Monday, 13 July 2009

Jolie Petite Histoire

Back from a few days in Dordogneshire – or Bergerac-on-Avon if you wish, during which I dined excessively on confit duck as usual and sampled a lovely 2004 Montbazillac in situ that would have set off a choccie pud just lovely. I also pretended not to be English in Issigeac on market day (a tall order). I achieved this by having the audacity to speak in French to some of the market stall holders. For this shameless affront to local sensibilities, I was hounded out of town by the mayor, a retired bricklayer from Knutsford. OK, this bit isn't true.

I can report that the airport at Bergerac is much improved, though quite why the good people of Ryanair insist on herding you into a facilities-free departure lounge about twenty minutes before the check-in even closes is a mystery that surely only Mr O'Leary could fathom. I look forward to the day that customers, not luggage, come along the baggage carousel after being stowed in the hold. Still, if you want a £5 flight, deal with it.

A lowlight on an otherwise very relaxing jolly was acquiring as many mosquito bites – some in places that even the great Michel Thomas would have been unwilling to teach me the French for – as in my previous 36 years put together. Those greedy French mossies have either immaculate taste or none whatsoever.

Driving around the vine-striped hills and vales of this lovely part of France with the radio on, a tune caught my ear amongst the usual dross of Fun Radio. The only words I could remember when I got home were Jolie Petite Histoire – and I had no group name or song title. But hark and watch, I found it on Youtube - it's a live version of the 1983 smash Cendrillon (meaning Cinderella) by Téléphone.

It sounds like a soppy ode to finding Prince Charming but is probably dripping with angst and irony. I can't tell – I struggle with French irony in the way that Alanis Morrissette struggles with irony in her native tongue. Anyway, it's a tune that, if it had been written and sung by an English or American group, would probably now be held in the same nostalgic esteem as Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me or Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones, both of which I believe it resembles.

If anyone French is reading this, please can they tell me what Téléphone meant/mean to French people? I know nothing about the group.

Power pop with a beret on, smashing:


Guide Books said...

As you say here, I've read in many guide books that this is the place for the most amazing shows! I'd love to go there one day..

Anonymous said...

Telephone was a rock band formed in 1976. The group had massive hits until their end in 1986. Some former members are still in the music business as solo artists

Anonymous said...

Louis Bertignac the lead guitarist is doing quiet well as a solo artist and Jean Louis Aubert the leadsinger is still very popular.

If you are French and born in the 70's there is a great chance that your first romantic dance or Slow as we call it was with this tune.

Patrick said...

All my youth, great band ... every band member all top musicians in their own right. Saw Aubert in pure 3 piece set-up, couldn't believe who good he was on the guitar! And, there was Trust of course ...