samedi 28 décembre 2019

Gigs' Reviews : Austral Winter Gigs Part 1. Forest Pooky, Disturbance.

Holy shit ! No doubt ! Summer is hitting Reunion island ! Heavy hot unbearable temperatures, no wind blowing and high humidity; Dengue-carrier mosquitoes and starving sharks ; tons of stinky mangoes to remove from the garden ; experienced old Creole guys washing their sweaty faces with their dirty tissues while their wives try to escape the sun below their umbrellas ; couples arguing or splitting up ; cyclones, tropical depressions, low pression, low tension. Hey ! Do you know that a close friend working at Meteo France has named Olivier the 15th forthcoming Indian Ocean depression that will surely strike the area this summer! A vibrant homage to this 2019 harsh year for sure ! Funny things happen sometimes. Ok… Better than talking about my melting brains, let’s have a fresh blow with some reviews of nice gigs that happened all around here last winter.

FOREST POOKY - 12th of June 2019 - Hauts Sons des Couverts bar, Le Bernica, Reunion

The guy in Forest Pooky x seems to have some shares in the Air Austral company as he flies every year to the island for a handful of gigs, during that cheerful season when we can finally wear jeans and socks. 

Getting totally lost while trying to find the StudioTic place (1km away from home!) three years ago, I managed to catch him at the Saint Denis’ Food’Art last year during the promotion tour of David Basso’s compulsory film x Diesel. The movie dealt with the story of the band UncommomMen From Mars, kind of a the froggy version of Green Day, from its staggering start on the Wagram major to the final Hellfest show. Not really my cup of tea in the early noughties for sure, but the fact was that the film mostly underlined the best moments of the band, when they left the major company and started dealing with the underground scene... A masterpiece for any punks, folkers or rockers in love with DIY spirit... Forest Pooky played after the video session a really pleasant folk show. 

So, no hesitation this year for a little jump at the Bar Hauts Sons des Couverts, Le Bernica, to catch him live again : tasty local IPA, moving no-folk songs with that flavoring skate-punk touch (thinking of the solo of Peter Black (the Hard-Ons) or Kepi Ghoulies (Groovie Ghoulies), two artists with whom Forest Pooky shared shows and nice split-records), aggressive play on his handmade-by-a-luthier guitar, outstanding American accent, clear sound in the whole stuff, good mood and jokes with the audience, nice jovial talks with him after : the perfect recipe for an enjoyable party. And check his hit x : Dance with me !, a David Basso 's clip once again.

Forest Pooky comes from Lyon, he used to play the guitar in skate-punk bands such as the Pookies, Sons of Buddha and many others from the post-Burning Heads wave. He's an experienced open-minded traveller, on the road over and over, playing shows in tiny villages' bars as a one-man-band as well as festivals with his punk band Supermumk, and always proudly lifting high the flag of DIY-punk, freedom and gladness.

DISTURBANCE - 28th of Septembre 2019 - StudioTic, Saint Denis, Réunion

Strange to write this review today as, on my way back to Reunion Island yesterday, I had a little stop in Reims to check my mate Boris Le Hachoir. Lots of happy souvenirs… He used to be the last punk in that city in the noughties - perfect spiky hair cut, Perfecto & Martens, Scottish pants and a strong temper, kind of a stupid jerk always in for a good hangover or a silly rumble. Before we started to organise our own local gigs, we were always on the road to catch some anarco-punk bands and live intensely any skins & punx united shows. Disturbance x was one of his favorite band, we checked them every time they were in the area, whether it be in Troyes with the Black Out x team or Mantes-la-Jolie with the Disgusted crew.

Disturbance was a 4 pieces band from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Fast tempo on the drums, strret-punk/Oi bass lines, a clear guitar punky play with short appropriate solo parts, an aggressive, abrassive voice and pervasive hooligans choirs shaped a classy revival sound close to the one of the 82’s UK punk wave (Special DutiesAbrassive WheelsOne Way System…) and pretty similar to the beloved Lower Class Brats.
After a short rest in the early teenies, they’ve come back to stick together and present their new album, Tox Populi, released last year on the French long-lasting punk label x Dirty Punk Records. The same sound, the same energy and the same call for a total disorder surrounded the whole stuff. Great job !

Did the local punk association x Plus de Bruit, linked to the punk band Tukatukas, find the treasure of La Buse or something? They can’t help organising tours in the bars of the island for the foreign/mainland bands they’re fond of. Between a Human Dogfood tour in September (ok, sorry, I missed this Punk As Fuck band built on the ashes of the Disgusted) and a Banane Metalik show in December, they settled down a Disturbance little tour in October. For their fans’ delight !

I caught the band at the x StudioTic, Saint Denis (yes, I finally managed to find the place last year). This lovely place, located in the underground of a huge 70’s building, has a few rehearsal studios, a little intimist stage and a perfect-for-punk-shows-in-a-bunker atmosphere. The boss is a local figure of the Reunion metal scene. 
That night, Bonescape, a metal band, opened the party. Not my thing… Disturbance played a great and visually pleasant show despite the sparse audience (welcome in the North of the island !) : the spiky punx & skins styles of the guys, the punk anthems, the energy in the whole set, the sing-along songs in the public, the tough dancing, the head-banging of the singer’s girlfriend with her dread-locks long hair… A really nice party !

vendredi 8 novembre 2019

Turning Round On the Turntable : Pinoreks, Teenage Hearts, TV's Daniel, Radioactivity

PINOREKS - Indifferent Topics LP - Self-released 2009/2019

The Warsaw goth/post-punk/cold-wave scene has been quite active since the Old Skull gigs’ organisation settled down there. While checking some of their scheduled bands last year, I deeply fell in love with this one : Pinoreks x

The four guys in this gang are from Potsdam, Germany, they released three awesome LP : There Is Hope (2005), Indifferent Topics (2009) and Behind & Beyond (2015). It wasn’t really easy to get their first and third vinyl LP, but the second one was just a long out-of-print CD. What a wonderful idea they had when they self-re-released it this year on vinyl, for their fans’ delight !

A catchy violent guitar play on a cold-punk tempo and an onward loud, sometimes jumpy, bass shape this awesome background that allows the singer to place his distinctive voice. The variations in his tone alternately echoes the harsh one in the Damned, the energetic one in Shellac and of course the specific one of Ian Curtis. Add to this the wonderful sing-along refrains, you’ve got here a perfect cold/punk band. Somewhere, a German brother of the French band Frustration, with a similar musical universe, a high quality sound, garanteed tastes and a large panel of hard-working tones in the voice. Looking forward to listening the next release !

The lyrics, included in a beautiful cardboard package - Deutsch Qualität !, mostly deal with an end-is-coming atmosphere, the organic & dusty aspect of life & death and the continuous search for some hope in this world (There Is Hope, title of the first LP by the way) - or how to try to remain positive and not to fall into negative depression, when you’re a real pessimist. My daily bread indeed...


Glad that Bertel has kept on going his own way and has become the boss of a consistent skinhead label, Primator Crew Records x, with a nice list of releases that explore International Oi (Ultra RazziaDoubling Boys...) and the uprising French street-punk/Oi scene (SqueletteSyndrome 81the Sultans…).

He co-released this vinyl ep with the Spanish Tough Ain’t Enough  x team: three well-produced efficient songs (the Lo’Spider touch on mastering?), an early-Oi agressive voice, disillusioned lyrics, a rock’n’Oi tempo, devastating British-punk-sounding guitar riffs, energetic Oi bass lines, catchy hooligans choirs and an enthusiastic feeling in the whole stuff... Good job! 

Teenage Hearts x comes from Nantes, French West Coast, and the 4 guys in the band aren’t any novices. They are/were involved in many bands such as the Pneunomiasthe Janitorsthe DaltonzPuissance CubeThe Mean Things and dozen of garage punk combos… They released previously two nice raw-sounding demo-tapes on High Castle Records.

By the way, the singer is the boss of Juvenile Delinquent Records x, the guitarist/songwriter runs Frantic City Records x : two leading labels for any addicts of froggy garage punk bands and the current Frenchy Pulp punk scene - when singing the daily loose becomes a lovely degenerated art, kind of a long-lasting tradition, from Bulldozer to Périphérique Est, of this confidential but far most interesting side of the French punk scene.

TV’S DANIEL - Maybe We’ll All Die SP- WILD HONEY RECORDS - 2019

Daniel Fried willfully steps onward in the limelight with this band! A bit fed up of always playing the so-gifted side guitarist with the Texans Wax MuseumsBad Sports or Radioactivity ? This little ego crisis was fully welcomed at home !

A British lead-guitar play in The Only Ones/The Boys vein, a second guitar, a bass and the drums for the American power-pop shape (think of Knaughty KnightsHunx & His Punx…) and the same voice as Michel Hutchence when Daniel sings, without forgetting his primitive additional punk screamings in the break of the Maybe We’ll All Die hit, here comes the first marvelous single of TV’s Daniel x

The discrete clock strike on this A-side, the Bontempi little solo on Better Than It’s Been, and the self-mockery front cover picture - featuring a lonesome Daniel wearing a smart disused dressing coat and arising with an outgoing standing position from a bright gift-paper, something like I’m the surprise, guys ! - bring many nice touches of happy kitsch to the record.

Wild Honey Records, the outstanding Italian label, released a thing (100 issues) that radiates happiness and positive thoughts.


I couldn’t not talk of this one of course ! Check my previous bullshits for the review on this above-all band, the rise of the creature with the Mark Ryan's Marked Men and the so-tasty Wild Honey label x

Two killer tracks x here again for my fav’ ones : Erased is a brilliant punk/melodic hxc song with the highly emotional, gripping voice of Jeff Burke and the catchy guitar play of the previous Daniel Fried. The beat slows down on Fear B-side with a haunting, melancholic powerpop song and moving lyrics linked to the Fukushima events. The front cover artwork features the rear-view mirror’s picture of a willful man driving his own route in a call for the sweety liberty. 200 issues with a green or red transparent vinyl.

Four years have gone since their second LP... Such a long lasting wait , it’s high time for the next one (please)! 

lundi 14 octobre 2019

Gigs’ Reviews : Oh Island in the sun. My Own Club, Two Tone Club.

Spring 1992. The father of a school friend took us to our first punk festival in a village lost in the Mauges, near Cholet, France. My 15 years’ old eyes and ears were just blown up as most of my then favourite bands played that night : Specimenles Sheriff and les Satelittes. The merry mess, the urban tribes’ looks and attitudes, the crazy energy of the whole stuff… yeah, the punk virus achieved its infection on me that day. 
There was also that headliner I didn’t know: the Selecter. Beside the Madness radio hits, I knew nothing about ska music. I was mesmerized by the first two songs, but my father’s friend put an end to that : "Time to leave, kids! Much to many skinheads all around here, it’s going to be hot, hot, hot !". Skinheads still had a bad reputation in the early 90’s and I then didn’t catch how such a lovely, festive music, moreover with black musicians, could be loved by such racist assholes. Of course, I knew nothing about the skinheads’ way of life and the Jamaican Rude Boys…
From then on, things moved on faster : new interest for the ska bands in my area (Ruda Salskales Camélons), for Skarface and the NOCO compilations, till the dazzling sickness of all that mid 90’s festive ska wave ; discovery of the Bad bad Reggae 8°6 Crew LP – THE compulsory soundtrack of my Toulousan buddies’ friendship ! - quickly followed by all the Jamaican vocal groups, early ska, rock steady, skinhead reggae and 2-Tone waves ; dance on the vivid early noughties London sound systems ; and the final strike of the shiny Western Special during my 10 years’ stay in the dull city of Reims. 
Need for a little sum up of my so-fascinating story with ska music ? Not my favourite stuff, but a quite faithful musical companion.

My Own Club - 12th of June - Le Théâtre du Grand Marché

So, I was pretty glad to find the Rocksteady Sporting Club band when I arrived on Reunion Island 10 years ago. A quite similar band to the beloved Western Special : moving girly crooners’ vocals that could easily heighten up into soul tones, an exhaustive brass section (trumpet, tenor and baryton saxophones, trombone), a counter-time guitarist with warm choirs, great organ’s riffs, a catchy punk bass on festive 2-Tone tunes and a cool rhythm on haunting rock steady songs, smart looking guys and girl... The perfect soundtrack for this Island in the Sun although Maloya and Sega have ever remained the classical ones in this area.

They self-released 3 vinyl singles between 2014 and 2016 (with the help of the local Maudit Tangue Rec.), which alternated rock steady, 2-Tone ska and even some dub incursions. A great mixture that could to be checked live : they showed up in many local pubs and festivals (they played an open-air show in St Paul with the Skatalites a few years ago, and yes, they overshadowed the Jamaican band!) and toured France in 2016. Many members were/are involved in local punk bands ( KilkilCircle APluto Crevé…). Ska and punk, two side by side musical worlds...

They also set up two parallel projects to explore more deeply this wide universe : Holy Soul and My Own Club.
The female singer seemed to have worked a lot her soul intonations, she used (and abused?) them a lot in Holy Soul. The brass section has been shrinked, the ska sound is tougher, they achieved a nice dosage between ska, soul and rock. I recently checked the band during one of those sundays' sunset time gigs on the St Leu waterfront : a warm ambience in an paradise setting, lots of mixed people (creole rastas, rockers, hippies, drunkards, students, families and tourists), a nice food-court and a funny le Ska, c’est la fête ! aura. I didn’t deny myself this pleasant moment. The debut album should be in the air this month, I’ll check that very soon.

A rather more muffled atmosphere surrounded My Own Club shows : unplugged guitar and bass, a minimalist drumming set, a single muting trumpet for the brass and a clear female crooner vocal for some perfectly pure rock steady tunes. My favourite frame of the Rocksteady Sporting Club crew for sure ! 
They usually play really intimist shows in the St Denis tiny fish & chips bar/restaurant Le Saut de la Puce hold by a smart skinhead reggae bartender. A little infidelity to the bar that night as they were invited by the programmer of the Théâtre du Grand Marché for an early evening show: a tourists’ spare audience, polite applauses, very quiet atmosphere, it wasn’t their best gig. But the awesome tunes and the great acoustic quality were there and it was a nice a opportunity to let my children discover them live.

Two Tone Club - 30th of March - Le Palaxa - Saint Denis

The party had wrongly started for me that night. My girlfriend had reminded me she was going out to a schedulded theater play, a thing I had of course totally forgotten, and she had killed me with her definitive words : "ska is just a shitty music for all those happy, loving hippies with their so-cool-and-festive-skanting-all-together dance, etc.". Half a point for her. As the baby-sitter wasn’t available and that I had partied out a bit often lately, she get the full point : I stayed with the kids at home.

Some buddies of the neighbourhood came a bit later for a little Des Vosges whisky tasting that quickly turn into a drunkards’ meeting. I played the King Of Dancehall 7" for them and had a last check on what I was missing tonight. Damned ! So many years since the last listening! How good this tune was ! A shitty stuff ? No way ! My friends were fully hot for the gig, one of them called his wife for an improvised kids’ watching and 10 minutes later, we all arrived at the Palaxa. We had missed the first band, Holy Soul, on its first show with its new shrinked formation, but we were just in time to catch the first song of the Two Tone Club crew. 

Awesome super-dancing 2-Tone tunes alongside with some more moving rock steady ones, fantastic deep voice of the black singer who was backed-up by clearer vocals of the side-singer, powerful brass section, adequate Hammond synthesizer, skinheads looking guys and smart traditional dressing... and the usual bunch of local pirates for the funny stomping and the yelling ambiance. Beside two songs with a Clash smell which weren’t my cup of tea, I lived the whole set intensely! And it wasn’t just a side-effect of the whisky.
Their 4th album was released last year, after a 9 years break, on the Montbéliard label Les Productions de l’Impossible. A french label that has both taken a high interest in the surf music since its early releases of the Wangs and the Hawaii Samurai and has ever supported its local rock'n'roll scene.

Back home after this festive night : the kids were asleep, everybody was happy, my girlfriend was cool and loving and I hadn’t seen a single hippy.

mardi 24 septembre 2019

Turning Round On The Turntable : the Sorels, Mark Sultan, Terry, Pscience


The Italian label Surfin’Ki Rec. x keeps on browsing the sweet galaxy of the glamy rock’n’roll girls’ bands (Baby Shakesthe Pale LipsNathalie SweetLucy & the Rats...), walking on the steps of the late 90’s shift made by the label Sympathy For the Record Industry (the Eyelinersthe Fondas…). The Italian guys co-releases, alongside with the brand new Canadian label Reta Rec. x , this first single of the 3-piece band the Sorels x .

A beautiful start for this Canadian all-girls’ band with the A-side hit She’s In The Gang. A Chuck Berry-like guitar introduction, a catchy rhythmic section, a warm bluesy voice, a well-appropriate riff on the piano and a song that ends up with a punky explosion full of jovial punchy girly choirs (hou houhou hou - I love that !!) worthy of bands such as the Peeps or the Bobbyteens
The tempo slows down a bit on the more glamy B-side, School Girl Blues. A less catchy song on my side, but it reveales the full talent of the front singer with her bluesy voice. The little sisters of the compulsory Detroit Cobras ?

The design of the whole thing (candies, jewels, kitten and pink instruments on the cover, the blue-marshmallow color of the vinyl, the sweet-pink lettering of the band’s name…) adds a loving girly rock’n’roll touch.

MARK SULTAN - I’m A Filthy Rat - SP - SLOVENLY REC - 2019

I have ever felt a particular moving kindness for this guy, Mark Pepe, and his musical universe. That’s why I broke the bank to make him tour La Reunion Island a few years ago and why every new record is a happy event at home.

He’s the kind of artist which is both gifted and productive. He always played in awesome bands, worked with the best of the best of the noughties’ garage scene and explored so many kinds of garage niches : garage punk, psyche, rock’n’roll, 60’s beat, 70’s glam, 77 punk, blues, soul and even gospel… Let’s mention, among the others, the Canadian Spaceshits and Sexareenos in the late 90’s, the King Khan & BBQ show marvelous duo, the Almighty Defenders with the Black Lips or the Ding-Dongs duo with Bloodshot Bill... Not forgetting , above all, his numerous solo records as BBQ or Mark Sultan x

The restless, international punk Pete released this new record on his label Slovenly Rec. x , adding Mark Sultan to his giant catalog. The two songs laying on this single were recorded during the 2017 Let Me Out LP session (by the way, check this awesome Animals-like hit taken from the LP: Everybody Knows x). An album that was released back in 2018 by the British label Dirty Water Rec. x
Not a huge surprise as some of the tracks had that Medway sound (Graham Daythe Masonics…) we could also find here on the B-side Heart Attack x. A cheerful, highly pulsed song that immediately launched my 10 years old daughter in a crazy jerk dance and made her say :it could be the soundtrack of those old movies in which long-hair girls with boots and skirts danced just any old way. A delightful notice that perfectly fitted the atmosphere of this great tune. And yes, she killed me the next second with a launch of K-Pop missiles… 
The A-side, I’m A Filthy Rats x , was a haunting mid-tempo R’n’B song, with lingering-in-the-head 60’s organ riffs and pretty high vocals, where we could check once again Mark Sultan’s continuous hard work on the tones and octaves. Did he still eat his whales’ nose sandwich to help ? That’s the right season for them in my area !

TERRY - Who’s Terry ? - EP - UPSET ! THE RHYTHM - 2019

Who’s Terry ? x 
The name of the band and the cowboys’ hats worn as a trade mark could make us think about another American folk band. In fact, the 2 guys and 2 girls in Terry x are deeply involved in the Melbourne post-punk scene as they play in many renown local bands : UV RaceTotal ControlConstant MongrelPrimo!

Heady gimmicks on guitar, innocent 80’s sound on the synthesizer, repetitive bass lines, sharp but casual tempo, nonchalant female vocals and detached choirs… Let’s say we’ve got here a highly melodious and pretty cool 4-songs ep vinyl.
Spud, with its floating psyche touch, nags the uprising, conservative Aussie Minister of Immigration, the catchy Bizzo & Tophat seems to be an answer to their Melbourne fellows in the Shifters. The tempo speeds up a bit on Eggs, a tune full of harmonics and noise effects, while the delicious Drawn for Days delves into some Parsnip-like sugar pop.

Once again, Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring) on the mastering and the London-based label Upset! The Rhythm x give us another great dive in this stunning, vivid Melbourne’s scene.


What does the in Pscience x stand for ? Or is this name a contraction between Psychology and Science ? I fucking don’t know, but everything goes wrong for sure! The 9 stressful songs on this LP gives a report of the worst things nowadays science can offer to the world : toxic substances, plastic surgery, atomic countdown, human upgrating programs, creeping eugenics, radiation exposure, water quality, consumption, human entropy… Damned shitty world! This end-of-a-civilisation atmosphere won’t arrange my depressive state of mind. But let’s keep on pretending things can change and try to believe in all those Clean-Up Days, hummerbird’s tales and other bullshits. I owe this at least to my children.

Whatever ! Robert Watson Craig III (the fabulous Buck Biloxi and the FucksGiorgio MurdererLSDOGS) keeps on going his way in the New Orleans punk scene. He joined 3 Louisianan bad girls involved in Trampoline Team (the new Hozac Rec noisy-punk fav), Black Abba (tough lo-fi punk) and thee Tsunamis (powerpop) and has played the drums for them since. Minimalist punk, short songs, simple and effective guitar play, punchy bass lines, straightforward keyboard’s gimmicks, punctuated and warm girly vocals… Some kind of urgency that echoes the oppressive lyrics.

Sarah (Pelican Wow Wow Rec., amazing label !), the synthesizer girl, released the vinyl on her own label Space Taker Sound x. A minimalist front cover and a beautiful colored inner-sleeve complete what seems to be a synth-punk must-have LP.

jeudi 12 septembre 2019

Exhibition : Lyon, Capitale du Rock. 1978 - 1983.

Ville Morte. Wanna talk about the Warrior Kids and Marseille ? Not this time ! Ville Morte x is in fact a nice little information sheet listing the best rock gigs in the city of Lyon. A pretty appropriate name that perfectly fitted this summer holidays time as there was absolutely nothing to check around. The reunification with my friends quickly ended with daily touring of the best pubs in the city (Trokson, Ground Zero…). Specific mention to the Look Bar, with its worthy Lyonnais connexion film noir atmosphere, its deadly White Russian and its outer-space bartender playing deeply worn vinyls of Chuck Berry, Joe Cocker and Georges Brassens.

Exhibition : Lyon, Capitale du Rock. 1978 - 1983.

However, there was this awesome summer exhibition (15th of May to the 21th of September) in the town library: Lyon, Capitale du Rock 1978 - 1983 x

We found there an impressive collection of flyers, posters, tickets, video footages and testimonies, audio listenings, instruments, scene costumes and vinyls of the local bands which brought delight to the Lyonnais rock’n’roll youth in the late 70’s : the Starshooter 77-punkers, the Stooges-like Electric Callas, the Ganafoul hardrockers, the Factory glamy rockers, the funky one in Killdozer or the Carte de Séjour Clashy punks. Each band had its own huge billboard full of informations. The exhibition also strongly focused on the band Marie et les Garçons.They were pretty well-known for their 77 punk hit Je vais t’ébranler un peu x, before they moved on to a more disco-punk sound. 

We also followed, step by step, the ephemera story of the Rock’n’Roll Mops gigs’ place: the beginning of the Lyon’s 1978 punk explosion, the growth of this compulsory place for any famous rock band, and the final sabotage by the cultural services of the City Hall which gave a good hand to bring the adventure to an end. A time when rock’n’roll was still un-aseptic, rebel and scary for the bourgeois. 
The first part of the exhibition ended in a cosy, tiny video room with pleasant footages of the famous Nuits Rock à Fourvière festival x on the 29th of July 1978 : StarshooterGanafoulBijouTéléphoneLittle Bob Story and Marie et les Garçons played there in front of an explosive audience (5000 people). Anthological moment when the disco-punk performance of Marie et les Garçons was welcomed by a heavy rain of beers’ tins thrown by bikers white-hotted by Ganafoul. They were literally saved by the backup of the Starshooter and Bijou members on stage. 

We then discovered this moving local arty-punk scene which opened on the stage of the ENTPE ingeenering school for many prestigious early 80’s new-wave/post-punk bands such as the CureTuxedomoonEdith NylonTaxi GirlOrchestral Manoeuvre and even Iggy Pop. The leading Lyonnais bands were African Corps (Kleenex style post-punk), Raison Pure (dandy-punk), Tintin Reporter (B52’s-like rock) or Malevitch Design Theory (arty-punk). Peaceful student atmosphere contrasting with the previous rock episode of course but awesome discoveries !

The exhibition ended with a nice retrospective of unknown but gifted bands : les Illuminés du 08 DécembreDeux (re-released in 2010 on Minimal Wave Rec.), les Rotters (re-issued on Cameleon Rec. in 2016), FragileSafetyles DivinesTales… and a little layout dealing with some local activists of some radio libre or fanzines. On the top of that, the visitors could leave the place with the pockets full of take-away facsimile tickets of the Rockn’roll Mops shows. A really nice attention !

So, it was a luxuriant and fascinating exhibition. I’ve ever been fond of such exhibits and conferences dealing with the punk & rock scenes in some spotted towns : Reims with the crew of the No Government fanzine a few years ago, Toulouse with the Nineteen team two years ago, the one in the Castle of the Brittany’s Dukes in Nantes last summer, Bordeaux with the "St"wave (StalagStilletosStrychnineStandardsSTO) last winter. Which city will take up the challenge of a new one ? 

Movie : Daniel Darc, Pieces of My Life

As a link with this Lyonnais saga, let’s mention the moving documentary :Daniel Darc, Pieces of My Life, filmed by his close friend Marc Dufaud. Not really the kind of movies that could be found on Reunion Island (perhaps a future Maudit Tangue Picture Show session?), so I was pretty glad to check it in Lyon at the Comoedia, an Art et Essais independent cinema.

This movie was dedicated to the life, the musical carreer and the death of Daniel Darc. He was the singer in the famous French new-wave band Taxi Girl (Chercher le Garçon x was their greatest hit). A pretty iconic band, part of that early 80’s French period of Les Jeunes Gens Modernes, a gifted bunch of young surrealist artists and musicians - some kind of modern Comtes of Lautreamont. Most of them crashed into drugs and AIDS. 

Daniel Darc kept on rocking with a solo career. Mainly made with many downs. An accursed poet with a pretty sad life fully filled with unhappy loves, depressive loneliness, continuous fragility, strong drugs’ addictions, hepatisis, deseases, prison, body decadence and unanswered questionnings about his family, his Jewish religion... He finally won a full acknowledgement at the end of his life with some FM rock songs and Bashung-like albums.

Nijinsky x (released in 1994 on Bondage Rec. - Play me Sexy, yeah!) has ever been my favourite tune of the guy - a mid-tempo haunting song with an intense tone in the voice, stunning lyrics, great hovering choirs, catchy clear guitar riffs and such a charming bassist ! He recorded it with the rock band the Pure Sins in the early 90’s. A period during which he really looked fine and seemed to feel good and happy at last. Sadly, a commercial failure followed by a long, unpleasant fall.

This wasn’t a really jovial movie. But it allowed me to glue together all the pieces I had about his life : the Taxi Girl hits, the Nijinsky period, the elusive moment I bumped into this zombie-looking-like guy in the Parisian Born Bad's Keller street, his come-back and his death on the rock’n’roll altar.

Pictures of the exhibition.




vendredi 30 août 2019

Turning Round on the Turntable : Condor, Euromilliard, Radioactivity, Jack Cades, Datenight

CONDOR - Singles 2017-2018 Maxi-single - BEACH IMPEDIMENT REC - 2019

Strong comeback nowadays of the audio tapes’ format... Who the hell are the jerks who first re-introduced them ? Burger Records or something like that ? Of course, I understand why we can love them : the easy-shareable aspect, the cheapness of the format, the non-digital audio sound or the materialistic side of demos and homemade compilations. But I get rid of them with a high pleasure the day my old Peugeot 205 passed away 15 years ago. I've never felt like coming back to them since, even if it sometimes sounds pretty frustrating to check on bandcamp or whatever else great bands using this format while waiting for a hypothetical vinyl issue. 

Nevermind… What a great idea the American guys at Beach Impediment Rec x - mostly into hxc releases and Virginian punk reissues - had when they gathered the two Condor’s x demo tapes and released a 12" Maxi-Single vinyl of the band! A band ? Perhaps not the appropriate term as all the instruments were played and recorded by a single man: Maxime Smadja. The outcome is awesome. The sound and the riffs of the guitar, the lines of the bass, the rthythm on the drums, the hoarse melodic voice, the french lyrics and the hooligans’ choirs make us travel back in 1984. That year when a bunch of now-mythical french bands surged alongside the british Oi wave (Cockney Rejectsthe 4-Skinsthe Last Resortthe Business…) and produced their own sound before the final crash of the movement in political struggles. 

The A-side (the 2017 demo) has a tough Hardcore and Oi mixed aspect closed to the anthems of the Parisian bands Tolbiac ToadsL’Infanterie Sauvage or RAS. The tempo slows down (a little bit) on the 2018-songs laying on the B-side, with a more Chaos Rec/New Wave Rec punky side. Thinking about Reich OrgasmAl Kapott and of course DEM, a band the guy covered on the final track.

Add to this a great packaging : front cover featuring a nice sketch of a gloomy violent town (by Beau-Bradley Richie), a giant Condor poster for the loo. and the lyrics which talk about freedom, insubordination and violence, with a moving melancholic touch: self-questionning about one’s achieved youth, urban loneliness, fading of his own skinheads’ ways of live...

The guy seems to take this Oi/hxc universe like a fish in water as he also plays drums in Rixe (much too brutal Oi for me, sorry !) and Boss (glamy power-punk on Goner Rec (!!)) and gives a hand to many bands. Waiting for the next sequence with a high curiosity !


This 7" single has that typical late noughties’ Parisian garage/punk sound we could find in bands such as Bossom DivineLes BavariansSubtle Turnhips or the compulsory Pierre & Bastien (an appropriate transition with the previous review, isn’t it?). Kinds of little brothers of the garage/punk branch of the Happy Family (Splash 4Steve & the JerksAnteenagers MC) ? Anyhow, a scene that gently took off thanks to the Get Action and Les Barrocks’ gigs organisation, grew up with the high support of the Parisian labels Les Disques SteakSDZ Rec.Pouet ! Schallplatten Rec. or Killed BAAxe Rec., and reached a respectable international recognition. Also a family that sadly mourned the recent death of the Pierre & Bastien’s guitarist/singer.

That’s not so surprising then to find in Euromilliard x some guys closed to this Gambetta’s crew : Etienne Cheveu with his distinctive guitar play, FX Volt who left his keyboards for the bass or the always-standing-on-the-deck Lili Z and Jack-O who released the single on their own label : Polly Magoo Rec.x

On the A-Side, Elève Modèle is a jumpy, jovial 77-punk song (pogo pogo!) with a nice binary rhythm, a willful voice, funny french-singing lyrics and raging NaNaNa’s chorus. The B-side, Indolore, gives us a darker sound with a more post-punk beat dusted under catchy garage/punk guitar riffs and loud french choirs. Two great songs for a perfect start !

RADIOACTIVITY - Infected/Sleep 7" - WILD HONEY REC - 2017

I was hanging around in Lyon this summer and had the opportunity to check the Dangerhouse shop. So glad to find there the last Radioactivity 7" single x (Infected/Sleep, two golden hits on Wild Honey Rec. x) that I somehow missed two years ago. Did you ever have a favorite band ? The Marked Men/Radioactivity couple is mine. 

Initially, there was that Texan band on Rip Off Rec. called the Reds. A good band : 100Mph tempo, barking voice and typical sound of the bands on this label. The guys started then the Marked Men in 2002. The second Lp On the Outside (Dirtnap Rec.- 2004) suddenly dethroned everything else I had listened to before: awesome melodic hxc sound, moving power-pop incursions, staggering wall of guitars, fast tempo, catchy nervous bass lines, alternative voices of the two singers, emotional lyrics and above all that, the melancholic timbre of Jeff Burke’s voice. The next records, then the next bands (the NoviceRadioactivity) followed the lead and intensified those trends.

Check all the branchings of this fascinating Austin scene (Mind SpidersLow CultureLost BalloonsBad Sports…) that made the golden days of compulsory labels such as Dirtnap Rec. and Alien Snatch Rec. By the way, Radioactivity is touring Europe this month. Jump on it, you lucky guys !


Back to the Dangerhouse shop in Lyon... The talk with the seller was first a bit strained when he claimed the Jeff Burke’s crew was Australian. Despite this unforgivable mistake and after a good laugh (he was replacing the boss during the holidays), we managed to have a nice discussion. He was a huge fan of 60’ garage and he had co-released a few months earlier, with the help of DangerHouse Skylab x, this Jake Cades x single on his own label Sasham Rec. x. His enthusiasm for this recent UK band made me buy the thing. No regrets for sure ! 

The sound ? 60’s garage at its best : one foot in the British Medway scene, the other one deep into the 60’s US garage one and the bottom stuck in a Girls in the Garage atmosphere. I even found a snotty punk riff closed to the the Spitfire BoysBritish Refugees during the Run Paulie Run’s chorus. Something really closed to the awesome Les Bellas from Perpignan.

Obviously, the people in this band aren’t any novices. The piercing lead guitar and smart singer played with Thee Vicars (nervous 60’s garage – they used to tour with Robert Kiss’n’Run). The drummer plays with him in Baron 4 (classy 60’s with a much too clean sound for me) and beats the tempo for the Embrooks (psyche garage). The female singer (great Mary Weiss-like vocals!) with her clear rhythm guitar sound used to sing with the Missing Souls from Lyon (nervous 60’s garage with soul touches). The female bassist used to play in the fuzzy Evil Thingies in the noughties.

A nice, efficient garage band and scene which is strongly supported by the key label Dirty Water Rec. (they released the first Jack Cades’ LP last year) and its Lyon’s connexion at Sasham Rec. and Dangerhouse Skylab.

DATENIGHT - My Car/You’re hard to move - GOODBYE BOOZY REC- 2018

This moving 7" single of the Datenight x, a band from Nashville, Tennessee, has turned for a while around here. Time went on and the restless labeGoodbye Boozy Rec. x had the time to release two sets of great 7" before I go for a little review on this one. This great label is always on the top in its search for unknown punk nuggets.

These two songs are now stuck in my head. The A-side My Car reminds me some catchy tunes of Supercharger (talking about Rip Off Rec….) or the Carbonas. Great efficient garage punk with a warm voice, nice choirs, aggressive guitar outflows and a steady binary tempo. Same kind of stuff on the B-side, but with an onward bass which gives a more post-punk sound to the song You’re hard to move.

I don’t know that much about this band. They released a few nice singles with this particular sound that I didn’t really find again when checking their 2018's LP.