Flairs is gearing up for some serious activity on these shores in June. Not only is his debut album 'Sweat Symphony', reviewed here, getting its UK release (pencilled in for the first week of the month) but he's also playing two London gigs to support it. You can catch him at YoYo on 11 June and at 93 Feet East on 12 June.
Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) and her group Monade will be headlining the Pets! night at The Social, Little Portland Street, on Wednesday 20 May. She will be accompanied by Rockfort DJs, as well as Gloria Cycles, The Boycott Coca Cola Experience and Danilo Borgerth. From 7pm, tickets £5.
Tickets are now available for Rockfort's live event at the French Insititute on 9 June here. The night still features performances from Emily Loizeau and Anne Pigalle, but Mansfield TYA have been replaced by the delightful Holden, who will be appearing specially as a duo for their first ever UK gig. It's going to be a beautiful soirée, so get your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Also, they're cheaper bought in advance.
Olivier Mellano - surely the busiest guitarist in French music - will be performing his vocal/instumental work 'La Chair des Anges' in Rennes on Friday 15 May at 9pm and, more importantly for those who can't be there in the flesh, it is being broadcast live on www.medici.tv and www.uhb.fr/lairedu. Mellano will be joined on stage by musicians including the Quatuor Debussy and the electric guitar ensemble Pink Iced Club. Olivier also has a new unreleased track, Dead Sparkling Stars, up on www.myspace.com/oliviermellano and www.naive.fr.
The new Oui Love project that aims to "pollinate" the UK French music scene with new and established French acts, a compilation and live events (including a tour of universities in September/October), gets underway at the Reebok Lounge in Shoreditch on Wed 6 May with DJ sets from Zombie Zombie, Tahiti 80 and (they're everywhere!) Koko Von Napoo.
Nantes’ 80s pop culture obsessives, the Valerie collective, are busy in May with the launching of a new website, www.valeriecollective.com, and the release of a compilation, Valerie and Friends, on 27 May. According to the Valerie blog, the album features unreleased tracks from members like Anoraak and College, as well as friends and associates including recent Rockfort interviewees, Jupiter.
The first TV collaboration between Rockfort and Cinémoi (Sky channel 839) airs tonight (24 April) at 6.30pm on Cinémoi in the form of a 26-minute documentary/interview, ‘Jane Birkin – Reflections’. It is repeated at 8.30pm on 25 April, and there will be several repeats to follow – click here for more details. Jane B talks about her new album as well as her film work, her political activism and, of course, her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg.
Nouvelle Vague – the group devoted to Bossa Nova-style reinterpretations of New Wave songs – are releasing their third album in the UK on 8 June. This time around, the project’s mastermind Marc Collin has turned to some key figures of the post-punk era to provide guest vocals, including Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, Ian McCulloch, Terry Hall and Barry Adamson.
Parisians Poni Hoax, who released their UK debut ‘Images of Sigrid’ earlier this year, are set to play two free London gigs on the same night (8 May). Their busy evening starts at 10pm at 93 Feet East on Brick Lane, where they’ll be on a French Revolution bill alongside Nelson and Koko Von Napoo, then it’s over to Cargo for a midnight show in the company of Goldierocks and Wolf Gang, with the Klaxons DJ-ing.
The Great Escape festival has previously proved to be a great showcase for French acts, and this year is no exception. As well as Moriarty and Koko Von Napoo, the event, which is in Brighton from 14-16 May, also features Naive New Beaters, Dan Black and, most intriguingly, GaBlé, signed to London label Loaf and purveyors of unnervingly fractured DIY pop.