What's the deal with… Ooh La La! Festival

Here's everything you need to know about this festival of new French music



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  • Fauve

    Photo: Debbie Ball

  • Dominique A

    Photo: Franck Loriou

    Dominique A
  • Lescop

    Photo: Debbie Ball

  • Petit Fantôme

    Petit Fantôme
  • Rover

    Photo: Philippe Lebruman

  • Tomorrow's World

    Tomorrow's World
  • Moodoïd

    Photo: Fiona Torre

  • Mélissa Laveaux

    Mélissa Laveaux
  • Christine And The Queens

    Photo: Federico Cabrera

    Christine And The Queens


Photo: Debbie Ball

Oh, a French festival? Wall-to-wall Edith Piaf, then?
Steady on – there’s much more to French music than ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’. This is a nation that’s given us great singer-songwriters like Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Brel, and electronic pioneers including Air, Daft Punk, Jean-Michelle Jarre, and… well, David Guetta – but no country’s perfect.

So who’ll be the next Gallic superstar to infiltrate the Anglosphere?
No idea – but you might find out at Ooh La La!, the international celebration of contemporary French music which touches down at Village Underground next week after several successful events in North America. Nine top French acts are crossing the Channel to show us their stuff.

Such as?

Fauve, a semi-anonymous Parisian band who are massive in France thanks to their disaffected, hyper-politicised brand of post-rock. They’re supported by glitchy electronicist Petit Fantôme and psychedelic group Moodoïd on Monday October 21.

C’est chic. What else?

The next night is dedicated to chanson, featuring French indie mainstay Dominique A, Rover (sounds like David Bowie, looks like Gérard Depardieu) and beguiling Haitian singer Melissa Laveaux. Then, on Thursday October 24, Lescop makes clean, clever synth-pop in the headline slot, with electronic duo Tomorrow’s World (featuring half of Air and half of NYPC) and the emotive bilingual pop of Christine And The Queens also on the bill.

Sounds hyper-cool to me.
Bien sûr, whether you’re looking to impress people with your cross-Channel cultural knowledge, or just hang out with east London’s hefty population of young, trendy French émigrés. Buy a ticket – you won’t regrette it.

The Bottom Line: Never mind Guetta – here’s something better.

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