La scène Francais
Rock Pics' Photographer Orianne takes a walk through the French rock scene
Hello. My name is Orianne, I'm a french photographer working mostly among the rock scene, and I will try to make you know better the french alternative scene month by month. In advance, please excuse my english.
Two weeks ago, I had an interview with an English band, Lostprophets. We talked a bit and it made me realize that our two scenes were so different, and that each of us didn't know about the other's country scene. In France, it's quite static, which might surprise you a lot because it's not the case in the UK. Here, if you're not on TV, you are quite nothing for the masses,and it's allways the same bands that are broadcasted by medias (radio, TV and magazines). So it's always our great records-selling commercial bands that are on tour.
Anyway, here, not so many people are into real music, and it's really rare to have a sold out show for a french band, unless it's a Pop Idol like or some commercial stuff that's broadcasted on TV again and again and again... It's bad for the music because alternative bands and especially rock, metal or hardcore ones have big difficulties to tour. Small bands stay into their basements because the music industry in France as no money to spend for independant rock and fears to lose money with it.
Most of foreign bands' shows take place in Paris, so when you live far from it, as I do, you must be really motivated to go. French underground bands play in pubs, basements... in front of a small but motivated audience. I often see someting like 20 peoples only to those shows. Oh, and french kids don't know how to mosh! When a band ask for a circle pit, it's so funny to see that something like 70% of the crowd doesn't understand... lol.
There is also a big difference among the audience from Paris and from the rest of France. In Paris, people go to shows for music love, whereas in other cities most of them go to gigs only to get drunk and to party. It's so great to have someone yelling bulls**t in your ears and puking by your side...Ahem...
So on the one hand, it's bad because except for bands as Metallica or Kyo (french commercial stuff) it's harder and harder to play average venues, but on the other hand, music maniacs that come to many shows as audience or as professionnals know each others, that makes us feel like a big (and strange) family. Half of it is cordial and the other half is what we call "posers", people thinking that being to everyshow fashionaly dressed will make them look like cool guys.
But it's not such a cultural desert in here, we have a few promising and original bands. The situation is not totally desesperated, we have dozen of very popular independant bands, filling small venues and driving the crowds crazy! And the most important : playing fantastic music! Let's see that next month!
I would appreciate it a lot if some of you that have allready heard french bands, could write to me (email@example.com) to tell me what they though of them. Even if you didn't like them. :)