posted on May 04, 2008 14:25
We've been bemoaning the dearth of Irish acts taking the ferry to France these days. All that's on the agenda at the moment are two Divine Comedy shows in Paris in September; we'll bring you more about that in due course.
And the tumbleweed has been blowing in both directions - there aren't many French acts travelling to Ireland, at least compared to last year. The dance acts are stopping by: a DJ set by Cassius at the POD tonight, Vitalic at the Trinity Ball and Cork in May, Justice at Oxegen. But French indie bands aren't making the trip to Dublin, even though plenty (The Teenagers, The Dodoz) are singing in English and playing up and down the UK. Why is this?
There's one French-ish Dublin concert to tell you about: Keren Ann (right) is playing at Crawdaddy on 21 June, which happens to be Fête de la Musique, France's national day of music. (How come there isn't one of these in Ireland, self-styled home of world-renowned music?)
True, Keren Ann was born in Israel and grew up in the Netherlands, and she holds dual nationality for both those countries. However, she moved to France as a teenager and started her music career here, becoming reasonably successful in the hushed, poetic chanson française genre.
Her self-titled fifth album, released last year, was the first to give her noticeable international attention - and deservedly so, because it's lovely. "Intimate folk-pop, a lo-fi Feist", the much-impressed CLUAS reviewer called it. We also noted the influence of Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed on her music, especially Len's low murmur and thoughtful lyrics.
So, we had Keren Ann pegged as being quiet and shy. And then at this year's Victoires de la Musique award show in Paris, where the aforementioned CLUAS-approved record was up for Best Album, she performed 'Lay Your Head Down' and swaggered like a rock goddess. Once again, we were smitten like a kitten.
Here's the performance we're talking about. Dreamy and rockin', with plenty of attitude from Keren Ann... but where are the triple-handclaps? Oh, there they are, at 3 mins 54 secs: