Rosemary Standley – the magnetic Mademoiselle Moriarty

Devoted to cultivating creativity & imagination. Dedicated to philosophers, pilgrims & punks.

ROSEMARY STANDLEY is the lushly imaginative Franco-American lead singer of the enormously creative band Moriarty. The instruments they play reads like a recipe list for the best possible musical feast: xylophone, thumb piano, spoons, tambourine, scotch-tape trumpet, double-bass, music box, suitcase drum, chromatic and diatonic harmonicas, kazoo, drilling machines, Jew’s harp.

 The band’s maverick spirit leads them to play incongruous venues such ‘a mental institution, a prison, a transatlantic ship, a ruined castle in Tuscany, the streets of Paris, and a night train’.  Being the bohemian vagabonds that they are, they tour extensively.


When I was eight, my father taught me the Hank Williams’s song Jambalaya, and brought me with him to a square dance at the American Church of Paris. He had a gig there with his band and he asked me to sing the song in the middle of the set. The people were so pleased with the song that they asked for it 3 times. What a funny feeling! You just get addicted to it.

Continue reading “Rosemary Standley – the magnetic Mademoiselle Moriarty”

In Alain Bashung’s discotheque

Alain Bashung

De la country à la musique expérimentale, les proches d’Alain Bashung racontent à Charline Lecarpentier ses émois musicaux.

Alain Bashung was not a socialite. Few people entered his bubble. “One does not let me dream,” he once heard the musician Rodolphe Burger moan as they prepared to enter the studio. His intimate relationship to the music of others remained only more valuable. “I’m a cowboy at Paname, but it’s Dylan’s fault,” he sang in his early days. Ten years after his disappearance, the emptiness he left is not close to being filled. Moreover, from rap to song, the specter of those who claim his legacy is wide. Almost as broad, in fact, as the many influences of Bashung himself, as described by his entourage, while his historic label Barclay unites his work in an integral spiced by lives and a handful of unpublished .


“When I met Alain in 1975, he had an impressive nightclub and an amp that could be plugged into two headsets. It was a HLM and you should not be too loud. We spent nights listening to very underground things like Kraftwerk and Robert Wyatt before ending up with country music. We lived a blessed period, there was a new musical wave every five years. He loved the punks, the new wave and this mysterious band, The Residents .

But there was finally not enough English, it was rather American. Not an album of Bob Dylan escaped him, it is understood in his way to crush the phrasing … He listened to few French artists, we made the song but that did not interest us. There was just this revelation that upset him emotionally and musically in 1993 during the recording of Chatterton in Brussels when we listened until the dawn of the complete Léo Ferré . We fell to the ground. It was wrong to have not considered earlier his case. The song called “I have long contemplated” was composed in stride. In France, except Leo, he still liked Gainsbourg . Work with him on Play Injuries was a dream. Towards the end, he introduced me to Gérard Manset . Alain’s mother tongue was German. He also heard a lot of English on radios at the American base near Strasbourg, which was broadcasting in Alsace. This is what I think explains his company of torture of the French language. He wanted to understand it better. “


“The more years passed, the more Alain was attached to the simple and comforting values ​​of the country. The Walker Brothers spoke to him a lot because Scott Walker had started in a classical form before also embarking on experimentation. Seeing how music advances with the life of a man fascinated him. Among the pioneers , Gene Vincent or Jerry Lee Lewis were very important to him. This madness of the pastor who rocked on the side of the devil, all this ambivalence of rock’n’roll interested him a lot.

He particularly liked the second knives. He preferred Bobby Darrin, Johnny Mathis or Harry Nilsson to Presley and Sinatra . He loved the Highwaymen of course, including his favorites Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson . When we sang together as a duo, he compared us to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris . One of our great pleasures was to go to Tower Records in London to buy a lot of things, even experimental ones. That’s how he discovered the records of Marc Ribot or Mr. Wardwith whom he then wanted to work. They too play with codes from the past. “


“The first thing we talked about was Moondog , who was a kind of Brian Eno before the hour. Alain, because of his Kabyle origins, was very sensitive to repetitive rhythmic music, whether or not it was electronic. We can also hear about his experiments on the album Climax . Every time I came to Alain and Chloe’s, I arrived with records under his arm and he made me follow albums.

If his passion for music started with precursors, from Gene Vincent to Jerry Lee Lewis , he also had a big flash with the arrival of cold wave and new wave . Artists mark him every decade, like Martin Hannet at the time of Joy Division or the Young Marble Giants . It was he who introduced me to Richard Hawley , whom I did not know and whom he listened to a lot at the end of his life. He listened to music all the time and I can assure you that when he was president of the Prix Constantin, he had heard the two hundred records. ”


“Alain often spoke about the famous Talk Talk Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock , and the one that followed under the name Mark Hollis.. He adored them and me too. The music is splendid but it is also the very radical step of Mark Hollis who spoke to him. Talk Talk was making industrial pop with some success, and strong of it, Hollis had completely broken with the label EMI to afford a musical research album with his group then solo, before disappearing for good. This idea of ​​an artist who sacrifices success in the name of an artistic requirement has made Mark Hollis a quasi-heroic figure for Alain. It is a question of raising the level in a context of an industry with which it is necessary to trick to pass the maximum of music. I could see that at times, Alain was also in a form of inner struggle to protect his freedom. “

Immortal , the complete 1977-2018 (Barclay). Released March 1st

This article can be found in the issue 66  (March 2019)  of  Vanity Fair  France.

Source: In Alain Bashung’s discotheque | Vanity Fair

Bertrand Belin polishes the tour of his new album “Persona” in Le Havre

It is in Le Havre that the musician Bertrand Belin chose to refine and begin the tour of his sixth album. He then leaves on the roads of the hexagon with “Persona”. A personal album, imbued with literature and strange creatures.

A crooner’s voice, a dandy rock look, Bertrand Belin travels the planet of words and notes with an elegance both light and serious. With “Persona”, the singer remains faithful to a swaying score that kicks and invites to dance. That’s good, Bertrand Belin goes on the road of concerts with this sixth album. After the studio it’s in Le Havre that he tweaked the adjustments of the live. It promises us new but also older pieces.
A scene apart
For nearly fifteen years, the Breton musician has been cultivating a singular language. His linguistic delusions flirt with surrealist poetry. On stage, Bertrand Belin embarks the public, between improvisation and exquisite corpses.

“O time, suspend your flight” and let yourself go into the languid vapors dream the artist. These compositions, always imbued with melancholy, give their view on life, solitude, society. By choosing simple but fair words.

It is the pleasure of arranging, of creating with the minimum of words, the maximum of effect. This is my little “dada”!

Bertrand Belin

If 2018 has been written with a big A (two albums of the excellent Dominique A), 2019 starts with a double B.  Bertrand Belin launched himself in this new year . “Persona” was released on January 25 on the label Cinq 7, an appearance at the cinema in My life with James Dean” by Dominique Choisy which he signs the soundtrack and ” Great Carnicores ” his fourth novel (POL editions), a once again hailed by critics.

Continue reading “Bertrand Belin polishes the tour of his new album “Persona” in Le Havre”

LIVE session: Orouni’s “Speedball”

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people on stage, people playing musical instruments, people sitting, night, concert and indoor
Performing at Les Trois Baudets

Monsieur Pas de Merde really likes the sounds these Parisians make. Orouni remind me of London’s hipster indie iconoclasts  “The Leisure Society,” with a similar mix of strings and wind instruments – très groovy.

Orouni claim influences of Leonard Cohen, The Kinks and Stereolab. Their mix of minimalism and lush arrangements also recall The Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Supergrass, Belle & Sebastian, and (Monsieur Pas de Merde favorite) – ’60s Brit Invasion legend, the Zombies!

C’est groovy – non?

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video courtesy of Le Cargo

Shame slayed La Route du Rock Festival in France 

The French fort at Saint Malo saw post-punk’s Shame play a blistering set on the second stage at La Route du Rock Festival last night (17 August).

Largely taking place across two stages at Le Fort de Saint-Père fort in Saint-Malo, La Route du Rock also features a beach stage by the walled city seafront, and an opening party at the festival’s year-round live venue La Nouvelle Vague.The festival almost completely eliminates choice, giving the crowd a non-stop 6pm-4am programme that alternates one act at a time between the main and second stage. It’s a confident, and completely justified, statement about the organisers’ taste – and it’s worked for more than 25 years.So entering the stage to the fairground blasts of The Vengaboys’ ‘We Like to Party’ was about the most rebellious thing Shame could have done, bringing the remnants of a tasteless time to a festival that prides itself on its timeless taste. Tops came off and mic stands became accessories as they gave their all through a charged set that touched on highlights ‘The Lick’ and ‘One Rizla’ from debut album Songs of Praise, as well as some equally savvy and spiteful brand new material.The crowd lapped up every minute of a set that had none of the refinement, restraint or mystery provided by the rest of the day’s bill – one that included the relatively low key Grizzly Bear, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Limiñanas. By the time the band had finished, even the crowd had broken a sweat for the first time today.For their part, The Limiñanas turned their lo-fi recordings into an outstanding rich and layered performance, with a line-up of guest musicians joining founding members Lionel and Marie to open the main stage. It was the perfect smokey soundtrack to see off the last of the sunshine.But the surprise of the night for visitors was the reception for French legend Étienne Daho, well known to the local crowd thanks to a massive pop career spanning more than 30 years. All the 20-somethings on the front row swapped places with their parents to watch Étienne channeling Depeche Mode, backed by a buff band, dry ice and futuristic mood lighting. Finally, Chilean band Föllakzoid closed up, churning out dark and chugging Krautrock until 4am for all those still standing.La Route du Rock continues today. Check their website here for details.

Source: Shame slayed La Route du Rock Festival in France | Gigwise | Gigwise