Chance for music fans to make French connection

St Lo can be seen in Newcastle this week.
St Lo can be seen in Newcastle this week.

Some French imports we can’t get enough of this side of the English Channel, such as their footballers, chefs and wine, but others, their musicians being a prime example, we can take or leave.

There’s been the odd exception over the years, such as Vanessa Paradis, Daft Punk or Serge Gainsbourg, but Gallic singers have consistently failed to make the same impact on our record charts as their sporting compatriots, like David Ginola, Eric Cantona or Thierry Henry, have made on the turf of Premier League pitches.

Bureauexport, the French music export office, and the Institut Français are refusing to take no, or non, for an answer, however, and are keeping up their series of Oui Love showcase tours intended to introduce the pick of their homeland’s up-and-coming artists to audiences over here.

The first was staged in 2009, and the latest is here now and will be stopping off at the Cluny in Newcastle tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28.

Previous tours have featured the likes of Andrea Balency, Team Ghost, Anoraak and Housse de Racket, and this one offers the hip-hop-electronic crossover act St Lô and ambient electronic pop from Saycet, accompanied by British pop duo Acre Tarn.

Tickets cost £5. For details, go to

St Lô are a four-piece act made up of three French musicians, all from Lorient in Britanny, and Hanifah Walidah, a pop-poet and MC from New York, the one in America, not its less famous namesake in North Shields, and also formerly singer for Brooklyn Funk Essential.

Their debut album, Room 414, was released last year, and they they have a new mini-LP, called Whatnots, out now, billed as marrying addictive electro-rap grooves, fearsome energy and digital urban blues influenced by Sister Rosetta Thorpe and, at the other end of some spectrum or other, Mantronix.

The Oui Love tour also takes in Glasgow and Manchester, following its arrival in London tonight.