(Cover by Pooley)
New LP – SPLASH – Avril 2012 -Soundflat Records
Once upon a time, there was « Splash » …
Summer 2011, July. Phantom Studio. Outside, the heat was stifling. It was no longer a time for procrastination, none for scribbling; it was time to start diligently painting a completely new album. Outside the barbecue was ready for grilling some nice prawns. Inside, after putting the bottles of fine rosé in the fridge, five musicians kicked off their Beatle-boots and wiggled their toes, fired up the amps… and let loose the ghosts of the Sixties to dance for 10 days. All the while dodging the plastic balls of the singer caught up in shooting practice at a target attached to the door … Just ask Mark (one of the guitarists), he has become a expert in tumble and rolling.
14 tracks recorded like so many colours in a musical landscape, with so many paint-strokes. This new album is inspired by the different influences of these rascals. As a tribute to their teenage souls. Those we recommend, those who reflect the joy and well-being of the sixties. Those who colour your mood in Technicolor. « BEAT » is not a four-letter word for The Playboys. The beat is their roots. The 60s are not dead. Otherwise, why would we still adore these five boys’ music?
This group is The Playboys! In the tradition of The Playboys, most of the tracks are happy and bubbly. Tracks written with pens dipped in humorous ink.
This new musical painting is made up of:
« En enfer » (In Hell) – Adapted by Marc Galliani from « Love’s Gone Bad » originally by blue-eyed soul-singer Chris Clark, an American counterpart to the very British Dusty Springfield. The Underdogs (from Grosse Point – Michigan) also recorded this title (Motown Label VIP) in late 1966 or early 1967. « Zen » (Michel Nègre) – Michel is a huge fan of rhythm and blues. His brushwork is easily recognizable.
“La vie rêvée” (Dreamlife) (Michel Nègre) – A small sketch on the Freakbeat palette. “Où es-tu ?” (Where Are You?) (Michel Nègre) – The farfisa predominates, and falling like a tear of joy after the 96 Tears, it pays tribute to Question Mark & the Mysterians (Bay City, Michigan). “L’homme qui dit non” (The Man Who Says No) (Olivier Néméjanski) – Song written and composed by The Bratchman (Dum Dum Boys Nice) where we find a reference to “Them” in the harmonica part. “Personne n’est parfait” (Nobody’s Perfect) (Michel Nègre) – The Playboys dress as in very 50s Rhythm and blues group style, in elegant three-piece suits and sing to Michel’s piano accompaniment. « Petit » – Adapted by Michel Nègre from « Putty in your Hands » (Big John Patton, Rogers) originally sung by The Shirelles (African-American girls group founded in 1957), from the album « Baby It’s You « (1962 / Sundazed). In 1963, Sylvie Vartan covered this song under the title « Ne le déçois pas »(Don’t Let Him Down) Michael’s lyrics and rhythm are different from this version. The Yardbirds (in 1965), the Detroit Cobras (in 1998) also covered this title. “Jamais satisfait » (Never Satisfied) (Michel Nègre) – A touch of Australian garage. From the first notes, we perceive the colour of the Easybeats (formed in 1964), the most popular Australian group of the Sixties. Their fans’ hysteria was judged similar to Beatlemania and dubbed « Easyfever ». « Splash ! » (Michel Nègre) – The title track of the album. Psychedelic colours, and a stream of onomatopoeia, which immediately brings Scat to mind. This singing style can be found in various forms of doo-wop and rock music: Van Morrison used it during his performances and Pink Floyd in their legendary song, » The Great Gig in the Sky « . More importantly, here we hear sounds as if we were immersed in colourful bubbles of a Comic Strip. And how can we not to think about the 1968 duet by Serge Gainsbourg with Brigitte Bardot: « Comic Strip ». “J’ai toujours raison” (I’m Always Right) (Frank Durban) – Just for the record, Frank wrote and composed the title imagining Francis singing with a Canadian accent. However « Bebert » never fulfilled that desire, being too focused on the target on the door, and the fake gun on his lyrics’ book. But nevertheless, send his respects to the Ugly Ducklings and the Sinners. “Comme une cigarette” (Like A Cigarette) (Michel Nègre) – Michel playing the farfisa keyboard again. The organ riff in the background recalls the sound of Sir Douglas Quintet; a small dose of additives made in « Tex-Mex beat. » “Je t’aime si fort” (I Love You So Much) (Michel Nègre) – Characteristic Playboys’ texture with the beautiful harmony of choirs, diluted in a small amount of Rhythm & Blues solvent. « Je dis ce que je pense et je vis comme je veux » (I Say What I Think and I Live as I Like) – Cover of Antoine et les Problèmes (1966/Vogue). Les Problèmes were the opening act of the Rolling Stones. One member died in early March, just before the production of « Splash! ». Frank changed a few words to « refresh » this song. You are invited to discover these little humorous nods. “Elle dit” (She Says) (Marc Galliani) – A title painted with Mersey Beat pigments. The Beatles’ influence is obviously present in Marc’s guitar strings.
Tata Powers 66 / Mee Arts 75
Disponible dans le sud-est chez Lollipop-Music-Store à Marseille, Sonic Import à Nice, Ave The Sound !, Les Playboys en concert.