The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Tonight on French television there’s a compilation of highlights from Rapido, the Gallic-flavoured music show that ran on BBC and RTE from 1987 to 1992.


Daft punk: 'Rapido' presenter Antoine de CaunesIn its day it was probably the best music show on TV, mainly because it managed to interview all the big names of that remarkably fertile period when house, grunge, baggy, electro, shoegazing and rap (to name just a few innovations of the time) transformed modern music. The show also created the template for irreverent, fast-paced and eclectic youth culture programmes – ‘The Word’ on Channel 4 was unmistakably influenced by it.

However, most people probably just remember Rapido’s presenter, Antoine de Caunes (above right), with his exaggerated French accent and smirking delivery (of scripts written by legendary rock journalist and Paris resident Nick Kent). In France de Caunes is actually a respected actor, comedian and film-maker – but in the UK and Ireland he will always be the silly, kitsch-loving perv who presents Eurotrash.

Here, then, are both sides of Rapido – first, a 1990 interview with The Cure, introduced by de Caunes in his almost unintelligible Inspector-Clouseau-on-speed accent:

And a rare artefact for Irish music fans – a Kevin Shields promotional interview! The My Bloody Valentine leader is here talking up ‘Loveless’ in 1991 and explaining how it took all of THREE YEARS to make! Little did we suspect that this was Shields at flat-out working pace. Note (1) Kev’s Dublin accent (thus settling for ever the old MBV-Irish-or-not argument) and (2) his hyperactive mile-a-minute personality, which he clearly brings to MBV productivity:

Contact this blog in the more intimate surroundings of frenchletter(at)cluas(dot)com. Your blogger regrets that you can't "crash with him in Paris".


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Nuggets from our archive

2004 - The CLUAS Reviews of Erin McKeown's album 'Grand'. There was the positive review of the album (by Cormac Looney) and the entertainingly negative review (by Jules Jackson). These two reviews being the finest manifestations of what became affectionately known, around these parts at least, as the 'McKeown wars'.