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FranceInLondon.com, 6 mai 2007
Renaud in Concert in London - Shepherd's Bush Empire
Shepherd's Bush Empire
Address: Shepherds Bush Green
Postcode: W12 8TT See Map
Phone: 020 8354 3300
23rd June 2007 at 7pm , Shepherd's Bush Empire
Way before rap and punk, Renaud was spokesperson for the "verlan" - the disaffected youth of Paris. He learned his politics at his anarcho-socialist father's knee, and at the age of 16 was an active participant in the French student uprising of May '68.
With this deep distrust of authority, Renaud started to ask questions and express his anger in song, and his first album, Amoureux de Paname, was released in 1975. It immediately established him as the authentic voice of France's disillusioned and oppressed.
Twenty-two years, 20 albums and over 15 million record sales later, Renaud's place in French hearts, songbooks and society is assured. Indeed, just last year a French poll named him the country's sixth most popular living person. Today, the material for his songs stretches beyond the political and embraces the personal but his connection to the French psyche has never faltered.
Armed with voice, guitar and accordion, and backed by his stirring six-piece band, Renaud's live shows are emotive, roller-coaster affairs. Known by many as the "French Dylan", his clever use of French slang and lyrical twists continues to endear him to his fans. Demand for his live performances has never flagged and, like Dylan, he has toured frequently. His trademarks remain his colourful language, his themes of love, youth and injustice, his inventive use of the Parisian argot, and the passionate anger of many of his lyrics.
Renaud's new album, Rouge Sang (October 2006) marked his return as a political firebrand. In fact, President Sarkozy's UMP party denounced one track as defamatory. But the album's rise was unstoppable. It went platinum on the day it was released. Its sales rapidly topped 500,000. And in its wake followed four sell-out shows at Paris Bercy and an incredibly successful 200-date tour.
Expect an emotional night on June 23rd when Renaud plays in the relative intimacy of the Shepherds Bush Empire, largely to London's increasingly large and vocal French ex-pat community.
By the time Romane Serda married Renaud in 2005, she was already an established celebrity in her own right. In 1989, aged 18, she began appearing in television commercials, and three years later landed the lead female role in a very popular sitcom that was broadcast daily on the France 2 channel. The show's audience was mainly young, and Romane won a devoted following among its many fans.
In 1995, Romane's yearning for a career in music was becoming irresistible, and she moved to London to pursue it. She spent five years in the city, and learned a great deal about music during that time - even at one point working with Sinead O'Connor's producer. However, she did not make a major breakthrough in the UK.
She returned to Paris in 2000, where an executive from her record company introduced her to Renaud. She was shy at the meeting, but two days later followed up with a famous email (her Mail d'amour) in which she expressed her admiration - and more - for him.
At the time, Renaud was drinking heavily and going through a creatively barren period. Romane helped him to overcome his demons, and the two collaborated musically. Her first album, Romane Serda, was released in 2004 and was nominated for the 'revelatory album of the year' award at the Victoires de la Musique in 2005. Her second album, Après la pluie, came out earlier this year.
Renaud and Romane moved to London six months ago with their first child, Malone, who was born on 14th July 2006.
Romane will be supporting Renaud at his Shepherds Bush Empire gig next month.