The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


From 2007 to 2010 CLUAS hosted blogs written by 8 of its writers. Over 900 blog entries were published in that time, all of which you can browse here. Here are links to the 8 individual blogs:


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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Vote countingTypically at this time of year CLUAS is full democratic flight with polling booths wide open for readers to submit their votes to find the top albums of 2009. However, this year we've decided to not do a readers poll. And why not? It's simply because of the utterly mad amount of time it takes to tot up the thousands of votes we get.

Fret not, as there will still be a CLUAS poll this year. The last few weeks the CLUAS writers have been busy voting for their top 10 albums of 2009 and tomorrow (16 December) the results will be published. As always the CLUAS writers have stepped up to the plate and their votes collectively deliver an intriguing, diverse, credible and occasionally surprising top 40. I was pleased as well to see that, despite the intense competition from non-Irish releases, a total of five Irish albums released in 2009 made it into the top 40. Which ones? You'll see tomorrow.

In advance of the poll here's a quick overview of the numbers behind this year's writers poll:

  • 23 writers submitted a list of their fave albums of the year.
  • 202 votes were cast (an average of just under 9 albums voted for by each writer)
  • 131 different albums albums got a vote, of which...
  • ...89 albums were voted for by only one writer leaving us with...
  • ...42 albums that were voted for by 2 or more writers.
  • Breakdown of number of writers who voted for an album that made the top 40:
    • Number of albums voted for by 5 or more writers --> 3
    • Number of albums voted for by 4 writers --> 3
    • Number of albums voted for by 3 writers --> 10
    • Number of albums voted for by 2 writers --> 24

One thing I can already say is that the album that topped the poll did so by a healthy distance. It was voted for by over a third of all the writers who voted (8 out of the 23). That there would be broad agreement among the writers on the top album of 2009 is quite a surprise considering the massive number of different releases (131) that secured a vote in the poll.

Hang in there until tomorrow to see which album topped the poll. The only hint I'll offer is that it is NOT one of the following two 2009 releases (both of which just missed a place in the, er, coveted top 40, they being placed 41st and 42nd placed in the poll):

  • Mark Eitzel 'Klamath'
  • Arctic Monkeys 'Humbug'

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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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1. OrphanCode

OrphanCode closely rival A Lazarus Soul for the accolade of ‘my favourite Dublin band’. Their sound is very developed, free from beginner’s errors and undeniably catchy. If you have ears, and like music, then you’d be crazy not to like OrphanCode. If visual is more your forte, their video for “Last Dance” is very, very impressive. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of their debut LP, you should be too.
Key Tracks: There Is a Light, No Armour.

2. Caruso
Dubliners Caruso are a combination of folksy indie music, mainly acoustic and at times similar to REM (which is no mean feat) but are unmistakeable as Caruso chiefly due to the wavering vocals of front man Shane O Fearghail and an all over Irish feel to their songs. Their 2007 debut album “The Watcher & The Comet” is striking and memorable, and they’re preparing for a tour of New Zealand and Europe after recently signing to a publishing deal in Germany. Definitely ones to watch.
Key Tracks: All Your Features, Monster.


3. I Draw Slow
The recent resurgence of folk music thanks to bands such as Noah & The Whale and Mumford & Sons has made folk music ‘cool’ again. One Irish band worth your time if you’re into the latest folk/roots scene is I Draw Slow. With cleverly penned tracks and atmospheric music that is incredibly catchy you could do worse than listen to their songs.
Key Tracks: Santiago, Dead In The Morning.

4. Scarecrow Disco
Scarecrow Disco play folksy/mellow music, and there are very few Dublin bands who can play music like this but get it exactly on point like they do. They’ll be featuring on a compilation of the best of Dublin’s unsigned acts and are preparing to release a split 7” single with the brilliant The Hot Sprockets.
Key Tracks: Your Parrot’s Low On Batteries, Sign Of The Times.

5. Travega
Travega are baffling, purely because once you hear their music you’ll wonder why you have never heard it before. Channelling the likes of Blindside and Papa Roach and having a menagerie of musical influences has worked out very well for them, they’ve shaped their own sound while not losing sight of playing the music they love - it’s apparent from their songs.
Key Tracks: Bull Run, Nowhere To Run

This week marked the 29th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, being the Beatles obsessive I am I couldn’t let this go unnoticed. So, here’s a video of ‘I Am The Walrus’. And why exactly did I pick this song over the others?  Because any accomplished song writer who’ll happily jump around singing “I am the egg man, they are the egg man, I AM THE WALRUS! goo goo goo joob ” is a legend in my eyes. Enjoy!

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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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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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As you've probably guessed from the blog title and, indeed, the summary,Steve this will be the final ever edition of Key Notes.  It might not be a huge surprise to those of you who follow this blog on a regular basis as the silence emanating from Key Note Towers over the past few weeks has been deafening.  Unfortunately, I totally underestimated how much time and effort a Masters would require and, while it would have been an easy decision to hold on to this blog and only update it once or twice per month, I think you, the Key Notes reader, deserves better. 

This blog set out to entertain and inform in equal measure and on a regular basis.  I hope that I have achieved that over the past two and a half years.  However, now that I can no longer provide you with a regular update, I feel the time is right to step aside and pave the way for a fresh voice from the CLUAS stable to provide you with their take on Ireland's indie music scene.  I can't reveal who that person is just now, but I hope that regular readers of Key Notes will support his replacement.

Before I go, I would like to thank Eoghan, who provided me with this excellent opportunity.  Sir, your guidance was one of the main reasons I took the plunge and decided to do my journalism Masters.  I would also like the thank my fellow CLUAS writers, especially those of you who took gig passes on short notice and were willing and able to publish reviews within 24 hours.  Unfortunately, my decision to step back from the site means that I will no longer be in charge of the distribution of gig passes but I'm sure Eoghan will direct you in the right direction soon.

I would also like to thank all the promoters, bands, managers and fans who I've had the pleasure of being in contact with over the past few years and who have pointed me in the direction of some excellent new Irish music.  I would especially like to thank (and wish them the best of luck in the future) all those involved with C O D E S, Dark Room Notes, Escape Act and the sadly departed Future Kings of Spain.

I'd better thank Mrs. Key Notes too.  Although, like Eoghan, it is partly Amy's fault that I can't continue with Key Notes as I doubt I'd be doing this Masters if it wasn't for her support.  Finally, I would like to you, the Key Notes reader, especially those of you on the Key Notes' mailing list.  I hope I have succeeded in my goal of entertaining and informing you over the past few years and that you appreciate difficult it was to come up with a new email title every time!

This won't be the last you hear from me on CLUAS.  I still hope to provide gig and album reviews as and when I can and I stand 100% behind this site and what it aims to achieve.

It's been emotional people.

C O D E S: This is Goodbye

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.