Les Terribles are every bit as reliable as The Bristols. Just as my copy of Ils sont formidables! (2009) started gathering dust, I discovered there’s a new LP from the French beat machine. Everything they churn out is right up there with Ronnie Bird’s francophile take on Them, Kinks et al. In the same tradition, Les Terribles take British and American 60s stompers and turn them into their own by singing them in French. They also stay faithful to their roots by covering obscurities by Canadian and French garage groups. All they while they manage to squeeze in their own compositions, with no telling them apart. For example they cover one of my favourites, from Les Sunlights. “C’est fini” has been comped on Psychegaelic, but I’ve never heard it in full fidelity, which leads me to say Les Terribles’ version sounds a notch better. Another band covered that same song last year, Edinburgh’s Les Bof!. And there are many similarities between the two groups if you look beyond the fact that Les Terribles have a female singer and and Les Bof! a male singer. That however, enable Les Terribles to deliver yé-yé classics in a manner that Les Bof! probably wish they could. In fact, Les Bof! have been known to perform “La fermeture eclair” live (Delphine’s version of “In the Past” by We the People) with a guest vocalist, but here we get a recorded version of the same song. In addition there’s a great cover of Dani’s “La fille a la moto” (also done by April March). The opening track “Chemises a pois, cravates a fleur” is originally by Canadian grop Les Misérables. Les Bof! in turn covered “Vivre avec toi” from the same group’s only LP. With Les Terribles’ habit of not printing songwriting credits it becomes almost impossible to identify the originals, but I can tell you that I’ve never heard a song like “Je rentre tard” before! This is an amazing composition and could have been a hit in 1966. Quelque chose comme ça is out on Screaming Apple, and you can listen to “Porque no?” below, for which they switch to Spanish for once.

Porque no?

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November 28, 2012

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