The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Entries for 'Aidan Curran'


Franco-Irish relations are at a bit of a low point these times. (No need for us to go into the why of it here.) Fortunately, 2009 will end with some good news from France for one of our best-loved performers.

Adrian Crowley'Season Of The Sparks' by Adrian Crowley, full-time singer-songer and part-time festival curator, has got a rave review in the current issue of Les Inrockuptibles. This is excellent news for Crowley - Les Inrocks is France's biggest-selling and most influential music and culture magazine. Crowley lived in Toulouse for a while some years ago, so no doubt he'll be especially pleased by this notice. (Carly Sings and Duke Special have previously got the rave from Les Inrocks too.)

Obviously you'd like to know what the handballers are saying about our man. Well, we should point out that Les Inrocks has a very florid and pretentious style. That said, we've translated for you the entire review of Richard Robert from Les Inrockuptibles:

The enchanter

Dazzling in writing and execution, Irishman Adrian Crowley joins the circle of songwriters who are as impressionistic as they are impressive.

By the magic of an alchemy for which the formula escapes us, certain musicians gather in their hands all the beauty that enchants the lives of us music-lovers and mould it into a form at once immediately familiar and totally unheard-of. With his writing of pedigree and his baritone timbre, Irishman Adrian Crowley (already on his fourth album) joins this exclusive category of enchanters. With its classic dimensions (ten tracks, 36 minutes), its disdain for the spectacular and its unshakably balanced tone, 'Season Of The Sparks' will hardly rock the songwriting world to its foundations. However, it causes a considerable effect which lingers long after its final notes have faded away.

It is a miracle of equilibrium and elegance that few collections of songs are able to provoke, a unique mix of melodic clarity (established in the enchanting 'Summer Haze Paradise' and later confirmed in already-classic songs like 'The Wishing Seat', 'Liberty Stream' and 'Season Of The Sparks'), harmonic finesse and instrumental draughtsmanship, heightened by an art that is consummate in its execution.

Sensitive in his lyrics, Crowley's attention to natural elements finds its full expression in the organic and hazy textures that adorn his ballads in a minor key: electric guitars unravelling in unreal threads ('The Beekeeper's Wife', 'Squeeze Bees'), strings streaming like autumn rain ('The Three Sisters', 'Swedish Room'), echoing synthesisers covering each song in a shimmering veil...

Adrian Crowley crosses these special lands with a deceptively impassive voice that at times evokes the warm richness of Bill Callahan. And when he finally disappears after a final moment of grace (the suspenseful 'Pay No Mind') he leaves the obsessive memory of a fantastic wizard bewitching our consciences by means which he'll keep a secret until the end.

(original review by Richard Robert/Les Inrockuptibles, translated by Aidan Curran)

Well! Fair play to him - let's hope this is the beginning of great success for him here in France. You can listen to these enchanting tunes on Adrian Crowley's MySpace page. Here's the video for 'The Wishing Seat':

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Here are the names of real French bands currently doing well on the Paris indie scene: The Bewitched Hands On The Top Of Our Heads; Jil Is Lucky; (Please) Don't Blame Mexico. Leading cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles awarded their CQFD prize for most promising new act of 2009 to The Popopopops. An electro DJ/producer called Julien Brambilla, featured lately in The Guardian and therefore gaining serious UK exposure at a swoop, decided he needed a stage name and so he's calling himself Danton Eeprom.

Far be it from your correspondent to pose as some sort of communications expert, but we spot a serious flaw here in French bands and their plans for world domination. The tunes might be good, the look sharp, the live show tight. However, Jacques le Frenchman then ruins it all by calling his band something so awful that no one outside France will ever take them seriously or have a listen. (We should point out that most young French people speak English quite well.)

For instance: you might quite fancy some Gallic retro-pop or dancefloor-friendly indie. But there's no way you'd take an uninformed gamble on bands called Diving With Andy or Pony Pony Run Run, right? Right. Could they not have run the name past an English-speaking friend first? Perhaps some enterprising young anglophone here in Paris should set up shop as an English-For-Pop-Music teacher or consultant. (Hmmmm...)

All this is inspired by yet another decent French act let down by slack work at the baptismal font: Get Back Guinozzi! (The exclamation mark is theirs. Because calling your band just 'Get Back Guinozzi' would have been ridiculous.)

Anyway, the defendants: GBG! are from Toulon in the south of France. At their core is a duo, Eglantine Gouzy and Frederic Landini (right), but they have three bandmates for live shows. Landini is a prominent music promoter - his MIDI project stages an impressive annual festival in Toulon every summer and next February they're bringing The XX down south. GBG! are currently based in London and signed to FatCat Records.

Their first album has just come out - it's called 'Carpet Madness' and it's quite good. If you remember your Venn diagrams from maths class, GBG! make lo-fi indie pop that would be the intersection of the sets The Moldy Peaches, The B-52s, Cibo Matto, Belle And Sebastian and '60s reggae-pop. Gouzy, with her accented and simplistic vocal delivery, is an acquired taste. But so is Guinness and you had no qualms about putting in the effort to acquire that one. Their poppy cover of 'Police And Thieves' briefly recalls the stale joke that is Nouvelle Vague but still (just about) works. On the whole, this album has a lot of genuine charm and energy, plus a love of melodic indie pop.

Check out tracks from 'Carpet Madness' at the Get Back Guinozzi! MySpace page. Here's the video (note: contains kitsch '70s nudity) for the best song on the album, 'Low Files Tropical':

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A quick round up of some notes in the parish bulletin:

First, we lend a metaphorical cup of sugar to our new neighbour, 'Alternative Tunings'. Written by Aideen O'Flaherty, it's a blog featuring stuff that isn't obscure French indie-pop or the continuing adventures of the Gainsbourg family, but don't let that put you off. Already, in her very first post, Aideen has spoiled you with five promising new Dublin bands, so 'Alternative Tunings' should be worth checking out regularly.

Second, this blog will have its annual Best French Music list in the last week of the year. And, it being also the last week of the decade, we'll hop on the bandwagon and do a version 2000-09 as well. Drop us a comment, mail or tweet if you have suggestions or strong feelings on the matter.

Third, it's Christmas here in Paris. (Coincidentally, it's Christmas in Ireland around now too.) We told you last year how the French don't do Christmas songs - but they make up for it in Christmas lights. Department stores here are dazzling and the Champs-Elysées, if you stand in Place de la Concorde and look up, is glowing like a heavenly constellation.

Though there's no 'Jingle Bells' ringing out here, the Christmas lights of Paris deux mille neuf have a music connection. This year the lights outside swish department store Printemps were flicked on by Beth Ditto, in Paris for three sold-out Gossip shows at the Bataclan. Meanwhile, illumination duties on the Champs-Elysées were entrusted to Charlotte Gainsbourg. (You see? That family always ends up here somehow.)

Charlotte Gainsbourg 'IRM' album coverIt's been some year for Charlotte. Back in May she won the Best Actress prize at Cannes for her role in Lars von Triers' typically divisive 'Antichrist'. Now to December, and new album 'IRM' (right) has been released here in France. As you probably know by now, it was produced and co-written by Beck.

We've already featured the title track here - a tuneless, monotonous dirge in the manner of 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. On that evidence, the album promised to be something best avoided.

Well, here's 'IRM' the album. And, damned with faint praise, it's better than 'IRM' the song. Though never as memorable as her previous long-player, the cool and nocturnal '5:55', it's still decent enough.

First single 'Heaven Can Wait' (video below) continues the '66-'67 Beatles vibe with some 'Penny Lane'-style music hall piano chords, while 'Dandelion' sounds like Donovan's 'Mellow Yellow'. It's hard to have strong feelings either way about two such innocuous tracks. Other songs in this vein, like 'Master's Hand' and 'Me And Jane Doe', are less tolerable.

This record is a lot more engaging when Gainsbourg leaves the summer of love behind and heads somewhere wintry. 'Vanities' has a lovely Scandinavian bleakness which makes it the album's standout track. (Perhaps next time she should head to Sweden and make the record with Stina Nordenstam.) The melancholic folk-pop balladry of 'In The End' recalls an iconic French pop star of the late '60s and early '70s - not her father, but Françoise Hardy from the time of her 1971 English-language album 'If You Listen'. Never fear: the symphonic and soulful 'Le Chat Du Café Des Artistes' is a clear nod to Serge.

As for Beck, his presence is discreet but discernable - there are enough of his trademark alt-folk touches, electronic flavourings and surreal free-association lyrics. That said, non-fans of his have nothing (much) to fear from 'IRM'.

So, despite the contaminating effect of its awful title track, 'IRM' is alright. It'll be released in the UK and Ireland in January, when the accompanying press release will no doubt include '"...decent enough... innocuous... alright" (French Letter)'. Oh, and on the album cover she looks like Mrs Sarkozy.

You can listen to snippets from each song on Charlotte Gainsbourg's web site. Here's the interesting video for that first single and duet with her producer, 'Heaven Can Wait':

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The summer is long gone but that doesn't mean we still can't have festivals; one of France's biggest music events begins tonight.

Les Trans Musicales takes place in Rennes, in the heart of Brittany, from 2 to 6 December. It being a university city, Rennes has a lively and established music scene. Now in its 31st year, Les Trans Musicales is a weekend of discovering new French and international music either on the festival site or in the city's bars.

When we say 'festival site', of course, we don't mean a field or football pitch - Brittany is much like Ireland climate-wise. The main Friday and Saturday shows are held in the Parc Expo, a complex of exhibition centres several kilometres outside Rennes, and fans are dependent on shuttle buses to get there and back. Meanwhile, the city centre bars are buzzing with young bands and visitors.

So, who's playing? Anyone you in Ireland might know?

Well, on Thursday night Erland Oye's project The Whitest Boy Alive are in a city centre venue called Liberté Bas along with four lesser-known acts. Friday out in the Parc Expo you could see Fever Ray, FM Belfast and Major Lazer among others. Then on Saturday you've got The Very Best (of that thin-sounding Afropop tune 'Warm Heart Of Africa' featuring Ezra Keonig from Vampire Weekend), one-hit wonder Mr Oizo... and that's it for recognisable names. But maybe some of the other acts will be big in 2010 - have a look through the downloadable programme (in pdf) and place your bets.

There's only one Irish act at Les Trans Musicales - Derry electro trio The Japanese Popstars are appearing on Saturday night.

You can find out more about the winter trip to Rennes on Les Trans Musicales' web site. Here are The Japanese Popstars showing their love for a cartoon series that also inspired Daft Punk - it's their video for the storming 'Rise of Ulysses':

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The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live in Paris)
The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live at the Nouveau Casino, Paris) Review Snapshot: Two loud doses of U.S. alt-rock, which may be surprising for some fans of 'Hospice'. But at high volum...

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If you know your Peter Pan, you'll remember that Wendy Darling was the oldest and wisest of the three children whisked off to Neverland. Once there, she seemed to buck the trend and become more mature and responsible, though without ever making the leap to modern-minded independence.

The Wendy DarlingsFrom Neverland we're whisked back to France and the central city of Clermont-Ferrand, mentioned plenty of times before on this blog. The Wendy Darlings (right) are a trio - a girl leading two boys, like their fictional counterparts. They make fun and catchy guitar pop that has one foot in '60s garage-rock and another in '90s indieness. We think they're great.

However, it depresses us to write this next bit: the lead singer calls herself Saddam Suzy and the two lads are Dr Poppy and DJ Sepia. Seriously, like - Saddam Suzy. It's best that we just move on and ignore that.

The Wendy Darlings have a limited edition 7-track EP out right now on UK label Lostmusic Records, called 'We Come With Friendly Purposes'. They're also getting exposure on CQFD, the new band community/contest of Les Inrockuptibles.

But if you want to hear their best songs, go to The Wendy Darlings' MySpace page. 'Enormous Pop' is the track featured on CQFD - there's a homemade YouTube video of the song set to some kitsch Japanese children's television show.

However, our favourite is 'Suffer Girl' - the title is a clever pun on the '60s surf-pop vibe of the song. Here are The Wendy Darlings playing 'Suffer Girl' with the accompaniment of - oh yes - line-dancing troupe The Hate It Loud Quadrille:


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La Flèche d’Or, the much-loved music bar in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, opened again last night (23 November), having been closed since the end of April.

As we told you, the licence on the premises – a former railway station served by the train that gives the bar its present name – expired on 30 April and complaints from local residents about sound levels meant that major renovation work would be necessary for a new licence to be granted. This being a costly intervention possibly offset by the venue’s popularity and name recognition, the licence was taken on jointly by two established promoters – Alias Production and Asterios Spectacles, operators of successful Paris concert halls like the Bataclan and the Maroquinerie.

So, what does the new Flèche look like? Quite like the old one (right), actually – there have been no visible structural changes but we presume the walls are now packed with insulation. There are a couple of layout improvements – the bar is now along the back wall where the few tables were, and the sound desk has been moved from the centre to the side. The crow’s-nest lighting desk has been taken down, so the Flèche lampies have come back to earth. There is no longer a bar in the smoking patio outside, which also has fewer seats. This being Paris, where the natives smoke like chimneys, most local punters should be happy that the previous overcrowding in the corner has been relieved (though it was still busy last night between sets).

Even in the last six months of its existence, the old Flèche had abandoned the free-to-entry policy that attracted music-ravenous punters like your correspondent. But at least the charade of “free entry but obligatory ticket to buy a drink, but free entry” has been dropped – to get in last night it cost eight euro, a price which includes one drink at the bar. However, like at music festivals here, you must pay a refundable deposit of one euro for your plastic cup. Will customers wait patiently at a crowded bar to get their one euro refunded at the end of the night, or will they write it off? (Those euros add up.) Still, eight euro to see four acts is always good value and the Flèche’s international reputation means that there’ll be quality somewhere on the line-up.

So, what about the music last night?

Launching the good ship Flèche d’Or was American singer-songer Chris Brokaw. Unfortunately, his dour Dylan-esque folk-rock wasn’t a great way to whip up a frenzy on such an auspicious night. Next on stage were The Two, a local boy-girl folk-pop duo whose love-and-angst English lyrics were cringefully naff and clichéd. Still, they had celebrity support – actress Charlotte Rampling was there to cheer them on. (We figure that a lady with her was the mother of the girl singer.)

Then came the star of the night – Evan Dando, for an acoustic solo set. He hasn’t aged a day since his mid-‘90s indie pin-up heyday – same long, dangling fair hair and sun-kissed good looks. And those songs from ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’ and ‘Come On Feel The Lemonheads’ are just as ageless. The strength of those songs is the tension between Dando’s happy-go-lucky stage persona and the melancholy in his voice and lyrics. (‘Confetti’ and ‘My Drug Buddy’, two songs that always inspire celebratory audience participation, are really very dark and lonely in their subject matter.) And, of course, their undeniable catchiness. That said, his later songs are a little whimsical and insipid – so we propose that Evan Dando is the Paul McCartney of alt-rock.

Brokaw joined Dando onstage for the final furlong, which included a sincere and unironic version of Christina Aguilera’s hit ‘Beautiful’ and a gorgeous acoustic rendition of ‘Ride With Me’. No rock-outs like ‘Rudderless’ or ‘Alison’s Starting To Happen’ but most other bases covered in an hour-long set – Lemonheads fans were well satisfied last night.

Upcoming shows at the Flèche include our fellow Irishman in Paris, Perry Blake, this Thursday and The Raveonettes in early December. Full listings are available on the Flèche d’Or MySpace page.

The Flèche is back, baby! From last night’s relaunch here’s Evan Dando and Chris Brokaw performing ‘Ride With Me’:

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Of course, the big news from Paris is the fall-out from last Wednesday's World Cup qualifier. After the extraordinary events of the game, thousands of fans in green and white gathered on the Champs-Elysées, which had to be closed. A minority of troublemakers chanting anti-French slogans clashed with riot police. The upshot is that France has been plunged into self-questioning about its moral and cultural position.

Yes, it was certainly a major event, Algeria's win over Egypt and qualification for next year's finals.

In other news, you might have heard that Ireland lost controversially to France in our own play-off match. Your correspondent was at the Stade de France with the travelling Irish fans; it was an incredible evening with a heartbreaking finale. But thankfully we Irish haven't lapsed into undignified self-pity, crass rabble-rousing and sanctimonious moralising on the national airwaves.

She bangs the drum: Celtic tigress Imelda May onstage in Paris, 17 November 2009 (photo: Rafael Garcia)The night before, Dublin retro-rocker Imelda May had given a tonic for the troops at a small cabaret bar near Bastille called Le Réservoir. On page two of The Ticket in last Friday's Irish Times you may have seen the striking photo (right) by Paris freelance snapper Rafael Gomez Enriquez (check out his impressive website for more of his concert shots and pictures from his travels), with a few words from your CLUAS Foreign Correspondent (Paris) underneath. In such an intimate venue, especially one up a side-street and with motorbikes outside, May's brand of rockabilly and blues felt exciting and authentic. It's hard to see how she can capture that feeling on record or in an enormodome like the O2 in Dublin - so Irish expats should take advantage of May's tentative steps in foreign cities and smaller clubs.

Speaking of the Irish Times, you might have seen Jim Carroll's rave report on Canadian indie-folk-rockers Hey Rosetta! (The exclamation mark is theirs, not ours.) Well, the band were in Paris this weekend so your correspondent went to check them out. They took part in an independent music symposium on Saturday afternoon but we decided to see them the night before as part of a new band event at Le Gibus, a club between République and the Canal Saint-Martin.

Only a dozen or so people showed up to see their show, a 25-minute slot between some energetic Libertines-loving schoolkids and a dire hard rock band. Happily, On The Record was on the money: Hey Rosetta! were wonderful. Their vibe is proudly epic and aspirational and poetic, something like Mike Scott's 'big music' from the mid-'80s or a rocked up version of DM Stith's widescreen dreamscapes. (Tim Baker's voice, soaring yet sensitive, is especially evocative.) But their music is still melodic and tightly constructed, without a pick of self-indulgence. They haven't any Irish show lined up at the moment but that's sure to change: make sure you see them.

We hear you in Dublin were also treated to a special concert lately: the double bill of St Vincent and Grizzly Bear. On Saturday night their European tour reached La Cigale in Paris - barely. En route from the Crossing Borders festival in The Hague their tour bus broke down, meaning that both acts arrived in Paris two hours late. All this time the venue doors were closed and fans had to queue along Pigalle for those two hours.

As soon as the doors opened, St Vincent went straight onstage for a shortened set of only four songs. Because fans were still trying to get into the venue when she started, most people missed the first song and many missed the second and third. Your correspondent missed the first two. (Something similar happened for her at La Route du Rock: her set started just as the gates were opening, meaning that a lot of her French fans also missed the start of her show there too - so Saturday night must have seemed like a bad joke to them.) Then Annie Clark's fans were stunned and angry to hear her say goodnight after fourth song 'Marrow'. It was almost as disappointing as events in the Stade de France (for the Irish in the audience at least).  

Grizzly Bear, for their part, got in a good hour onstage. (Paris venues must obey a strict and punitive curfew, so a late finish wasn't possible.) We had been disappointed with them at La Route du Rock in August when their sound seemed vapid and disjointed - but indoors we could hear better the heavy echo effects on vocals and instruments, making for a more satisfying experience. Feist, living in Paris, joined the band to coo along to a glorious 'Two Weeks'. And the encore version of 'He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)' was agreeably odd and unsettling. Unfortunately, earlier events conspired to somewhat spoil the mood, especially for St Vincent fans. But in hindsight and hindhearing Grizzly Bear were great. Just don't ever take a lift off them - as well as Saturday's breakdown they had a minor bus crash in Austria earlier in the week, thankfully with no serious injury or damage.

So, an eventful few days for us in Paris. This coming week we hope to see Evan Dando on Monday night at the launch of the newly-refurbished Flèche d'Or, the legendary indie venue that was closed for major soundproofing works earlier this year. On Tuesday night there's a fantastic line-up at the Nouveau Casino: The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Liquid Architecture, all for just 15 euros. (Please don't let anything happen to their bus...) And Yo La Tengo are playing the Bataclan on Sunday night.

Anyway, from Saturday night's ill-fated show at the Cigale, here's Grizzly Bear and Feist (looking quite feisty with those boxing moves) doing 'Two Weeks':

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In hope rather than expectation, thousands of Irish people are coming to France this week. We need not dwell on it except to say that your correspondent feels strangely optimistic and calm.

Anyway, if you'll be in Paris this week, welcome! Whatever the result, hopefully you'll have a good time here. To this end we've decided to give you a quick guide to going out Seine-side.

(A preliminary word: a pint of stout or lager will cost you around €7.00. Most French people don't drink pints, so tourists get caught out. A bottle of wine is cheaper than in Ireland and much better value. But if you must have beer, most supermarkets and small shops sell it cheaply.)

If you're here on Tuesday night then you can catch Imelda May playing at a small venue near the Bastille called Le Reservoir. Given that these days she's playing large Irish venues for large Irish ticket prices, seeing her in an atmospheric Paris club for only €15 would be a bit of a coup. (Imagine her surprise at going onstage in chic Paree to be greeted by a gang of Sligo Rovers lads on tour.) Gig-wise it's quiet in Paris this week - though next Tuesday there's a fantastic line-up at the Nouveau Casino: The Antlers and Cymbals Eat Guitars and Liquid Architecture, all for €15. Paris is great.

Apart from concerts, where are good places to head out in Paris? Well, rather than any bar in particular we recommend you pick an area and do a bit of a tour. Have you got a metro map to hand? Right:

Towards the east, between the stations Parmentier and Menilmontant, you've got an area known to us Paris-residents as Oberkampf. In fact, it's two parallel streets - rue Oberkampf and rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. No tourists here - Oberkampf is where Parisian indie kids go out. (It's the spiritual home of the Takeaway Shows; many of the early ones were filmed in that area.) You'll find a choice of action-packed little bars with live rock, samba, jazz, folk, electronica and loads more.

For a bit of Montmartre, change at Gare du Nord and take the line 2 west to Pigalle. Shielding your eyes from the sleaze, turn right just before the Moulin Rouge and head up rue Lepic. (On the left you'll pass Les Deux Moulins, the bar from 'Amélie'. They serve Guinness there!) At the top of the hill is Abbesses, the part of Montmartre where Parisians go out. You'll find plenty of lively restaurants and bars around there.

Similarly, across the city, behind the Panthéon and the Irish college, there's rue Mouffetard with an enjoyable night-time ambience to its eating and drinking. The restaurant with the model cow outside it (we never remember its name, but you'll find it) makes warm and filling specialities from the Alpine region, all at affordable prices.

if you want a really wild night of mixing spirits and dancing on tables, head to Bastille and especially rue de Lappe. You'll feel like you never left Temple Bar. (There's a plastic Irish pub there called The Hideout. We like a little bar at the quiet end of the street called le Bar à Nenette - Cork people, they serve Murphy's there!)

The Latin Quarter, around Saint Michel, is really a tourist trap full of kebab restaurants. But jazz fans may like to visit the Caveau de la Huchette, a legendary and long-standing venue and club, and you're right near Notre Dame and the famous Shakespeare and Co. bookshop. On the other side of Saint Michel, on rue Saint André des Arts, there's an Irish bar called Corcoran's that stays open until 5 a.m.

That's enough for one trip. If you're in the Stade de France or around town, feel free to drop us a line via Twitter: If you're unlucky enough to have any serious problems, best give the Irish Embassy a shout at + 33 1 44 17 67 00. 

Allez les verts!

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In these uncertain times, where can you turn for reassurance and sanity? Who will show vision and daring? Who can read the French music scene like a book?

The answer: your CLUAS Foreign Correspondent (Paris).

As we predicted would happen, 'Pays Sauvage' by Emily Loizeau has won the 2009 Prix Constantin for France's best album of the year. The prize was awarded at the end of a ceremony in Paris last night. The victory makes up for Loizeau's defeat in the 2006 edition. That year, her debut long-player, 'L'Autre Bout Du Monde', was shortlisted but lost to slam-poet Abd Al-Malik.

In truth, with Loizeau's so-so second album winning, the 2009 Prix Constantin ran to form. The prize has usually gone to a solo artist making safely-bohemian chanson française with mostly French lyrics, and 'Pays Sauvage' checks all these boxes. In addition, Loizeau's current rustic-flavoured style is representative of a plethora of folk-pop acts enjoying success in France today.

Even though we feel that 'Pays Sauvage' is a step down from the dizzy emotional and creative heights of 'L'Autre Bout Du Monde', we're still happy that she won. Well done.

A new edition of 'Pays Sauvage' has just been released, featured seven of the original songs now sung in English. This ties in with Loizeau's series of U.K. shows later this month. No Irish concert has been scheduled for the moment.

Rather surprisingly, her new single will be a cover of 'Sweet Dreams' by the Eurythmics. Here she is performing the song Nouvelle Vague-style with French singer Arthur H on a recent television show:

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Nuggets from our archive

2007 - REM live in the Olympia, by Michael O'Hara. Possibly the definitive review of any of REM's performances during their 2007 Olympia residency. Even the official REM website linked to it.