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Flairs in Fashion for Spring ‘09

Will Hutchins writing for I V Y paris

Flairs If one was to pigeon hole everyone, then one may say that Flairs would fit fairly nicely into a Sébastien Tellier cool comedy, English singing, French electro-pop shaped hole (to continue the hole theme). That’s possibly a good starting point but it would be doing a great disservice to ‘the French cowboy’, to quote one of his own songs, if we left it at that.

Though he’s really less of a French cowboy and in fact more of a British lad as he’s been residing in the west London suburb of Staines for the last three years and this has played a big part in his image and his music.

Flairs2 The cover of his debut album ‘Sweat Symphony’ (released Feb 16th) sees him wobbling about like the classic dishevelled lad after a Saturday night out in a British town, complete with compulsory black eye, sweat soaked face and large patches of perspiration under the armpits.

This is all part of the character that he’s created. A character full of humour and arrogance, that allows him to distance himself from the rest of the French electro crowd whilst still leaving a trace of Parisian chic-ness.

This arrogance (and humour) can be heard in the funkoïde of a track, ‘Better Than Prince’, where our hero declares that he can ‘dance better than Prince’, ‘make love longer than Prince’ and, rather more believably, ‘eat more stuff than Prince’.

The album as a whole could almost be called a pop record as a lot of the songs, such as ‘Square Boy’, follow a classic verse/chorus structure and there’s a far bit of new wave style guitar to accompany Flairs’ bass slapping. ‘The French Cowboy’ almost sounds like David Bowie with its spacey synths mirrored with acoustic guitar and piano. Which all means that ‘Sweat Symphony’ is an album that’ll get you dancing whether played by a full live band or blasting through a Dj’s speakers.

The French music press have been banging on about him for the last month or two as they seemed to be fascinated by this idea of a middle-class Frenchman posing as a member of the British proletariat. I think they believe that by living in the UK and playing this English role he is very well placed to stealthily become the next big frenchie abroad. This is probably true as I think his La Manche straddling persona will intrigue the English music press just as much but he’ll gain most recognition from the public due to his ability to make party bangers of tracks.

Catch Flairs at one, if not all, of the following:

March 31st at Point Ephèmere
April 29 at La Force de l’Art at Grand Palais
May 6th at L’Olympia

Bonapart Paris apartments


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