Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Samedi soir + Jacques Brel homework

The next L'Amour Electronique is this Saturday - it would please us to see you there.

We will be joined by a guest DJ, the charmingly monikered Ray Paul (or Eddie, as his mum knows him) who has promised to add a sprinkling of synth-powered Italo-Disco and maybe a drop of French New Wave.

We'll also be playing the usual concoction of French bubblegum, psych and freakbeat, synthesized pop and electronic music from the early pioneers to the sounds of today.

9pm - 3am
Free entry all night.

And now for some light listening homework
Marc Almond has been presenting a 3 part documentary about Jacques Brel on Radio 2. Part 2 of Behind The Brel: The Story Of A Musical Genius is on the iPlayer now (available until Monday 29th), and part 3 airs on Tuesday 30th March at 23.30.

Think I might dig out some Jacques Brel for Saturday.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Souvenirs Souvenirs

So, we went to Nice. Nice was nice and Nice was tres expensive, and so my hope of coming home arms laden with records was slightly foiled...

We did pick up one or two souvenirs that didn't empty our pockets though:

I picked this one up at the flea market for 1 euro: a seven-inch ep of Léo Petit, ses Guitares et ses Rythmes playing "4 Rocks Formidables", on the Trianon label. No idea what year it's from. On side a, Léo and his band twang their way through surf-guitar fave Kili-Watch and give us a faithful instrumental rendition of Johnny Hallyday's Souvenirs Souvenirs. On the flip there's a slowwwwwwwed down stroll through Apache, and some brassed-up primal screaming in Tu Parles Trop. (It's worth checking out Léo Petit's entry at - he has quite a CV!)

a1) Léo Petit - Kili-Watch
a2) Léo Petit - Souvenirs Souvenirs

b1) Léo Petit - Apache
b2) Léo Petit - Tu Parles Trop
[buy Léo Petit from | search via]

I thought I'd give you a couple of bonus comparison songs - other versions I have of 2 of the tracks:

There's nothing like a superlative novelty hit getting cashed-in, and dragged-out across a full-length album, and that's just what seventies Moog-toters Hot Butter did with their Popcorn album. Their version of Apache borrows most of the clever arrangement tricks employed on their breakthrough hit, and you can almost sing that famous Popcorn melody over it in some places.

Hot Butter - Apache
[buy Hot Butter from iTunes |]

Another Stereo Total song! Fittingly, this one was recorded with Alex Chilton (see previous post). Our favourite Franco-German punkrock-disco-bubblegumpop-chansonieres get all heavyheavy on their own rockabilly rumble through Johnny's 1960 hit.

Stereo Total - Souvenir Souvenir
[buy Stereo Total from iTunes |]

And here is Johnny himself sur la moto

Alex Chilton R.I.P. (28 Dec 1950 – 17 Mar 2010)

I heard the sad news on the radio this morning that Alex Chilton has died. He wrote and recorded The Letter with The Box Tops at the tender age of 16. He later went on to form Big Star, who I discovered myself at the tender age of 16.

I can still remember buying a copy of their debut #1 Record from the old Borderline Records shop in Brighton (where Komedia now is) - the grizzly hippy guy behind the counter told me it was one of the greatest records ever made. He wasn't far wrong. Big Star were my secret, none of my friends had heard of them, nor did they care to listen to the tapes I made them of #1 Record. Not even my dad, a big sixties/seventies music fan, new anything about them or their records.

I got to see Big Star live twice, once at the Reading Festival the day after I got my GCSE results, and again last year supporting Tindersticks at Hyde Park. They still had it.

Chilton also performed production duties with 2 of my favourite bands The Cramps (first 2 records) and, later, playing drums and recording three songs with Stereo Total for their debut Oh Ah!. One of these was a cover of a Serge Gainsbourg song: I have come to tell you I am leaving...

Stereo Total - Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M'en Vais (feat. Alex Chilton)
[buy Stereo Total from iTunes |]
[buy Big Star from iTunes |]

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Salut Les Copains

Salut mes copains,

I'm back from Nice with a few souvenirs (more on those in a later post). I spent my birthday there, and, thanks to Verity, I am now the very happy owner of the following:

The Salut Les Copains 3 DVD box-set - over 8 hours of live television footage of 60's French Pop, and some ace extras too - OUI! OUI! OUI!

We've watched all 3 and the extras, and, although we got a bit Johnny Hallyday-ed out, I can confirm they are most definitely super-fantastique!

Here is American faux-French brother/sister noiseniks Eux Autres' shouty tribute to the iconic yé-yé magazine
Eux Autres - Salut Les Copains
[buy Eux Autres from Eux Autres]

I also received a copy of Alain Pozzuoli's Dictionnaire Des Yé- Yés - which details all sorts of trivia on just about every French Yé- Yé star you could care to name - Just need to brush up on my French (a lot!) to make the most of it.

And I finally have my own copy of Anna, which had an official issue on DVD in France late last year - it comes as a 2-disc set with an extended version of the soundtrack album. Looking forward to trying to fathom the French subtitles later tonight.

Wasn't I a lucky birthday boy?