Francois & The Atlas Mountains

Francois & The Atlas Mountains

Tuesday 11th November 2014

Eat Your Own Ears presents

Francois & The Atlas Mountains

Les Inrocks Phillips Festival

7:30 pm until 11:00 pm


Price: £12.50 in advance

Status: Tickets available (Updated on 13th May 2014)

Read our guide to buying and using tickets.


Doors open at 7:30 PM – Event ends at 11:00 PM

Age: You must be 18 years of age or more to attend this event (with or without a guardian) | Photo ID – Please bring ID if you are 25 years of age or less or appear so. | | Access – Standing. There are no seats assigned. The venue is arranged on several floors with many stairs and no lift. Find out more about accessiblity.

About Francois & The Atlas Mountains

Plus Special Guests

We are excited to announce this night is part of the prestigious Les InRocKs Philips Festival. Francois & The Atlas Mountains headline and we’ll announce more bands soon.

The amazing journey and adventure that Fránçois Marry began when he formed Fránçois & The Atlas Mountains reaches a new milestone with the band’s second album for Domino. Piano Ombre, the follow-up to 2012’s E Volo Love, is a stunning and wide-reaching collection that reinvigorates the band’s gene pool of influences, from Afro-pop to French chanson and Yé-yé, mixed with more Anglo-phonic guitar-pop, like an aural atlas of gorgeous pop melody, zestful rhythm and lush ballads. Lyrically, the album documents another journey, of personal struggle, discovery, conviction and resolution.

2013 proved a tumultuous year for the man from Saintes in south-west France. Fránçois recorded this album in a bona fide studio (following bedrooms and rented spaces such as an old chapel for E Volo Love), located in the beatific Entre-Deux-Mers (‘Between-Two-Seas’) region near Bordeaux, with his touring band of great musicians and friends, “despite them being scattered over the place because of other projects.” But there was also the end of a long-term relationship, a very troubling illness in his family, and he turned 30, so often a watershed moment for taking stock of the hopes and dreams of youth.

“The album is mostly about the constraints and obstacles that are put in front of us in life, that try to stop us from going where we want to, and finding our way through when we realise what’s really important,” Fránçois explains. “Piano Ombre translates as Calm Down Shadow, which refers to me trying to tame the shadows, to not be scared by things, because there is a way to see things in a positive light, there is a way out.”

Fránçois’ quest began in 2003 when, bitten by the travelbug and smitten with large swathes of British music, he eschewed the typical detour to London and exchanged south-west France for south-west England, namely Bristol, drawn by the city’s trip-hop heritage and post-rockers such as Movietone. He’d grown up with music, more at home with his mother’s love of opera and African music (she was born in Cameroon, and took her son to see Cameroon jazz/roots icon Manu Dibango when he was only ten) than his stepfather’s Queen/Supertramp predilections, and while Sunday mornings were reserved for French classical minimalist Erik Satie, Fránçois admits he only truly discovered French music once he was in Britain: “I tried to find French things to relate to, and the British tend to filter the best from French culture, like Serge Gainsbourg and Fránçoise Hardy, from the ‘60s and ‘70s than the bad ‘80s!”

In Bristol, he found a job as a French assistant at a local school, and at night, as an usher and barman at The Cube cinema. Via an advert put in a shop window advert, he connected with local musicians, and has played with the likes of Movietone, Crescent and Camera Obscura. In 2004, he released the first Fránçois & The Atlas Mountains album, the solo lo-fi escapade Les Anciennes Falaises, followed by 2006’s more advanced The People To Forget, a showcase for an already fascinating stew of influences and moods, evoking mystery and romance. 2008 EP Brother and 2010’s 10” vinyl mini-album Her River Raves Recollections appeared either side of third album Plaine Inondable, released by Scotland’s famed Fence Records, before Domino released E Volo Love, produced by Tinariwen associate Jean-Paul Romann. The album introduced the band to a much wider range of fans, both in the UK and across the continent; unsurprisingly, Fránçois & The Atlas Mountains are increasingly popular in France, with equal support across Northern Europe.

The next part of the journey is to tour the new album, while Fránçois plans to move to Brussels, as a better base for touring, “and not much happens in Bordeaux anyway!” It will be yet another base for the next stage of the Atlas Mountains’ saga, to confront and calm down the shadows and to keep seeing a way forward. The journey and the adventure are set to continue…

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