Festival season is pretty much done and dusted for another year. Autumn is all about getting healthy, losing weight in time for Christmas and making attempts to save a few pennies so that we can do it all again next year.
Trouble is, these plans never quite come to fruition. There’s still three more festivals to cover before the year is out. And there’s a mass of gigs coming up in Leicester that I plan to review for the Mercury.
But Sonic Breakfast must rise from the smouldering embers again. Poorly populated for much of this year, it’s a crying shame because so much great music has been sent my way.
Take today’s offering – Belly Of Paris were one of the bands to feature on a recent Fresh On The Net listening post. Regular SB readers will know that I love to spend a Saturday morning, chilling in bed, choosing five from the twenty-five. Belly Of Paris were a shoe-in with their decadent, literate and darkly glamorous tune, Aristide’s entry into Paris.
I found myself speculating as to who the Aristide in question was. Could it have been the bohemian Aristide Bruant? My mind wanders to cafe-concerts, Toulouse Lautrec and the well known image of Bruant as he performs in Montmartre. His songs, bawdy and gentle teases and tugs at working class culture and his ‘eccentric masculinity’.
Bruant insisted that his performances were a strike against the bourgeoisie, calling his audience:
. . the pile of idiots who do not understand what I sing to them, who cannot understand, not knowing what it is to die from hunger, those who have come to the world with a silver spoon in their mouths. I revenge myself in insulting them, in treating them worse than dogs. That makes them laugh to tears; they believe I joke when, often enough, it is a breeze from the past, miseries submitted to, dirtiness seen, which remounts on my lips and makes me speak as I do.
But this is all an aside of course, as interesting as it is. Belly Of Paris might be singing about a different Aristide.
I received an E-mail from Daniel, lead singer and songwriter in Belly Of Paris. They do seem to share much with Bruant – a band bulging with multi-layered and complex stories. As Daniel notes, “Belly of Paris are a “doom cabaret” Indo-Anglo-Palestino-Hungaro-Argentine sextet based in the tiny island of Bahrain (don’t ask us how we all got there, we don’t remember). We’re releasing our debut album ‘Peste’ on November 7th.”
Give them a listen – I think you’ll enjoy it.