The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


The summer is long gone but that doesn't mean we still can't have festivals; one of France's biggest music events begins tonight.

Les Trans Musicales takes place in Rennes, in the heart of Brittany, from 2 to 6 December. It being a university city, Rennes has a lively and established music scene. Now in its 31st year, Les Trans Musicales is a weekend of discovering new French and international music either on the festival site or in the city's bars.

When we say 'festival site', of course, we don't mean a field or football pitch - Brittany is much like Ireland climate-wise. The main Friday and Saturday shows are held in the Parc Expo, a complex of exhibition centres several kilometres outside Rennes, and fans are dependent on shuttle buses to get there and back. Meanwhile, the city centre bars are buzzing with young bands and visitors.

So, who's playing? Anyone you in Ireland might know?

Well, on Thursday night Erland Oye's project The Whitest Boy Alive are in a city centre venue called Liberté Bas along with four lesser-known acts. Friday out in the Parc Expo you could see Fever Ray, FM Belfast and Major Lazer among others. Then on Saturday you've got The Very Best (of that thin-sounding Afropop tune 'Warm Heart Of Africa' featuring Ezra Keonig from Vampire Weekend), one-hit wonder Mr Oizo... and that's it for recognisable names. But maybe some of the other acts will be big in 2010 - have a look through the downloadable programme (in pdf) and place your bets.

There's only one Irish act at Les Trans Musicales - Derry electro trio The Japanese Popstars are appearing on Saturday night.

You can find out more about the winter trip to Rennes on Les Trans Musicales' web site. Here are The Japanese Popstars showing their love for a cartoon series that also inspired Daft Punk - it's their video for the storming 'Rise of Ulysses':

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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.