Thursday, 3 August 2017

ICI PARIS - Allo Le Monde... 2001

Led by singer Marie Al Kha Raz (Betty Boo style), this group performed a second class and cheerful rock'n'roll which Gaumont enjoyed. Inspired by New York Dolls (for the look) and Cramps (for the spirit), the band Ici Paris recorded in the early 80s one of the most beautiful testimonies of French rock, full of adventures that carefully avoids the cliché of easy girls and dark suburbs. Ici Paris dream of ghost train, intergalactic explorations, romantic monsters and infernal cadillac. Univers kitsch of eternal teenager combined with the few basic chords of Rock'N'Roll, the slap is great for who has the curiosity to listen to their songs. Taken by a pretty brunette with a piercing voice and a guitarist with an incredible mop, the training arouses curiosity. The connoisseurs even think they have finally discovered the rare pearl that was lacking in the musical landscape. Alas, the concerts are rare and especially the traditional media are a little too disconcerted by this universe where Baghdad and the fair of the throne have become two unavoidable poles of attraction. The time is rather for France Gall and his pianist who plays in a vertical position, so there is no place for fantasy and the second degree. Pity. The group faints in nature, while his ghost regularly returns to visit our turntables. 

The history of this combo begins in 1977 with the curlies in which Hervé Crost Flament aka Shere Kahn, "Sy" Philippe Becquelin on guitars and Jean-François "Jeff" Janin on vocals (future Escalators and Fanatics) . The time is punk-rock and they renamed Gare du Stade (name of the station of Colombes) to stick to their idols: Asphalt Jungle, Metal Urbain and Guilty Razors. 

The group is composed of Shere Kahn, "Sy" Philippe and Jeff complete with Jean-Claude "Dino Lamour" Courtinel (bass, ex-Incitement A La Débauche) and Pascal (drums). One of their rare weapon is to perform at La Boule Noire in December 1978 in the first part of Gazoline. In the first row, a spectator, Marie-Christine Alcaraz, knows all the texts by heart. Could she be a singer? 

On June 23, 1980, their first public appearance, opener for Sham 69 at the Palace. The label Gaumont notices the band and sign them without hesitation. They recorded under the direction of producer Paul Scemama of Gialully "Center Of The World" + "Souris" which passes completely unnoticed in the eyes of the general public but which allows them to obtain the first part of the French tour of the Ramones.

A few weeks before the release of their album, January 1982, the TV show "Les Enfants Du Rock" broadcasts two songs from Ici Paris filmed @ Rose Bonbon: "Stupid Little Boy" and "La Fusée De Ton Retour". The album is in the boxes in July 1982. Mix of twist and rock glitter, "Allo Le Monde ... Ici Paris" manages to renew the genre by force of simplicity and candor. How indeed do not fall in love with the voice of little mouse of the singer? An album where cinema lovers recognize in intro the presentation of the film "Terror Extra Terrestre". Bijou's guitarist Vincent Palmer came to help Shere Khan, for Sy-Philippe seems to play only a figurative role. His name appears only in the thanks. Maxime Schmitt + Andy Scott, who later worked with Taxi Girl, took care of the sound production. 

The album gets chronic dithyrambics and the first copies deposited in the bins disappear in no time. A little promotion and a hexagonal tour would undoubtedly involve a chain reaction. Unfortunately all this does not happen. Waiting patiently for a good fairy to look into their case, and to invite them to perform here and there, the spectators are impatient. Their scenic appearances are made even if sporadic as some begin to talk about a ghost group. The impression of a big mess becomes general, and little by little the complicities crumble. Here Paris does not survive this dead time. Marie is the first to leave. She is replaced by actress Anicée Alvinéa, a year almost to the day after the release of the album. The faithful of the first hour are disoriented, especially since a new recruit, Olivier "Le Baron", also took definitively the place of Sy-Philippe. (translated from rockmadeinfrance, mercí)

- Big Thx to François -

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