posted on January 10, 2008 12:37
The annual Eurosonic festival takes place this weekend (10-12 January) in Groningen in the Netherlands, as part of the Noorderslag music conference. Given the pan-continental vibe of the whole thing, it's appropriate that it kicks off with a concert by that all-inclusive Scandinavian pop collective, I'm From Barcelona.
As well as being a massive industry symposium, Eurosonic features live performances by over 250 new and emerging acts from across the continent, chosen either from applicants or those nominated to perform by the music community of their home country.
For instance, 2FM are sending Cathy Davey and Republic Of Loose on our behalf, and both Si Schroeder and Halves have also been chosen to represent Ireland. So, four fine acts representing us and themselves at Europe's most important and prestigious music showcase. G'wan Oirland!!!!
France will have 12 acts at Eurosonic - and, as you'd expect, France's position as market leader in electronica will be emphasised during the showcase. Irish music fans may know TTC, who played at The Village in Dublin last May. That is, a small number of Irish music fans - as Nialler9 tells it, there were only around 70 or 80 punters on the night, many of whom were falling-around drunk. Anyway, TTC contributors Para One and Orgasmic will DJ at a special night for Teki Latex's label, Institubes, which will also include turns from DJs Bobmo and Surkin.
Readers of this blog (a bit classier and more numerous than those TTC fans, we're glad to say) will recognise the name of electro-disco-poppeuse Yelle, whose colourful and hyperactive 'Pop-Up' featured in our list of Best French Albums of 2007.
Other French electro at Eurosonic '08 includes the Krautrock-influenced Zombie-Zombie, the hardcore techno of DJ and producer Leonard de Leonard, Greek-born singer Olga Kouklaki and the Latino-flavoured P18 project of Tom Darnal, formerly of Manu Chao's old band Mano Negra.
As for the indie kids, Franco-Finnish duo The Dø (pronounced 'doh' like the first note of the musical scale) are currently enjoying massive radio exposure in France with their debut single 'On My Shoulders'.
Singer Olivia Merilahti's blackboard-scraping voice may grate the nerves, but in a post-Blunt world anything goes. Expect to hear them (pictured left) on your Eire-waves during 2008.
The two lads in AaRON (that's how it must be written) were shortlisted for the 2007 Prix Constantin, France's equivalent of the Choice and Mercury prizes. They scored a sizeable hit with their maudlin piano ballad 'Lili', which will probably be a big hit with the SHUSH!-ers at Groningen and beyond.
Acoustic singer-songer Soko gained a cult following with her song 'I'll Kill Her', which became something of an internet hit in France last year. She can't sing and the song is a half-written shambles... but it seems that a venomous chorus is enough to sway large numbers of French indie fans.
To pick one of that French contingent for international success in deux mille huit, our preference would be Yelle or the TTC lads... but realism dictates that we go for The Do. Doh! We mean, The Dø. Anyway, here's them live in Bordeaux playing 'On My Shoulders'. It has already featured in a French TV ad for stationery, but we hear it more as the soundtrack to some US series where the happy-go-lucky heroine is having boy trouble: