Nothing frames quite like a stage, and nothing frames an artist’s performance like a music festival. Rock en Seine, in the outskirts of Paris, provided a spectacular backdrop for a broad line-up covering mainly French, British and US artists in a variety of genres- rock, electro, jazz, psychedelic, dance, avant garde.
The surprise act was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, a sprawling but talented ensemble whose front man wasted no time in getting amongst the audience during a twenty minute opening song/jam. Their exuberant fusion of Americana- gospel, funk and urban folk galvanised the early evening crowd. Also a sprawling collective, but more “you can play three chords? You’re in the band”, the Brian Jonestown Massacre disappointed somewhat. Three chords are all very well, but it helps if you all know the same three chords. Or maybe I should have been on something other than hay fever tablets, although there was plenty in the air.
Scottish electro trio Chvrches sparkled as did their French counterpart Grand Blanc (same but with guitars) but the most astonishing act was Jack Garrett‘s one man band- playing keyboards and drums at the same time whilst laying down some sweet chops on guitar.
Notable performances too from English alt-rockets Foals and Editors, heavy rockers Clutch (pictured above) and trip-hoppers (and alleged street artists) Massive Attack.
Unlike some British festivals the crowd were predictably well behaved and elegantly attired, and when not at a stage, it was a pleasure to sip Sauvignon Blanc and watch the world go by in the Parisian summer sun.
See also: City of CHVRCHES