Paris Calling – Parisian rock compilation announced

Paris CallingParis Calling is a collection of the most exciting new bands from the Paris rock scene
Released in the UK on 12 March 2007 through Because Music

At the end of 2003, a strange crowd started to talk up arms in the basements of Paris. A solid group of friends formed, kids covered in guitars and carried along by a new faith, started to gather and spread the good word: rock, pure, hard and wild was back in teenage hearts.

A spontaneous generation? No, these youngsters, born at the dawn of the nineties, at the same time as the techno tidal wave, force fed by MTV on R’n’B, clean new wave rap and the boys bands, would, at the age when they most need absolute certainties, take three final massive blows to the head. The Holy Trinity Strokes/Libertines/White Stripes and three seminal years, from 2001 to 2003 would change their lives for ever. The damage was done. The raw energy of the guitars, the lopsided, urgent emotion of these vibes had contaminated them.

They got mad keen, sought out old vinyl records, discovered Dylan, the Stooges, the Ramones. Then they went for it. Three tuneless chords and a few bad waves of the wand later, and it was an epidemic. They stuck together, bound by strong friendship, and the watchword for their solidarity became “all for all”. Their unofficial concerts were the scene of fake exorcisms and collective trances. Starting with cover versions that they could massacre, they moved on with the first compositions of their own towards a tighter garage rock; they worked, kept at it, improved, without worrying about what anyone would think.

By 2005, after a headlong charge, they had all found their colours, and were now distinguishing themselves by more nuanced influences. They discovered 60s pop, rhythm’n’blues, soul and the psychedelic scene. Possessed, fully signed up converts, these youngsters are now inhabited by an implacable faith and, like their Hellboy elders, can proclaim “I don’t need anything else”. Rock’n’roll is a religion: here are its new disciples. The “Paris Calling” compilation is the first studio album by this new scene. Each group has provided 2 original titles recorded in the studio.

1. Second Sex / Lick My Boots
2. Plastiscines / Shake
3. Les Shades / Like I’m A Man
4. Brooklyn / Heart Lies
5. The Hellboys / Besoin De Rien
6. The Parisians / Why Choose One Side
7. The Rolls / Time
8. Plastiscines / Rake
9. The Parisians / The City
10. Brooklyn / Clandestine
11. Les Shades / L’Enfant prodige
12. The Hellboys / Burn it down
13. The Rolls / Heaven to hell

Second Sex

Childhood friends, 16-year old Tim, Vincent and Arthur, started the group in 2004 when Vincent’s elder brother, Sacha, already a saxophonist, joined them on drums. The already fractured innocence of the high school kids that Second Sex were gave their riffs a grace that looped back to the earliest moments of punk rock, when the attitude to the future was defiance and everything seemed possible. Electrified by an obvious faith, their numbers, which are delivered with a raw, possessed energy, are a place where the frenzied emotion of the Libertines flirts with and is roughed up by the razor slashes of Dee Dee Ramone and Richard Hell.


It was at a Libertines concert in 2004 that three high school mates from the Paris suburbs, Zazie, Marine and Katty, met Louise, who had just traded in her harp for a bass. The quartet was barely out of the egg when it was spotted by Maxime Schmitt, Kraftwerk’s producer, who promptly took them under his wing. This just-out-of-school all-girl pop rock band composes short jumping numbers with a tart taste similar to the B-52s and the exhilarating energy of the Slits. With a sound reminiscent of the voice of a Nancy Sinatra in tiger mode or a Debbie Harry who had joined the Pretenders, the explosive Shake and Rake elegantly deliver a rock’n’roll in high heels that is chic and torrid.


The name refers to a legendary part of New York, but the sound of this twenty-something Parisian trio born of the meeting of Ben and Jane in 2004 is so British. Brought up on the Beatles, awoken by Brit pop and set alight in vivo by the Strokesian spark, joined by Léo, a full-time drummer, their unstoppable compositions reflect a melodic power pop under the barbed influence of the Buzzcocks and the dry assault of The Jam. Heart Lies and Clandestine, sharpened on the razor’s edge, talk of buried euphoria and frustrated souls with a menacing, enraged melancholy, providing ample proof that Brooklyn is more than ready to stand up to its English counterparts.

The Shades

It was Etienne who, in shock from his encounter with the Strokes in 2002, spurred on his younger brother Benjamin and his school mates from the East of Paris to start a group, originally called Cadillac. A teenage quintet that became The Shades in 2004, some of them musicians since childhood and precocious prodigies of a rich and melodious pop, these lovers of rhythm’n’blues from another century compose fiery heart-catchers and inhabit an inspired world that is warm and yet shot through with a palpable anxiety. Carried by a contagious feverishness, their destructive romantic numbers are a throwback to the intensity of the Small Faces at the very moment when their straight mod suits were giving way to frilly shirts.

The Hellboys

Warped devotees of The Elvisme since 1996, friends of Joe Strummer’s and cursed figures of a Parisian punk rock informed by gospel, rockabilly, surf and soul, the legendary stage performers of this possessed quartet have been setting the capital alight for years with a fireband style of rock’n’roll. Having garnered a faithful following in the incipient young Parisian rock scene with some memorable scenes of collective trances, these thirty-something “big brothers” offer a challenge to propriety with visceral numbers like Besoin de Rien and Burn it Down, veritable incantations to the glory of rock’n’roll. With several EPs behind them, their new album is expected to emerge from the furnace very soon.

The Parisians

Barely out of high school, Michael and Stevan who were already musicians, became friends with the Libertines in 2004 in a hotel in Montmartre. This meeting encouraged them to take the plunge, a quartet at the time. Pioneers, The Parisians were the first to create the new rock’n’roll fervour that would soon take over the capital. Influenced by the music scene of 70s New York, Richard Hell and the Stooges, they soon earned their stripes as stage performers and the enthusiasm of an ever-growing audience, including the adolescents Naast, to whom they gave a chance to get started. Everyone would follow them in their adventures. Now a trio and after concerts in London with the Paddingtons, their numbers with a sharp, but sentimental punk flavour, are now carrying their elegant flame across Europe.

The Rolls

After cutting their teeth in several small groups since 2001, Charles, Thomas and Grégoire consolidated the Rolls in 2004. The trio are from Clamart, and yet, it is the sound of the Vietnam War that seems to run through the vibration fuzz that haunts their numbers. With influences anchored firmly in the blues, these barely of-age young people are capable of sending their songs off into flights of psychedelic freak-out worthy of San Francisco in 1967. Time and Heaven to Hell include some tough guitar-armed set-tos, luring us a world where Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Who and the Yardbirds exchange punches and insults.

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