ten).

Anyway, here's the first French band to pop up their heads in the new decade, like a flower pushing up through the winter snow. (It's bbbloody fffreezing here in Paris.)

Clara Clara (right) share the repetitive naming policy of other French Letter favourites like Pony Pony Run Run and Birdy Nam Nam. They're a trio from Lyon whose drummer, François Virot, released two albums of likeable indie-folk-tronica in recent years. (He's the one on the right, looking sweaty.)

However, Clara Clara  - François Virot, Charles Virot on bass and Amélie Lambert on keyboards - sound more dynamic and urgent. They call their sound 'post-hardcore' and that stands for heavy distortion plus frenetic rhythms plus shouty vocals. For example: the band's second album, with no title confirmed yet, will be released in February, and first track 'Paper Crowns' is a tense stand-off between cold-blooded Kraftwerk-y electronica and chaotic indie-rock squalling. Somehow, what could have been a big old mess is really quite catchy and charming.

We suspect that Clara Clara will be very successful in 2010. They'll be at the Eurosonic festival next week, then the winter edition of La Route du Rock in Saint Malo in February alongside the likes of The XX, Local Natives, The Tallest Man On Earth and Clues. A European tour is pencilled in for April - no news of an Irish date yet. And in November they're hitting the west coast of the United States. If the album is any way decent then they'll be in all the right places during the year to get it noticed.

You can hear 'Paper Crowns' on Clara Clara's MySpace page - at the time of writing it's the only track posted. Their 2008 first album is streaming here and you could also check out François Virot's MySpace page for his solo stuff. Here's a video promoting the band's forthcoming album, featuring an early version of 'Paper Crowns' and a glimpse of what their live show looks like:


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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.