Thursday, 15 December 2011

Feeling Christmassy yet?

Me neither.

Maybe this will get us in the mood: big production Christmas-ness from Séverine

*Séverine - Les Enfants Qui Attendent Noël*

*I have a feeling I picked this up a couple of years ago from the seasonal Christmas a Go-Go blog*

Vive La France 2012

In January our L'Amour Electronique soirée will be a special one-off as part of Vive La France 2012.

We will be providing musical entertainment at the end-of-festival party:
Saturday 28th January 2012
L'Amour Electronique @ Vive La France
11pm - 2am
Free Entry
VENUE: Plateau, 1 Bartholomews, Brighton, BN1 1HG

We will also be playing interlude records between bands at one of the gigs:
Friday 27th January 2012
Turzi + Concrete Knives + Halfway + L'Amour Electronique DJs
VENUE: The Hope, 11 Queens Rd, Brighton, BN1 3WA
doors 8pm
entry £5/£6

download the full programme for Vive La France 2012

[nb there is no L'Amour Electronique in December]

Friday, 9 December 2011

haven't you heard Mirza?

At the last L'Amour Electronique I gave this by ace Jocelyne track an airing:  A driving beat, some ringing telecaster guitar licks, tenor sax, horns and a pocket of backing vox - it's a soulful little number alright, and not even the dubious muted trumpet solo can take the wind out of its sails.

"et la la la la la"

Jocelyne - La La La La La
[this Jocelyne track was re-issued on the out-of-print Jocelyne: Twistin' The Rock vol 1]

Now listen to Little Stevie Wonder banging the drums in 1963.

Sound familiar?

Fast forward 2 years to 1965 when you might have seen Mirza...

[buy Nino Ferrer from itunes |]

But maybe you haven't read Kafka?

Suzanne Gabriello - Z'Avez Pas Lu Kafka
[this track by Suzanne Gabriello was re-issued on the out-of-print Ultra Chicks vol 5: Chicks a Go Go]

A trip to the moon is previewing a track from Air's forthcoming album Le Voyage Dans Le Lune (released 6th Feb 2012).

From the Air website:
The album takes its inspiration from the classic 1902 silent film “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” (A Trip To The Moon)” by Georges Méliès, which has been fully restored and is currently being shown at film festivals around the world to great acclaim. For this new version of the film, AIR were asked to compose an original score, which in turn grew into a full scale album project.

Monday, 14 November 2011

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.7

Following kitty’s suggestion we give you the lovely Miss Hills and her achingly beautiful rendition of The Zombies’ exquisite baroque-pop lament Leave Me Be.

The link from part 6 > Our Gillian had a small, but racy, part in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange: when that naughty Droog Alex picks her and her ice-lolly sucking friend up in the local record emporium, inviting them back to his pad to listen to some of his "angel trumpets and devil trombones".

Gillian Hills – Rentre Sans Moi
[buy Gillian Hills from itunes |]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain? Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la ChaîneFrançoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas > Les Shades – Orage Mécanique > Gillian Hills - Rentre Sans Moi > ?

Friday, 4 November 2011

All I want for Christmas is...

The Melody Nelson 40th Anniversary box-set


Yep, Finders Keepers have got me salivating again.  This limited edition box-set will be available from 21st November for the princely sum of seventy-five pounds and forty-seven pence, and includes:

  • The original album on CD
  • A CD of alternative versions of the tracks
  • The original vinyl album
  • A vinyl album of bonus sessions from the time of recording
  • An exclusive 30-minute DVD documentary
  • A large-format 52-page book in English and French, including lyrics from the album


I shall be ordering my copy from Finders Keepers as soon as it becomes available, and you should order from them too (they need support having lost the majority of their stock in the PIAS warehouse fire in August)

Here's a little teaser for the documentary.

And we can only hope the Melody Nelson TV show will be included too!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Quietus interview Jean-Claude Vannier

Apparently he was once awarded Le Prix de l'Humour Noir (only in France would they have an award for "black humour").

Read the full interview at The Quietus.

Electro Rapide & Blood Red Roses

The wonderful Finders Keepers Records has just released 2 new Jean-Claude Vannier albums.  Yes two!

The first, Electro Rapide, is a collection of rarities and curios from the Vannier tape vaults, taken from the period before and during his time working with a certain Monsieur Gainsbourg.  It's a bizarre and brief (only 25 minutes long) mix of the epic, comic, strange, and sometimes disturbing mind of the composer-arranger.

More info and soundclips

The second, Roses Rouge Sang, is an album of brand new material recorded with the cream of the session musicians who plied their trade on the 60s scene (Vic Flick, Dougie Wright, Herbie Flowers, Pierre-Alain Dahan, Tony Bonfils, Denys Lable, and Mark Chantereau).  The fruits of this re-union could almost be a long-lost early-70s album by Gainsbourg himself - all brooding strings and taut, rhythmic funk. Whilst Vannier's vocal-style recalls Serge's earlier hesitant chansonnier style.

More info and soundclips

A version of the following song appears on Electro Rapide.  You can find this "mid-tempo version" as a bonus track on Vannier's L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches (also on Finders Keepers)

Jean-Claude Vannier - Je M'Appelle Geraldine (mid-tempo version)
[buy Electro Rapide and Roses Rouges Sang on CD and mp3 direct from Finders Keepers Records - they need your support having lost most of their physical stock in the PIAS warehouse fire back in August]

Friday, 28 October 2011

Quelle Horreur vol. 2: Sinister Synths and Monstrous Machines

At last! Quelle Horreur vol. 2. A halloween mixtape for fans of sinister synths, creepy claviolines, demonic drum machines, and eerie electronica.

1. Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind - The Shining (Main Title)
2. Kap Bambino - Batcaves
3. Relaxed Muscle - Beastmaster
4. Future Bible Heroes - I'm a Vampire
5. Ladytron - Miss Black
6. John Carpenter - Halloween Theme (Main Title)
7. Zombie Zombie - Walk Of The Dead
8. Broadcast - Evil Is Coming
9. Les Georges Leningrad - Cocktail Vampire
10. Suicide - Ghostrider
11. Mount Vernon Arts Lab – Hobgoblins
12. Stereo Total – Film D’Horreur
13. Lio - Bébé Vampire
14. I Monster - The Blue Wrath
15. The Moontrekkers - Return of The Vampires

DOWNLOAD HERE [57.1mb zip file]

Quelle Horreur vol. 1

Last year I mentioned a second Halloween mixtape of electronic/synth music I'd been planning but never had time to finish.  I have had time this year, and it will follow shortly.

In the mean time, I thought I'd re-post the original French pop/psych Quelle Horreur mixtape.

1. Stella - Si vous connaissez quelque-chose de pire qu'un vampire, parlez m'en toujours, ça pourra peut-être me faire sourire
2. Serge Gainsbourg - Docteur Jekyll Et Monsieur Hyde
3. Christine Pilzer - Dracula
4. Les Maledictus Sound - Kriminal Theme
5. Evariste - Connais-Tu I'animal Qui Inventa Le Calcul Integral
6. France Gall - Frankenstein
7. Jany L. - Mon Joli Vampire
8. Gérard Manset - Animal on est mal
9. Les Maledictus Sound - Monster Cocktail
10. Nicole Paquin - Mon Mari C'est Frankenstein
11. Brigitte Bardot - Le Diable Est Anglais

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Over at Filles Sourires Guuzbourg has just posted a pleasing new take on Françoise Hardy's Voila. Dirty Beaches samples that familiar piano riff and delivers a laid-back velvety croon over the top of it.

Perfect for exorcising any memories of R*bbie W*lliams' god-awful Voila rip-off of a couple of years ago.

And now, as if an excuse was needed, a photo of the lovely Mademoiselle Hardy.

Friday, 21 October 2011

French rarities on the radio TONIGHT

news reaches us that there is une gâterie érotique in store at midnight on BBC 6music, when Andy Votel (Finders Keepers Records) joins Stuart Maconie on thee Freakier Zone...

Andy Votel And The Music Of French Eroticism

Listen :


Tomorrow00:00 on BBC 6 Music


A 60 minute compendium of audio gloop, hosted by King of Freaks, Stuart Maconie, plus every week a special guest presenting a skewed example of weird music. This is the boiled-down peculiar little brother to Sunday's Freak Zone.
This week, record collector Andy Votel uncovers the true story behind Melody Nelson, Serge Gainsborg's peculiar concept album and plays tracks from the genre of French eroticism... ooh err!

You can now 'listen again' on the iPlayer (available until 11.59pm on Friday 28th October)
[see comments for more info about the programme]

Thursday, 20 October 2011

L'Amour Electronique >> this Saturday

Our next soirée is this Saturday: a late night audio cocktail of 60s French Pop, Gallic freakbeat, popsike, swinging mademoiselles, synth goodness, Franco-funk and electronic delights.

L'Amour Electronique
Saturday 22 October
The West Hill, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ
9pm - 3am

Listen to our latest mixes for all things French, 60s, electronic, synthesized and POP!

oh and come and find us on facebook, go on, do it: facebook event

love and electronics

L'Amour Electronique mix 2

At last, the 2nd L'Amour Electronique mix! This one was recorded on 27 November 2010.

Another 2 hour mix of French pop, Gallic freakbeat, 60s garage, popsike, synth-pop, Franco-funk, bubblegum, chanson, ye-ye, synthesized sounds and electronic delights, for your listening pleasure.

For the first installment, we give you europop from Sebastien Tellier, call-and-response courtesy of Antoine and Jacques Dutronc, I Monster's sinister synth epic, a rare cut from France Gall, a Serge Gainsbourg soundtrack dalliance, Polnareff Computer funk, and more, and more, and more...

[for some reason the embedded player doesn't work with the Safari browser. It definitely works with Firefox though, or you can listen to it at the Mixcloud page]

track listing for part 1
Boy From Brazil – Le Claqueur De Doigts
Joanna – Hold-up Inusité
Serge Gainsbourg et Jean-Claude Brialy - C’est La Cristallisation Comme Dit Stendhal
Stereo Total – Comme Un Garçon
Antoine – Les Élucubrations d’Antoine
Jacques Dutronc – Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi
John & Jehn – 20L07
I Monster – Who Is She?
Les Charlots – St. Rock
Michel Polnareff – Computer’s Dream
France Gall – Zoï Zoï
Brigitte Bardot – Le Diable Est Anglais
Liz Brady – Bas Les Pattes
Sylvie Vartan – Koibito Jidai
Chantal Goya – Une Écharpe, Une Rose
Charlotte Gainsbourg – AF607105
Sebastien Tellier – Divine
Vive La Fête – Maladie d’un Fon
Stereo Total – Alaska

Hour 2 begins with a slow-burning Dutronc freakbeat classic. The mix takes a pure pop line until the urgent electro-meltdown of Dauerfisch and some oddball latterday Polnareff. Back to early 80s synth-pop (Human League, Telex), then off on a widescreen trip with Jean-Claude Vannier; next, some sweet ye-ye from mademoiselles Hardy, Hills and Goya, before Eddy Mitchell reprises the Anna soundtrack from part 1. It ends with an accordion duel between Jacques Brel and Adèle. Adèle wins with a bullet. 

track listing for part 2
Jacques Dutronc – Je Suis Content
Pete Shelley – Qu’est-ce Que C’est Que Ça
Serge Gainsbourg – Marilu
Baby Birkin – Orangutan
Mareva Galanter avec Jacno – Bang Bang
Françoise Hardy – Comment Te Dire Adieu
Brigitte Bardot – Tu Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas
Dauerfisch – Peter Thomas Kann Nicht Zählen
Michel Polnareff – Y’a Que Pas Pouvoir Qu’on Peut
Human League – (Keep Feeling) Fascination
Telex – Moskow Diskow
Large Number – The Number People
Jean-Claude Vannier – Je M’apelle Geraldine (up-tempo version)
The Blackbirds – Promenade dans le Forêt du Brabant
Françoise Hardy – Apprends Le Moi
Gillian Hills – Oublie
Chantal Goya – Laisse Moi
Eddy Mitchell – Baseball
Serge Gainsbourg – En Melody
David Bowie – Weeping Wall
Jacques Brel – Amsterdam
Adèle – Je Ne Veux Plus D’Accordéon

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Good news from Born Bad

I was rather pleased to have finally picked up a vinyl copy of Wizzz! vol.1 on eBay a few weeks ago, and for a bargain price too!

Then I happened to take a look at the Born Bad Records website and realised they've actually re-pressed it.  So it's good news for everyone!

[Vinyl copies had been going for silly money on eBay and sites like for a while.  This seems to be an increasing trend with compilations of rare 60s cuts: The compilation brings the tracks to the attention of the big wide world, which makes the original discs more sought after and the prices rocket. The originals become harder and harder to find, then the compilation goes out of print, and so the price of that goes up and up and up as well - crazy what people will do to get hold of a particular song on vinyl. Don't look at me though, I know my limits.]

For me Wizzz!: Psychorama Français 66-71 (to give it its full title) is the better of the 2 Wizzz! comps - it's a lot more poppy and immediate and it brings together a handful of legendary tracks I'd only ever read about and imagined how they might sound, plus a couple of well-comped classics.

A long-time favourite is this little sitar-psyche sex-funk number

Danyel Gérard - Sexologie
[buy Wizzz!: Psychorama Français 66-71 Born Bad Recs]

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Gimme some Sylvie

Ha! In your face eBay sniper software!  That bid in the last 2 seconds just wasn't enough to beat my highest bid.  I win. You lose. I am happy.

But what did I win?  Currently winging its way to me is this piece of vintage vinyl.

Track 2 is Sylvie's breathtaking version of The Spencer Davis Group's mod-scorcher Gimme Some Lovin'.

Now gimme some Sylvie!

Sylvie Vartan - Donne Moi Ton Amour
[buy Sylvie Vartan from itunes]

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bon Anniversaire x2

Bon Anniversaire France Gall!

Here's a bouncy little number you made back in 1968.
France Gall - Dady Da Da
[buy France Gall from itunes |]

And Happy Birthday monsieur John Lennon, wherever you may be.

A ripping raw Québécois cover of a fitting song from yr Beatles songbook pour vous:
Les Sound Track - Ce Soir C'est Ma Fête
[buy Les Sound Track from |]

And a tribute from Leonie* too
Leonie - John Lennon
[buy Leonie from itunes |]

(*thanks to Mordi @ Blow-Up Doll for the introduction...)

Friday, 7 October 2011

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.6

Remember last time, we took you to the Paris Métro? Today you find us on the Glasgow underground, known locally as the ‘Clockwork Orange’ on account of the 70s brown and orange colour-scheme and the fact it runs like a little clockwork train on a loop around the city centre.

Here it comes now...

...mind your head as you step inside the diminutive carriage.

You know in France they would call it “L’Orange Mécanique”. I’ve heard it’s due a refurbishment, but the locals are too fond of the kitschy decor: peeling paint, cracked tiles, letters missing from signs - like that one over there.


We know a song about that. It's by Parisian indie fire-brands du jour Les Shades.

Les Shades - Orage Mécanique
[buy Les Shades from Tricatel | itunes.
also, watch their tasty hi-contrast video]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain? Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la ChaîneFrançoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas > Les Shades – Orage Mécanique > ?



Il est sept heures du matin, this is your early morning wake up call. 


Jacqueline Taïeb - 7 Heures Du Matin

Do you need that in plain English?
Jacqueline Taïeb - 7 AM
[buy Jacqueline Taïeb from itunes |]

...and with those vital 2-or-so-minutes of Gallic freakbeat the L'Amour Electronique blog was roused back into the land of the living.

Friday, 23 September 2011

This Saturday => French Moog madness and more!

You are welcome to join us this Saturday for another evening of Synthesized sounds, French Pop and Electronic Delights.

Saturday 24th September
The West Hill pub, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ

We play French garage, Moog madness*, 80s synth pop, 60s ye-ye, la musique psychedelique, swinging mademoiselles, robot rock, electronic pioneers, arpeggio disko and more!

* I just picked up this early Moog album in Manchester, and I ain't afraid to use it

love and electronics

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Ce Soir c'est L'Amour Electronique

Yep, time marches on and another L'Amour Electronique has snuck up on us...

These are the informations you need to know

Saturday 27th August
The West Hill pub, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ

We play French garage, 80s synth pop, 60s ye-ye, la musique psychedelique, swinging mademoiselles, robot rock, electronic pioneers, arpeggio disko and more

see the posts below for mixtapes and previous setlists

love and electronics

Here is some accompanying eye candy I found at

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Les Oops

Oh my! I've been neglecting my blogs again... I blame art, love, life, holidays and work (in that order). Still at least I gave you 2 hours of musique fantastique to keep you going during this barren period (see post below).

There will be more activity soon.

In the meantime I should make you aware that this month's L'Amour Electronique is on the 5th Saturday of the month.

Saturday 30th July
The West Hill pub, Brighton

Verity and I will be away, but Sarah and guest DJs will entertain with a late night audio cocktail of Synthesized sounds, French Pop and Electronic Delights.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Ce Soir - L'AMOUR ELECTRONIQUE (Sat 25 June)

Come join us tonight for another L'Amour Electronique soirée!

We will be playing the finest in French Femmes et Garçons, 60s yé-yé, Gallic freakbeat, popsike, bubbblegum, psyché-rock, synthesized sounds and electronic frippery. ENTRY IS FREE. C'est bon!

Listen to our new mixes [posted below] for a taster of what we play

Saturday 25 June
at The West Hill pub, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ

love and electronics

Friday, 17 June 2011

L'Amour Electronique mix 1 (23 October 2010)

This is the first of a series of special mixes* recorded live at our L'Amour Electronique soirées.

Mix 1 was recorded on Saturday 23 October 2010:
A 2-hour audio cocktail of French pop, Gallic freakbeat, 60s garage, popsike, bubblegum, psychedelia, chanson, ye-ye, synthesized sounds and electronic delights. This first mix takes in exotic and out-there sounds from the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Polnareff, Stereolab, Gainsbourg, Air, Dutronc, The Normal, Baby Birkin, Stereo Total, Pierre Henry, Christie Laume and Jean-Jacques Perrey.

Hope you all enjoy it, please leave comments here or on Mixcloud.

Brigitte Bardot – Contact
Michel Polnareff – l’Oiseau de Nuit
Biky – Reponses
Joe Gracy & Michel Paje - Valérie Se Rebelle
Stereolab – Sun Demon
Jacques Dutronc – Il Est Cinq Heures Paris S'Eveille
Jean-Jacques Perrey – Mister James Bond
France Gall – Sacré Charlemagne
Stone – Auguste le Chat
Fabienne Delsol – Pas Adieu
Mareva Galanter – Pourquoi pas moi
Dalida – Petit Elephant Twist
Françoise Hardy – Pourtant tu M’aimes
Marie Laforêt - Mais si loin de moi
Serge Gainsbourg et Charlotte Gainsbourg - Lemon Incest
Air – Talisman
Stereo Total – Barbe à Papa
Christie Laume – Rouge Rouge
Jacques Dutronc – Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant
Chantal Goya – D’abord dis-moi ton nom

Sylvie Vartan – De Bonheur
Baby Birkin – Black…White
The Rogers Sisters – Les Fantasies sont Bien
We Are Enfant Terrible – Snap Dragon
Jenny Rock – Mal
Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM
Daniel Gérard – Sexologie
Pierre Henry & Michel Legrand – Teen Tonic
Stereolab – Percolator
The Normal – Warm Leatherette
C++ - Dé-Rock ‘n’ Rollisation
M – Pop Musik
Jane Birkin - Raccrochez c'est une Horreur
Depeche Mode – The Meaning of Love
France Gall - Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son
Michel Polnareff – Tout Tout pour ma Chérie
Orlane Paquin – Le Train de 10h03
Francis Lai – Un Homme et Une Femme (instrumental version)
Chantal Goya – Dans la Nuit
Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Stay tuned for another mix in the coming weeks...

* These mixes were originally produced for a radio station, but never made it to air after the person who commissioned them moved elsewhere. Hopefully you'll agree that their loss is your gain...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

mixtape for Blow-Up Doll

I was very flattered to be asked by Mordi at Blow-up Doll to submit something for his mixtape exchange. The criteria: 10-12 songs, anything goes as long as they have a female lead vocal and will appeal to other Blow-up Doll readers.

After a whole lot of deliberating and whittling down here's what I came up with**:

01 - Tuesday Weld - Are You The Boy?
02 - Karo - Sur Ta Moto (7" [TC Vedettes VD 3071])
03 - Tienou - Tu N'Peux Pas T'Empêcher de Rire (7" [POLYDOR 66 331 Simple])
04 - April March - Magic Ass (Dans les yeux d'April March 10" [Club Tricatel TRIEP25 001/1999])
05 - Jenny Rock - Mal
06 - Brezel Göring (feat. Christiane F.) - Ich Bin So Süchtig (white label 7")
07 - Anika - Terry
08 - Elephant's Memory - Old Man Willow
09 - Rose Elinor Dougall - Start/Stop/Synchro
10 - Anne Marie - Love is Amour in French
11 - Cat's Eyes - Not A Friend

You can download the full mixtape and tons of other ace mixes from

**As well as some French femme faves, I chose a few, more cinematic, numbers that I play when I DJ at our other night Tonight We Fly. There are also a couple of current faves that I just had to include.  The best thing is it gave me a good kick up the backside to actually rip some stuff from vinyl, so there are a few rare songs, which, as far as I know, have never been issued/re-issued.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

COMING SOON! L'Amour Electronique DJ mixes

In the next couple of weeks I will post the first of a bunch of 2-hour DJ sets recorded live from our monthly L'Amour Electronique soirées. The first mix features songs from the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Stereolab, Christie Laume, Charlottte Gainsbourg, Pierre Henry & Michel Legrand, C++, and Francis Lai.

Check back in the next 2 weeks, or click the 'follow this blog' link in the sidebar to stay in the loop.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sébastien Tellier 'French Classics' mix

I'm currently enjoying the Sébastien Tellier 'French Classics' mix.  51 minutes of kitsch, jazzy, psychedelic French chanson, easy listening, pre- and post-yé-yé, and dreamy synthtronica.

The blurb from Mixcloud:
Ever since back in the '50s, France has been a fertile ground for genuinely out-there (and oftentimes well-dressed) pop music that came forward from the margins and ended up moving the rebels and the bourgeoisie alike. This mix - conceived and tracklisted by Record Makers' very own universal genius Sébastien Tellier for RBMA Radio's monthly 'Crème Brûlée' show - pays tribute to this heritage, with timeless cuts from some of the country's all-time greats

As an aside: Verity and I once DJ'ed as support to Monsieur Tellier when he played in Brighton. Judging from his selections, I'd like to think he enjoyed what we played - especially Serge's 8-minute proto-disco s&m sleaze-fest Love On The Beat, and our closer: Polnareff's melancholy epic Qui a Tue Grand-Maman.

Friday, 27 May 2011

the great Blow-Up Doll mixtape exchange

Mordi at the brilliant and scarily prolific Blow-Up Doll blog is in the midst of a grand mixtape exchange.

Doll readers and fellow bloggers have submitted mixtapes of pure girl-goodness and femme-fantastic-ness, and Mordi is gradually posting them - so far we've been treated to girls from all over the place including some ace picks from Portugal, Holland and the Eastern Bloc.

Mine is scheduled to appear on 1st June, so keep 'em peeled.

L'Amour Electronique => Samedi Soir + Setlist from 23 April 2011

Our next L'Amour Electronique soirée is this weekend:
9pm - 3am
The West Hill, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ

Join us for another evening of French pop, yé-yé, electronic delights, synthcore, Gallic freakbeat, synth-sounds, bubblegum and popsike.

And now, for those who like lists, here is what we played on 23 April 2011

Jacques Brel – Amsterdam
Telefilme – Pop-Corn Videodrome
Françoise Hardy – Il Est Trop Loin
Brigitte – Battez-Vous
Michel Legrand – Digue Ding Ding
Pussycat – Hymne Au Soleil
Marie Laforêt – A Demain My Darling
Messieurs Richard de Bordeaux et Daniel Beretta – La Drogue
Serge Gainsbourg et Jane Birkin – 69 Année Erotique
Chantal Goya – A La Sortie De Ma Classe
Cléo – Madame La Terre (Et Ron, Et Ron …)
Black Box Recorder – Andrew Ridgeley
Ladytron – Commodore Rock
Bis – Action + Drama
Stereo Total – Plus Minus Null
Add N To (X) – Steve's Going To Teach Himself Who's Boss
Human League – Being Boiled (fast version)
A Trois Dans Les WC – Contagion
Pulp – Ladies Man
Goldfrapp – Train
Petula Clark – L’Amour Avec Un Grand A
Dump – Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi
Serge Gainsbourg – L’eau à La Bouche
Anne Marie Peysson – Comme Un Manège
Dubstar – St. Swithin’s Day
The Delgadoes – Sacré Charlemagne
Françoise Hardy – Quel Mal y a-t-il À Ça?
France Gall – Christiansen
Les Gam’s – Il à Le Truc
Les Rolling Bidochons – Plaintes En Vrac
Comix – Touche Pas Mon Sexe
Die Dorau & Die Marinas – Fred Vom Jupiter
Cats In Paris – Loose Tooth Tactile
Fabienne Delsol – C’est Jour La
Eric Charden – Amour Limite Zéro
Pierre Henry et Michel Legrand – Psyché Rock
Christophe – La petite fille du 3ème
Katty-Line – Un Petit Peu D’amour
Jacqueline Perez – Go Home
Ria Bartok – J'y Pense Tout Bas
Maryene – Cette Fille N’est Rien Par Lui
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Torso Corso
C.K.C. - 20h25
Air – Lucky and Unhappy
Sukia – The Dream Machine
Quintron & Miss Pussycat – Dream Captain
Neon Neon – Raquel
Stereolab – Les Yper-Sound
Silver Apples – Oscillations
Christophe – Les Marionettes
France Gall – N’ecoutes Pas Les Idoles
Hair ST – Laissez enter Le Soliel
Sebastien Tellier – L’amour est La Violence (Boys Noize remix)
Michel Polnareff – Qui à Tué Grand-Maman?
OMD – Red Frame/White Light
Stereo Total – Barbe à Papa
Claude Dubois – La Tourne
Joe Gracy et Michel Paje - Valérie Se Rebelle
Marie Laforêt (avec Gérard Klein) – Le Vin De L’été
Michel Polnareff – Time Will Tell
Vetty – Nicolas
Isabelle – Amstramgram
Humbert Humbert – Self-Misunderstood
Berthe – Les Emberthements
Minouche Barelli – Boum Bada Boum
France Gall – Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son
Léonie – Lilith
Stella - Pourquoi Pas Moi
Sophie Makhno et Colin Verdier – Obsessions 68
Michel Arnaud et Serge Gainsbourg – Les Papillons Noirs
Stereo Total – I Wanna Be A Mama
Future Bible Heroes – Don’t You Want Me?
Bis – Kill Yr Boyfriend
Smarty Pants – Knee Sox Girl
Trouble Vs Glue – No More No More
Françoise Cactus – You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
Add N To (X) – King Wasp
Jane Birkin – Jane B
Pet Shop Boys – Rent
Marie Laforêt – Mais Si Loins De Moi
Kraftwerk – Ohm Sweet Ohm
Yazoo – Only You
Serge et Charlotte Gainsbourg – Lemon Incest
Human League – Love Action
Brigitte Bardot – St Tropez
Evy – Une Question Qui se Pose
Elizabeth – Je Suis Sublime
Jacques Dutronc – Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant
Danyel Gérard – Sexologie
Brezel Göring - Ich Bin So Süchtig (feat. Christiane F)
Trio Sourire – Satisfaction
Chevette – We Can Dance Again
Adèle – C’est Bon
Liz Brady – Bas Les Pattes
Sylvie Vartan – Irréstiblement
Chantal Goya – Dans La Nuit
The Chap – They Have A Name
Pulp – Separations
Giorgio Moroder – From Here To Eternity
Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe pt.5
Stereo Total – Villaines Filles, Mauvais Garçons
Violaine – Dam’Dou Ah!
Serge Gainsbourg – Qui Est ‘In’, Qui Est ‘Out’?
Depeche Mode – Everything Counts
Simon Bookish – Terry Riley Disco
Dauerfisch – Peter Thomas Kann Nicht Zählen
Future Bible Heroes – Love Is Blue

Thursday, 26 May 2011

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.5

Whenever I’m on the Paris Métro the doors-closing horn always reminds me of that opening klaxon-salvo on Monster Bobby (see pt.4).

Deep in the belly of the Porte des Lilas Métro station, the ticket-puncher sits, going slowly crazy in the half-light.  Day after day after day, over and over, again and again and again: punching "Little holes, little holes, always little holes…"

He dreams of getting away. He's seen exotic places in the Reader's Digest, places he can only dream of reaching on his pitiful wage - if the Métro doesn't go there, neither will he.  He eyes a first-class suit with jealousy as he punches another first-class hole: summer holidays are coming, and I'll be stuck here with this ever growing mountain of little holes gathering at my feet.

And at night: he dreams of nothing but the little punched holes that he leaves in Hansel & Gretel-style trails all the way back to his flea-pit of a home.  He wakes in a cold sweat in the dead of night, the little holes falling like confetti from the ceiling, littering the squalid bed-clothes, and peppering the floor as he staggers to the bureau and feels for the cold, hard steel of his papa's army-issue rifle.

"Little holes, little holes, always little holes…"

He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and makes one last little hole


And then some poor sod has to dig another, bigger hole to put him in.

There is now a "garden" at Porte des Lilas, dedicated to Serge and his song. Not much bigger than a metro ticket and overlooking the Boulevard Périphérique, it's hardly an oasis of tranquility for your average stir-crazy ticket-puncher. Perhaps they've planted some ornamental cabbages...

If you do go to Paris, visit Serge's house, or go and leave a metro ticket on his grave at the Cimetière de Montparnasse.

Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas
[buy Serge Gainsbourg from iTunes |]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain? Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la Chaîne > Françoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas > ?

Sunday, 22 May 2011

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.4

Hmm, seem to have gone a bit off the boil with these. Hopefully this will kick start la Chaîne again [see pt.3 for the story so far]...

In response to the terrace-style stomp of Cara-Lin we awaken the terrace-style chanting of this little terror.
I reckon by the time Bobby and his thugs are through with us we'll all be going home in a fucking ambulance.

Monster Bobby first reared his ugly head on Add Insult To Injury, the 4th album from, now imploded, analogue synth fetishists/abusers Add N To (X).

But who are Add N To (X)?

Add N To (X) formed in 1994, with a motley arsenal of vintage synths and a perverted mind-set at their disposal.  They delighted, confused and titillated with their Avant-Hard brand of proto-electronic sci-fi robot-sex rock.  They also made some saucy videos, which you can view at your risk: here and here. Then they fell apart in 2003, and an ugly synthesizer custody battle ensued.

There used to be a cool (Channel 4?) documentary about them, but it got removed from bloody youtube

Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby
[buy Add N To (X) from Mute Records |]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain? Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la Chaîne > Françoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > ?

ye-ye! no-no?

I can't believe it's a year since Verity and I went to Japan***...

[the Tokyo Tower, built in 1958 and "inspired" by the Eiffel Tower, only 8.5 metres taller and painted white and orange]  

I was whittling songs down last week for a mixtape for Blow-up Doll, and this is one that ended up on the cutting room floor.  It triggered a memory of when I first heard it in a cramped record shop in Kyoto: as we flicked through the vinyl and chuckled at the section (mis?)labelled 'Gram Lock', this kitsch bit of 60s Jap-pop came on with an ear-catching chorus of "Yé-Yé! Yé-Yé!". The shop owner was playing an Ace Records compilation called 'Nippon Girls - Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1966-70'. I would have bought it there and then, but seeing as it was an import it was ridiculously expensive. So I tracked it down when I got home.

It's not actually even in French but since most of the lyrics are just "Yé-Yé", I thought I'd just let it slip by.

Confusingly the pronunciation of "Yé-Yé" is very close (to my ears) to the Japanese for "No": "Iie".  So is it positive homage to the 60s Euro-pop fad or a playfully negative riposte?

"Yé-Yé" or "No-No"? I dunno, but it's a shifty little number!

Eiko Shuri - Yé-Yé
[buy the Nippon Girls comp from or via Ace Records]

***I also can't believe the terrible events that hit the beautiful people and landscape on the 11th of March this year.  The country is still recovering from the huge earthquake and tsunami and the fall-out and devastation it left behind.  You can make a donation to the Red Cross relief effort via the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Falling for Françoise

This Saturday 21st May, 10.30am on Radio 4, Falling for Françoise 
[it will then be available for 7 days on the iPlayer]

It was on a language-learning trip to Paris that John Andrew first heard the music of Francoise Hardy and fell for the sexy but shy singer. He was not alone - she was the dreamgirl of many an English schoolboy in the early 1960s.
In 'Falling for Francoise', he revisits Paris and the streets in which he first lost his heart and he talks to others who've suffered the same fate - the Hardy fan website curator, Yorkshireman Warren Gilbert; musician Ben Christophers, who's written songs for the mature Francoise; journalist Laura Barton, who's besotted with the whole French 60s 'ye ye' scene... and in a real coup, John gets to meet the singer herself, falling for Francoise all over again!

Introduction by John Andrew from the BBC Radio 4 blog
"Picture the scene. A girl walks down the street, alone and unloved, while around her loving couples hold hands and gaze into each other's eyes. That was the theme of 'Tous Les Garcons et les Filles de Mon Age', a self-penned melancholic song which in the early 1960s catapulted Françoise Hardy to Europe-wide fame, and achieved something rare: being one of the few French language songs to make the British charts. Globally it sold around two million copies-shifting more records than the legendary Edith Piaf did in eighteen years.
In Britain, Françoise had no shortage of schoolboy admirers. And I was one of them.
She suddenly made learning O and A Level French that much cooler. Hardy stood out from other girl singers of the time on both sides of the Channel. There was no fancy hair style or heavy duty cosmetics. Her hair was long and straight, her make-up minimal. She had a natural, wholesome look that made her the perfect 'girl next door.'
One of the fans I talk to in Falling for Françoise tells the story of a French girl who came to England to stay with a penfriend and turned out to be a dead ringer for Françoise. All his schoolmates made a beeline for her but he got there first. It was the start of a 10-day whirlwind romance that took in such delights as the Droitwich Lido.
But it wasn't just school boys who fancied Françoise. Just about every male rock star was effusive about her too. Mick Jagger called her his 'ideal woman' and David Bowie said that 'for a long time I was passionately in love with her. Every in male the world and a number of females also were.'
One of her most remarkable encounters was with Bob Dylan during his 1966 concert at the Paris Olympia. Dylan, she recalls, was 'in bad shape' and not singing well. In the interval he sent her a message to say he wouldn't complete the concert until she'd come to meet met him in his dressing room. It was an awkward encounter but later that day he gave a her a a private preview of two new songs later to become classics: 'I Want You' and 'Just Like a Woman'.
In a frank and often self-effacing interview, Françoise plays down the adoration and tells me she's always been uncomfortable with fame.
She says that like many of her early fans, she was a shy and anxious child and jokingly suggests it might be to do with the circumstances of her birth. She was born in Paris during an air raid warning in January 1944 when the city was still under Nazi occupation.
Home life was hard. Her father was largely absent. Her mother had to work hard to keep Françoise and her younger sister well fed and clothed On one of her father's rare appearances he gave her a guitar. Soon she was writing her own songs, as many as one a day. Eventually she successfully auditioned for the Vogue label. It was the start of a string of hits which included 'All Over The World' - a regular choice on The BBC Light Programme's Two-Way Family Favourites.
Though now approaching her seventies she looks as stunning as ever, though the long brown hair has given way to a grey, cropped cut.
More than fifty years since her first hit Françoise is still making albums. She's worked with a string of British musicians including Damon Albarn, the late Malcolm McLaren and the young singer/songwriter Ben Christophers.
EMI have signed her up for two more albums but with typical self-doubt she worries whether she can write enough new material to fill them.
This most reluctant of French icons though is sure of one thing. She says she's rarely happier than when curled up in bed with a book by her favourite author, Henry James."