France - Far Out Far West


The sickest French band, a trio called France, drums, bass and amplified hurdygurdy. They only performs live, in the middle of the audience - turned in to face each other - full on smoke machines and strobes. And they play only one ‘song’ for the duration of their hour-long set. And it’s the most transfixing live experience of intense physical and mental focus, and there is something of early rave too, the togetherness, the energy, the euphory. The distorted hurdy gurdy plugs France’s sound into the country’s history of folk music and popular festivities, of communal trance and immersive pleasure. The rhythmic basis is pretty much the same throughout the whole live. One doesn’t need to actually be tripping balls for the auditory illusions to start coming thick and fast. Those who’ve stayed for the whole duration of their performances know they’ve shared something. However disparate the phantom forms each might have discerned in the midst of the howls and groans. Gigs like this you leave feeling you’re not quite the same person who went in, even though you’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint precisely what has changed. Far Out Far West was the band's first gig outside of their usual comfortable friendly circle and thus was perceived as a somewhat hostile environment. This was where they met the fellows of Les Potagers Nature who will later release France's debut untitled album. One certainty remains at least, that there is still a France we can believe in. David McKenna (The Quietus).

lp 22,50