Saturday, 15 July 2017

French Boutik - Water Rats London July 14th, Bastille Day with the Paris based Pop-Modernisters

French Boutik - Photo ©Retromanblog 2017
The wonderful Paris-based Modernist Pop band French Boutik headlined a most enjoyable evening put on by SBD Promotions at the Water Rats in Kings Cross last night. It was fitting to help them celebrate Bastille Day and they put on a superb show which proved that the band are on top form right now. Indeed with each release and each gig that I see the band just seem to get better and better. The release of their long-awaited debut album "Front Pop", the new "Essential" compilation on Detour Records and their regular trips over here have rightly earned them a growing army of admirers on this side of the channel, I remember they went down a storm at our first Retro Man Blog Night of 2016 supporting The Senior Service. Tonight's excellent set is packed full of their super-cool sounds that merge together classic Sixties Soul and the cinematic influences of film-noir and spy movie soundtracks and mix them all up with French Ye-Ye, Mod and a nice edge of New Wave.

French Boutik - Photo ©Retromanblog 2017
French Boutik - Photo ©Retromanblog 2017
The current line-up, tonight expanded to a six-piece, is also superb and there is a great chemistry between all the band-members that lifts everyone in the room and creates a really warm and enjoyable atmosphere. Vocalist Gabriela is a charismatic focal point and she has a fine soulful voice that really comes into it's own on stage. Guitarist Serge is French cool personified and his impressive Rickenbacker work adds a nice edge to the sound. He takes over lead vocals on a couple of tracks including the stand-out "Mieux Comme Ca" backed by Gabriela and the quite wonderful vocal melodies of drummer Zelda. Bassist Jean-Marc in his sharp suit also spins out some impressive riffs on his Rickenbacker and at one point keyboard player Olivier Popincourt stops to admire his colleague. Olivier adds some excellent Hammond organ to proceedings and as I have done on the Blog before, I must recommend you check out his own album "A New Dimension To Modern Love".

French Boutik - Photo ©Retromanblog 2017
French Boutik - Photo ©Retromanblog 2017
Added to this is Graham Lentz on percussion and acoustic guitar who seems to be having the time of his life at the back. I'm sure he'd be in the crowd down the front of the stage if he wasn't in the band! They played a great selection of songs including some personal highlights such as "Je Regarde Les Tigres" and "La Vie en Colouers" and encored with my favourite track "Les Chats de Gouttière". They will now head off to Manchester and Shrewsbury, where they will play with The Backbeat Three on Sunday July 16th and they also have a gig at Les Disquaires in Paris with The Sha La-La's on September 02nd. For more information on their tour dates and how to order "Front Pop" please check out their web-site here. We've played lots of French Boutik in various episodes of Retrosonic Podcast too which you can search in the archive here. Here's a video of one of my favourite tracks from the new album entitled "Le Casse" filmed at the show.



You can also see more photos of the gig over at the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here.

French Boutik - Photo ©Retromanblog 2017

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