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Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday's French music break - Oldelaf, "La tristitude"

Friday's French music break this week is something just a little different.

It's "La tristitude" by singer-songwriter Olivier Delafosse, who goes under the stage name Oldelaf, and surely puts paid to a couple misconceptions you might have.

Oldelaf (screenshot from "La tristitude")

The first one is that French comedy is defined solely by a seemingly endless number of stand-up acts who should perhaps really try sitting down, impersonators with rather iffy material that raise a smile for five minutes and then leave you looking at your watch for an hour, or those terrible homemade sitcoms which are, in the main, thankfully a thing of the past but can still be caught as reruns if you're unlucky enough to turn on the telly at the wrong time.

Yes Oldelaf, as well as being a musician is also a humourist - a funny one - with quick wit and a clever pen as demonstrated in "La tristude" - more on that in a moment.

Another false impression that's put to rest is the one that perhaps French TV host Michel Drucker is only capable of a "polite and toned down" approach to his guests during his (many) years of hosting shows and in particular since 1998 his weekly Sunday afternoon programme, "Vivement Dimanche".

The link between the two?

Well, Drucker also currently has a daily mid-morning programme on Europe 1 radio, "Faites entrer l'invité", in which he invites a guest and, along with his fellow contributors (Faustine Bollaert, Jérôme Commandeur, Mathieu Madénian, Matthieu Noël, Willy Rovelli and Walter) conducts a somewhat irreverent series of interviews.

Also present as a regular member of the team is Oldelaf (yes the connection was a long time coming) who, on each occasion, interprets "La tristitude", adding updated lyrics that often reflect a recent news event.

Yes, the beauty of the song is that it's constantly changing.

The tune remains the same but Oldelaf adapts the lyrics to fit the news and/or the context.

It's always funny, sometimes cruelly so, and very, very clever.

In fact "La tristitude" has become something of a phenomenon, almost a cult among some.

Oldelaf has had additional exposure across the media with what has become the concept "La tristitude" - (a contraction of "tristesse and solitude" or "sadness and solitude") and appears regularly on Drucker's Vivement Dimanche.

There has even been a competition organised on the video sharing service website Dailymotion inviting members of the public to make, create and record their own version of what constitutes "La tristitude".

There's more of course to the 36-year-old Delafosse than just one song, including 10 years worth of concerts and albums as part of the now-defunct act Oldelaf et Monsieur D, and a spell with the French band Les Fatals Picards.

You can read his full bio on his official site.

For the moment though, here's the original of "La tristitude" taken from Oldelaf's 2011 debut album as a solo performer, "Le monde est beau".

If you like what you hear, then you can catch him regularly on Drucker's radio and TV programmes or live at Le Trianon in Paris on April 28.


Anonymous said...

Very catchy tune! I love it

France Today said...

Glad you enjoyed it.

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