French festival gives young rockers ticket to fame

Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:02am EDT
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By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - Five years ago, French rock band The Tatianas entertained their friends at confidential acoustic guitar gigs in the tiny Shebeen bar in Paris.

On Friday, the band will perform to a crowd of several thousand people as it opens France's Rock-En-Seine music festival, sharing the stage with Britpop legend Oasis and reformed cult ska act Madness.

The Tatianas are among six local young bands selected for the three-day music marathon, now in its 7th year, held in the scenic 17th Century Saint-Cloud park in west Paris.

"It's wonderful to share such a great bill. It's the recognition of all the work we did," says Timothee Imhaus, 23, bassplayer for the trio, whose intense live performances and tight, catchy lyrics have earned them a cult following on the Paris underground rock scene.

Their selection to one of France's largest music festivals, which drew 76,000 visitors last year, is a boost ahead of the release of their debut album "Verses and Verve" in October.

Pressure is mounting on the band, which also includes singer and guitarist Pierre Hesling, 20, and drummer Lois David, 22.

"You have to be very tight musically and also work harder on how to occupy the stage when you play in front of so many people and still want to really interact with them," says Hesling.

Over 45 acts across three stages, including hype bands The Klaxons, Vampire Weekend and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, are slated to perform at the festival with top-billers ranging from electro band The Prodigy to American psychedelic rockers MGMT.   Continued...

<p>Undated handout picture of French rock band The Tatianas who will open the three-day Paris Rock-En-Seine festival on August 28, 2009. From L-R: drummer Lois David, bassplayer Timothee Imhaus, and singer and guitarist Pierre Hesling. REUTERS/Handout</p>