Images courtesy of

Images courtesy of

For those of us unfortunate enough to live in Paris during the most emotionally conflicting weekend of the year – save for perhaps Father’s Day in Essex – when the festivals are abundant and tantalising: from Tramlines to Benicassim, the choice is almost unbearable, and the travel costs impossible. But in true Parisian style, there’s no need to even go further than Zone 1 on the ol’ Navigo pass, as Fnac solves all our problems by putting on its very own free, four-day festival in the very centre of town at Hotel de Ville. In civilised French fashion, it doesn’t begin until half 5 and finishes promptly at 11 – but the nights no doubt end in debauchery for the most dedicated Leffe-swiggers (Jean-Pierre, if you’re reading this, call me) as the crowd sprawls out in streams towards the metros and the boites-de-nuit.

The headliners for the night came in the form of Concrete Knives and Lilly Wood & the Prick, two respectively French bands with contrasting styles. Concrete Knives were up first at around 9 as the sun was still burning high in the sky and the last of the picnic-ers were picking at palma ham and punnets of nondescript fruit, the crowds gathered around to enjoy France’s answer to the wave of Soft Rock which is taking over so many cities back in Blighty. Frontwoman Morgane Colas strutted around stage with a rightful badass pout as she preached out punchy lyrics over anthemic percussion and jangle-pop keys. The set went down a charm with increasing intensity, and not to mention sweat patches in the 30 degree summer’s evening, and came to a head with an unexpected cover of Ini Kamoze‘s seminal ‘Here Come the Hotstepper‘.

Pumped up and raring to go, the crowd was at it’s peak as it waited for Lilly Wood & the Prick to come on stage with their incredibly well suited style of funk pop. After an impressive light show during the set change, and a sound check which had everyone fooled, the Prick, followed duly by Lilly Wood herself, came a-wandering onto the stage and unleashed a solid performance including a full chronicle of their back catalogue: from the debut single, to the dizzying heights of commercial fame, right up to their most recent, most infectiously bass-y material.

The festival continues tonight (21st July) with Sophie Hunger and Jaques Higelin, free from half 5.

About The Author

Alice Brace

"Introducing" editor at Hooting and Howling. Mostly interested in little bands with big sounds (and brass sections). Twitter: @AliceSwelly