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French Boutik: Front Pop – album review

by Arash Torabi

French Boutik: Front Pop  (Detour Records)   

LP/CD/DL Out now 8/10 

Stomping debut album proper from sharp French modernists, care of the extra-freakin’ stylish Detour Records.

Sharp-as-you-like French Mod band, French Boutik have so far released 3 EPs, captured on the recently released The Essential album, so Front Pop is their actual debut album. Their ‘60s-drenched power pop is more than just a bit infectious. With lush vocals from chanteuse Gabriela mingling with glorious harmonies backed by Zelda (drums) and Serge (guitar), theirs is a bright sound, centring on the pop aspect of the Mod spectrum, with crashing chords, warm organ, chunky drums and the whole ‘60s poptastic shebang.

Watch the video for Je Regarde Les Tigres from their new album

They sing mainly in French, apart from a couple of songs on this long player: Hitch a Ride and The Rent, the latter showing their more laidback style.

And they record for Detour Records, home of New Untouchables Mod organisation, creators of The Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoke Festival (which is also a mighty fine compilation series, also on Detour)


Front Pop by French Boutik is available on Amazon 

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French Boutik – Review

Review by Carol Lovatt

The epitome of cool, French Boutik are a band based in Paris who are simply irresistible in concert and last night (Sun 16 July) they played an intimate ‘up close and personal’ gig at the atmospheric Wightman Theatre in Shrewsbury that was simply sublime. Associated with the genre of Pop Moderniste, the band is an exciting and eclectic mix of 1960’s inspired pop infused with a more edgy new wave vibe, sultry yet sharp vocals and assertive instrumentation. The 4 members of the band, Gabriela Giacoman, Serge Hoffman, Zelda Aquil and Jean-Marc Joannes were complimented by guest artiste Olivier Popincourt, the keyboard ace who impressed and complimented the set with his virtuoso skills by paying homage to the mighty mod sounds of the Hammond organ. French Boutik have real style. They look impressive and they sound impressive. They appeal to an international audience not only because of their connection to the global mod scene but also because they are really good at what they do.

One of the key attractions of French Boutik is that they have something different to offer, their music is not just a rehash of 60’s pop, it’s a reinvention of it for a modern audience. The combination of English and French lyrics in their catchy and soulful harmonies is infectious. They make you want more.  Musically, the guitar, bass and drum are tight and authentic, producing a seamless and original sound which is hip and vibrant. Vocally, Gabriella and Zelda are beautifully synchronised, as is the band as a whole. This current tour has given audiences both the essential French Boutik repertoire with classics such as End of the Line, La Vie En Coulleurs, Mieux Comme Ca, New Bossa, Tiptoes and Pousse Au Crime alongside tracks from the 2016 album Front Pop including Le Mac, Le Casse, L’Expert, Hitch a Ride and Impitoyable. All delivered with that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ elegance and style that the French do so well.

I must also mention the support band on with French Boutik, The Backbeat Three, who consist of a trio of local musicians. They warmed up the audience brilliantly with their excellent renditions of songs by the Beatles. The Backbeat Three provided a perfect complement to the main act and as such, the evening proved to be a first class night all round with great music in a lovely venue offering live music at its best. I’m already looking forward to the next time French Boutik are in the UK on tour.


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Album review: “A frontal assault on pop from French Boutik”

Album review: “A frontal assault on pop from French Boutik”


I like French Boutik. I like how the title of their album, Front Pop,references forward-thinking popular culture and the Front Populaire movement of the 1930s where an alliance of French workers fought for basic rights.  That combinatiFRENCH BOUTIK at the 100 CLUB, LONDONon of toe tapping melodies and socio-political comment informs their music, not that I can understand it as I don’t speak French but that’s not the point, is it comrades?
I like how French Boutik sing in French – it’s authentic and natural – rather than a second tongue, it strikes me as uncompromising and, frankly, the right thing to do, unlike so many others. Be yourself, be true.
I like that French Boutik are Mods and my sort of Mods. Mods who look good, dress well, know what’s what and don’t make me flinch from the term. They make Mod appear like a cool thing, which it always should but seldom does these days. They are the only current band I can think of who do Mod well. They aren’t a clichéd Mod band or, if you prefer, band of Mods.
I like how French Boutik’s music has undercurrents of soul and jazz but doesn’t actually sound like either. There’s a 60s grasp of strong melodies, elements of 70s new wave fleck their songs, as does 90s Britpop, and sandwiched between is a clean 80s sheen which, probably unintentionally but not unpleasantly, recall early Everything But The Girl, and Swing Out Sister (no bad thing at all, in case there’s any doubt, Kaleidoscope World is a splendid LP) plus the first couple of Style Council albums.
I like how French Boutik look happy on stage at the 100 Club, relishing the moment, and the way they shoot each other looks and smile knowingly when they’ve just nailed a part of a tune. I like how as a support act they make their set feel like the headline slot. People who’ve come specially to see them and those who’ve never heard of them before are in unison: they’re an enjoyable band. They drink red wine on stage.
I like how French Boutik are spilt along gender lines and have a girl on drums who hardly breaks into a sweat. Horses sweat, gentlemen perspire and ladies gently glow, as my Granpop always used to say.
I like that the vinyl edition of French Boutik’s LP comes with an inner sleeve with lyrics and even a double-sided colour poster. Posters are proper pop group material. It’s a proper pop record.
I like French Boutik. I like them a lot.
Read the original article here.