posted on April 30, 2007 03:00
1 May sees a free open-air concert in Paris in support of Segolene Royal, once a French au-pair in Dublin but nowadays the socialist contender in this Sunday's decisive final round of the French presidential election.
The Stade Charlety in the south of the city is expected to be full for an afternoon- and evening-long series of performances by big names from France's chanson francaise scene, none of whom are famous abroad, though. Cali, Renaud, Benabar and Olivia Ruiz (to name the bigger names taking part) make the sort of bland, lyric-heavy skiffle-pop beloved by the bobos (bourgeois bohemians) of Paris. Only rapper Disiz La Peste, writing mainly about France's continuing social and racial problems, promises any sort of abrasive social commentary or spiky sounds.
Meanwhile, Ireland's general election takes place in three weeks - and it's hard to imagine the big names of the Irish singer-songer community mobilising themselves in a similar way, even though (for instance) US military intervention or Israeli-Palestine tension bring out the Victor Jara in the most modestly-talented of acoustic-bashers.
If Irish musicians insist on being political from time to time (although, like our hero Oscar Wilde, we wish they would stick to art for art's sake), couldn't they emulate their French and American counterparts in voicing their opinions on unglamorous domestic subjects (in Ireland: the health service, political sleaze, Traveller-Settled tension) rather than hopping on the bandwagon of this month's fashionable faraway protest issue?More ...