posted on February 21, 2008 07:09
'Stage Of The Art' is a series of regular shows, starting tonight, that aim to link the London and Paris music scenes. Appropriately, the events are sponsored by Eurostar (the Channel Tunnel train company) and their 'London Coming' cultural initiative.
The concerts will take place in a major art institution in each capital - in London at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo (a contemporary art gallery across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower).
The opening show, tonight in London, features indie band Poney Poney and enigmatic electronician Sebastien Tellier, who will be playing extracts from his forthcoming album, 'Sexuality'. Then in Paris tomorrow night it's the turn of Laura Marling, Paris Motel and Dirty Pretty Things.
It's fitting that Carl Barat's new band will inaugurate the Paris end of the event; The Libertines were profoundly influential on the current wave of Parisian 'babyrocker' bands like Plastiscines and Naast.
Further twin concerts are scheduled for April 18-19, June 6-7 and July 10-11 - however, no acts for those dates have been confirmed yet.
The concert series is a further example of the close relationship between the two grand old capitals, especially in music. For the London scene, Paris is the home of achingly-hip electronica - hence Monsieur Tellier on the UK bill. In the French capital it's the English NME-indie-band community that's admired, thus explaining Dirty Pretty Things' appearance.
Sponsors Eurostar, with the Channel Tunnel train service, have reinvigorated the relationship - the two capitals are now just two hours apart, and cross-channel daytripping is more and more common. For instance, this weekend: England are playing France in the Six Nations in Paris on Saturday night!
Could a similar concert-twinning idea work for an Irish city? Within Ireland, for instance - a Dublin-Belfast exchange. Or perhaps internationally, Dublin with London, Glasgow, Liverpool... or why not Turin, given the new Juventus link with our national football team?
Anyway, you can keep up to date on the Paris-London series of concerts by touching base with the Stage Of The Art MySpace page, where you can hear tracks from the featured artists.
Sebastien Tellier, continuing the music-art theme, will play a special show at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in February 29 - your blogger will be there! Here's 'Sexual Sportswear', the first single off Tellier's new album. As if with the France-UK connection constantly in mind, the track sounds like Jean Michel Jarre and the video looks like a James Bond credit sequence: