Friday, 1 June 2012

French pop on BBCTV

Last Sunday, following the Eurovision extravaganza, BBC4 aired two programmes looking at how Foreign pop music is received in the UK, focussing in particular on those one-hit-wonders that leak into the public consciousness and lodge themselves there until we're all sick to death of 'em.

Of interest to us here at L'Amour Electronique were the few clips of French artistes that found their way in amongst the other cheesy Euro-pop.

First there was Anyone for Demis? How The World Invaded The Pop Charts, (available until 1.14am, Sun 3rd June) with a few gems in amongst the Hawaiian guitar, Calypso, panpipes, (the really sinister) Nina & Frederik, Nana Mouskouri, and, of course, the big man Demis. We enjoyed the footage of the French pop stars (beginning at 30m25):
  • Johnny Hallyday (denounced by Stuart Maconie as "the French Cliff Richard") performing his response to Antoine et al Cheveux Long et Idées Courtes.
  • Françoise Hardy - a very brief clip from Eurovision '63 at 23m30 and some lovely footage of her walking round a park to Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles from 1962 at 31m50.
  • Some studio footage of the scary, but compelling, Swingle Singers.
  • Serge and Jane with Je T'aime..., of course! (33m22)
  • A teeny, 15-year-old Vanessa Paradis miming Joe Le Taxi and showing off her gappy teeth on Top Of The Pops (52m59).
  • oh, and the story of The Singing Nun (18m50), who left the convent and became a lesbian, and later died in a suicide pact after being hounded for royalties from the record, which had all been paid to the convent.  Tragic.
Straight after came Exotic Pop at the BBC (available until 2.14am, Sun 3rd June) which included full performances from a number of French stars in amongst the £2.50 jangle-piano of Winifred Atwell, the Kessler Twins ("performing" Un Homme et Une Femme like a 60s female German version of Jedward!) Harry Belafonte, Falco, and the hilarious prog-operatics of Focus.  Here's what we recommend:
  • Juliette Greco looking sultry and playful (9m15).
  • Poor Françoise looking painfully awkward and singing All Because Of You in English with some stalker bloke getting in the way a lot - she keeps shaking her head but he just doesn't get the message (14m56).
  • Charles Aznavour introduced by Sir Jim'll of Fix It at Christmas and wearing the vilest jacket we've ever seen (29m38).
  • Plastic Bertrand grinning and pogoing around like a happy little punk puppet (34m48).
  • And the full synchronised sax-dancing clip of Vanessa Paradis where some of the audience have been given Joe Le Taxi scarves to wave! (51m34)

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