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Gigs in Paris for February

Guest article by Mark E. Thompson of Gigs in Paris

 Seen as last week threatened to derail itself by cancelling Lone Wolf, and a Joanna Newsom show, I feel apprehensive about recommending anyone this week, but the phrase dilly-dallying isn’t used anymore for good reason, and last week’s Joanna and Godspeed You! Black Emperor! are this week’s Patti Smith and The Klaxons .

A weak week is once again punctuated by two large acts, but looking at what February has to offer I’m almost happy to call the rest of this month a write-off. However, I’m sure fans of the Godmother of Punk will disagree. With one of the most dominating hats in the 1970’s punk movement ring, Patti has been an ever-present, effervescent figure in music that matters. The list of her collaborators is as long as any piece of string and even her first hit single was co-penned by ‘The Boss’.

And in honour of the great Patti Smith performing a series of shows in our fair city, here is a video for anyone in need of a punk history lesson (i.e. that you thing it began in London with the Sex Pistols and The Clash et.c), courtesy of another great man Jeffrey Lewis.

They may be known as the reluctant ‘New Rave’ pioneers but The Klaxons have a few more years, albums, collaborations, and social movements to go before being uttered in the same breath as Patti, but for three guys spawned from a house in New Cross, they’ve done alright for themselves. With the 2007 Mercury Music Prize sat next to an Ivor Novello nomination on their tour bus mantelpiece, the trio attempted to release an ‘experimental second record, again with the help of Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford, but apparently once critically acclaimed album is not enough to get carte blanche from Polydor and the record was thrown out, forcing them instead to release the less exciting cat with a hat fronted album ‘Surfing the Void’.  But, if you’re looking for an English University house party-themed night, then Thursday at Le Bataclan is probably for you.

But, perhaps the most exciting gig of the week, trying to fly its way under the radar, is at La Fleche D’or. Whilst The Klaxons are doing their thing, the young French band, Concrete Knives, have their own headline slot sure to recall a Local Natives’esque gang-attack live show. Though their support act ‘Trophy Wife’ are in very real danger of stealing the limelight. The Oxford trio come to Paris having graduated straight out of the David Byrne School of song writing with a degree in The Alan Parsons Project, New Order and ethereal vocals.

It’s worth mentioning a couple of gigs for those with sore pockets. I’ve mentioned them before but post-rock prodigies Jean Jean are worth catching at La Boule Noire if you find yourself in the Pigalle neighbourhood, whilst Sumie Nagano, the sister of Little Dragon’s front woman, is headlining  a stellar (Free) line up at L’International on Sunday.  Or for something a little different there’s always The Rabeats (THE French Beatles cover band), who are sure to take you back to the 1960’s – so dress appropriately, whilst local dub-step Tango favourites The Gotan Project will be doing their thing at Casino de Paris.

Mark E. Thompson is a freelance journalist and former music writer for the BBC, The Sun, and CNN Online. Now living and working in Paris, he decided to cover the city’s indie/alternative music scene in his new blog called Gigs in Paris. This week he also has an interview with C.W. Stoneking.

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