Clair (Tôt ou Tard)
The ex-vocalist with the Innocents comes out with a solo CD of solar beauty, as free as air and as light as a spring breeze. A salutary exception in the one-size-fits-all of French Pop.
To pick up where I left off …
Jan/Feb 2008, holed up on a cliff in Normandy to work relentlessly on writing and composing, without finding the record button. The songs were waiting in the body of my guitar. Mar/Apr, back to the city, some vian, some imbécile, some loneliness. But after having had my dose of solitude,JC Urbain came to share the stage with me one night at the java in Belleville. 2 beautiful hours together with instruments made us think about a follow-up. The sound quickly swelled, we let it go waiting for the moment still to come, just a bit more, for that instant whipped up by the chords. May, a good concert with arlt and my hyper group at the Zèbre in Belleville (I have trouble leaving my home ground). Wound up as a sideman (just like b. viguié) in the mabuses for a dance-café, then with Barbara Carlotti for 3 dates at the l’européen. June/July/August, between school vacations and concerts with others, a recording session at Morsang-Sur-Seine, the high season of barbecues. 2 titles remaining: “viens me le dire” and “elle”. September, we start at the garage to sort my home recordings, follow up on possibilities, some leading nowhere, some not so nowhere. New rehearsals for imbécile before the tour. October, rené on the road, proud in a blue jogging suit, release of Bertrand Bonello’s film “de la guerre”. You can hear a bit of me in it. Nov/Dec, at the garage whenever possible. Recorded the song “seul alone” there and could see it as the title for the upcoming album. Otherwise always on the move: a mini mabuses tour. Beginning of winter with B. Carlotti. Takeaway concert with Mina Tindle for the Blogotheque. Electric-free concert (bas les watts, in Clichy) with the 3 chanteurs. Banjo and percussions with superbravo and musik und cognac. Duos with Florent Marchet and Julien Ribot. Recording of “la ballade du lapin” with Fred Pallem, to be on a cd planned for the 50th anniversary of the death of Boris Vian.
January 2009, with Vincent Frèrebeau, my big producer boss, up to now a stalwart of patience and benevolence, we make the final choice of the songs. We agree that I’ll need a partner to take on this mountain a little less alone. I spend a few sleepless nights wondering what kind of rare bird would join me at this bleak point in putting the thing together (almost-finished-not-finished-nothing-or-everything-to-redo). I ask people around me for advice and one well-oiled night when I was letting him listen to the recent songs, I asked JC Urbain, my unsuspecting friend whose comments are so relevant, to come on board. What’s more, there was no time to lose in polite banter between us before getting down to work. We started climbing the mountain. Feb/Mar/Apr/May/June are filled with concert crawls in the guise of recreation (B. Carlotti, Mina Tindle, Vian, 3 chanteurs) at the garage, studio de la Seine, Soundofusic, and at home with the the help of Dominique Ledudal and JulienSimiand, going flat out. A few buddies come by to add their sounds (F. Moreau, K. Fahy, Albino Dls, B. Belin). One more song, “les lacets”, comes down the line at the last minute. After several unproductive attempts at collaborations, we decided to mix the CD ourselves at the garage. The photographer Richard Dumas offered me a delicious day working on me. I found a few people from outside just before the summer for the launch of “on est pas là pour se faire engueuler”; the album in tribute to Boris Vian. A few hours of gentle flight to record a duo with Antoine Loyer. Then another with Mercedes Audras. July/August, 2 festivals (who loves the sun? and le festin), a kind of baptism for the latest songs, bring(supprimer s) me a moment of technical worries, especially for delivering the master on time. The CD is finally called “clair”, the first song written and the last recorded, with 4 hands with Jean-Chri. Does that remind me of something?
In the end, all I did was play, and hardly worked at all. Five great years.