Sunday, 17 June 2007

Who's that girl?

It's the second time I've coined the Eurythmics song as a title for a post. But, picture the scene: I've just arrived at the apartment in Nice. I've been there a few times and the routine is that I head straight for the fabulosa Bang and Olufsen system and hit the radio button. I LOVE radio stations on the Med because they're just so fucking sunny, and on systems like this one the FM filter is super huge.

The station is NRJ, the chart hits station with a play list consisting of ONLY the top ten. Their jingles are even made to sound like the track: imagine a Mika sound-a-like going "NRJ (pronounced like 'energy') ooooh, NRJ ooooh" segueing into Relax, Take It Easy.

And then this track comes on. It's got a sparse electro/disco feel with a hooky repetitive chorus and a female singer with an intimate style which suddenly expands into operatics. I turn to my fella and say "This. Is. It". I knew from the first few bars that it had made it as the all-important holiday song.

Over the next few days I caught it on NRJ, but with the language barrier (I can ASK for things en francais but can't HEAR anything en francais) I struggled to discern who the singer was. Was it Crystaline? It was only near the end of the vacation, and after several fruitless visits to Virgin Megastore, we were in Le Bar Six, a popular gay haunt, when the hired chanteusse did her version of it on a stage fashioned out of a Go-go boy's podium. The crowd went wild, clearly a popular tune. I asked the barman who the original singer was and he told me it was Christophe Willem. A man! And the winner of the French equivalent of American Idol too! C'est incroyables! And bless, doesn't he actually sing about having a voice like the BeeGees... Obviously, the programme, Nouvelle Star, passed me by here in the UK and any pop blogs talking about him too. He won it last year and it's taken him this long to come up with his well-received material.

"C'est moi, Cristophe, ce n'est pas Christine"

The act, Lisa Angel (!) in Le Bar Six was so taken by our obvious appreciation (three G&Ts helps) that she asked me later if I had a request. When I asked for Christophe Willem the place erupted and she remarked how fab it was even les Anglais knew about him.

It's number one all over France and here it is:

Double Je - Christophe Willem
(mp3 Download)

Other tunes which touched the buttons over the hols were these:

'Allo, allo.

Lola - Superbus (mp3 Download)
A No Doubt-like act who have this very Euro sounding French hit with its "Boom, boom, boom" chorus. It had me tapping my Birkenstocks.

I'm as hard as Uffing nails, me!

The Party - Justice feat. Uffie (mp3 Download)
I can't be doing with Uffie, usually, being all crappily urban and ting. I think it's the try-hard hardness that's off-putting. But as I wandered through Zara looking for a cheap pair of Phillipe Philoppes this track came on. I actually like Uffie doing her Pink reprise but love it even more when the French phat beat comes in.


Rue de Marachel Joffre said...

Love the tracks! Reminds me of my holiday in Nice 2007 ;-)xxxx

xolondon said...

welcome back!

Phil said...

Cheers! ;)

Adem IAR said...

You were right about the Superbus song Phil, I'm loving it SICK.

RV said...

here is my review of his album (in french) on my blog :
maybe it can help ;)