The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Mon Dieu! The big news story in France today is the revelation of President Sarkozy's new partner - model/singer Carla Bruni. The pair were officially photographed together during an official visit to Disneyland Paris. Bruni happens to bear a strong resemblance to Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia, who divorced him shortly after he was elected President.

Carla Bruni and President SarkozyApart from the showbiz gossip aspect, the story is causing strong reactions here because it means that Bruni has, de facto, associated herself with the ruling right-wing conservative class. Sarko is either loved or loathed in France - and artists who come out in favour of him tend to be pitching to the white moneyed classes.

There are two types of Sarko-fans among France's showbiz community. On the one hand, you have long-time stars like Johnny Hallyday whose demographic is the traditional middle-aged provincial Frenchperson. On the other there's the new breed of superstar DJs like Martin Solveig and David Guetta, both of whom played fundraising shows for Sarkozy's UMP party during his presidential campaign. Low-taxation policies attract the Parisian bling-bling, nouveau-riche lifestyle that Guetta embodies.

Unlike in today's apathetic Ireland, France's young people tend to be openly political, and an artist's political views have serious repercussions for his/her sales. A rapper who supports Sarko (as some old-school has-beens like Doc Gyneco have done) instantly blows his street-cred. Bruni, whose two albums of poetic acoustic ballads would have appealed to the left-leaning bobo (bourgeois bohemian) Paris liberal, may just have scuttled her audience. But then again, if she marries the President of France she's hardly going to need to make another album.

As for your blogger, definitely not enamoured with Sarko, he just has to grit his teeth and stand by the favourable review he gave to Bruni's first album, 'Quelqu'un M'a Dit', back in 2004. Here's the title track, which is impossible to listen to now without the mental picture of her whispering it in the ear of her little Sarko:

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Nuggets from our archive

2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.