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Les Calamites - Encore! 1983-1987

"Wouldn’t it do them justice to rid LES CALAMITÉS (literally “the calamities”) of the embarrassing phrase 'girl band', durably stuck to their skins and plaited skirts? It’s nothing but a pink puffy cloud obscuring their true importance as a 'band' full stop, as well as their fleeting though mind-bending trajectory. In just a few months going on stage with a handful of original songs recorded here and there, they became, from Dijon to Rouen, Paris to Toulouse, Bordeaux to Strasbourg, the darlings of an uncompromising rockers’ demanding scene. Tolerated by some, maybe, they were also consecrated, certainly (should they have needed the accolade). The trade-off was a succession of quick and distinctive verse-choruses for which the adjectives 'fresh' and 'light' seemed to have been invented again. They delivered just as many covers, which gave an idea of the origins of their songwriting: one foot in the fifties (on the dancefloor), the other in the sixties (in the garage). All of this leading to their final hit, a successful incursion in the top sales with a popular song for everyone to hum at ease, from seaside campsites to the cool kids of the capital. Everything the Calamités touched, with their classy, rigorous, casual ways—plus just enough amused detachment—turned into gold. No mysteries, so little drama… and just like that the meteor flew by, giving its public little time to realise the full importance of these small-scale, three-voice anthems sung with a style given both by arrogant innocence and cheeky ease. Without playing the cards naturally assigned to girls (sexy attitude, feminist clichés, dilettante groupism) they managed to combine a pop teen spirit with a shameless rock’n’roll energy..."