8 years ago these five corsican part-time hoboes took the boat to the french mainland, earning their daily red wine as the most unusual street music act of the Côte d'Azur. Travelling Southern Europe in a caravan and performing on every possible promenade, The Les Clöchards got invited to perform on luxury yachts leaving unique scratches on mahogany floors as well as sipping Moët in five star hotel bars.
Having sold about 15.000 illegal copies of their records and having performed about 350 shows in France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Austria, this year they are heading for their 2nd Edinburgh Fringe Festival -- playing songs you thought you knew on the cheapest existing instruments, performed with daring dance routines, shameless rock star habits, high energy facial and instrumental acrobatics, in shabby suits and served tasty like a vintage Corsican Camembert.
The Les Clöchards play music for beer bellied dancers and high heeled hookers, a promising flirt night for willing widows, an entertainment evening for sophisticated salvation seekers, a romantic home alone dream for cuddling teenage couples – all at once and at the same time. Their show is an audiovisiual orgasm for all those who like to pick their strawberries a little further away from the forest path, and who tend to avoid sticking shiney linoleum on well kept wooden floors. This slugfest of music with a comic twist is an attack on eyes, ears and abdominals that takes it's audience by storm.
Where are you from?
People think we are from Corsika, but that's not exactly the truth. We are from a small island close to Corsika.
Your name is so funny, I can't even pronounce it! How you got that name?
The name is not funny, it's international. It's not so important you pronounce it correctly -- most people and journalists can't even transcript it properly.
You are quite impressive! Since when are you on the road in this constellation?
The Les Clöchards are together eight years now. But we often say we founded in 1949, which is both, a bad working marketing strategy and a lie.
How come you are so impressive?
In the early years we did rehearse a lot. Nowadays, we do play a lot. We do 50 up-downs every day and only slight drug abuse, too. Mostly.
Are you a small band?
Physically we are, philosophically we are not.
What kind of gigs do you play?
We play concert shows -- if the show fits well into a good concept, we do corporate events, too.
Under what conditions would you play on my grandmother's birthday party?
We are musicians. If you give us food, drinks and the right money, we would even play on your wedding.
What does "right money" mean?
Ask your local plumber, how much money he would charge for 8 hours of work including traveltime and setup and multiply his answer with 5 (musicians). This should give you quite a good idea. The rest depends on, if you are a rich guy and if we think you are a nice guy.
I'm living on the Bahamas and I want you to play on my wedding -- is that possible?
In an interview, you shouldn't ask questions can be answered by "yes" or "no".
But yes, it's possible -- if you give us food, drinks, flight tickets and the right money, we'd come and play everywhere.
If I want you to play for very little because I don't want to spend the right money, would you?
I'm working in an Office of Culture and we don't have a big budget. How can we make it possible that you come and play?
Let's talk. If it's a nice gig with nice people, we see no reason why we shouldn't bend the rules. But there is no low-prize-for-poor-pigs-guarantee.
What are your real jobs?
Our parents work together in a general store, but we escaped to become musicians.
Can you live on that?
For what big firms did you play?
Like any other professional band, we played for at least 25 worldwide well known companies. But we think you shouldn't measure the quality of any band on the names of those who hired it. If you insist just write an E-Mail, we can send you a list.
Let's put it that way: it's just the big companies, that have enough balls to hire us. It's either those who build cars, or those who print the money - you know?
You have played more than 300 gigs during the last years; why don't you have press comments on your website?
All of our newspaper articles and gig reviews are annoying enthusiastic anthems. That's boring, but that's also the truth.
On your concert, I noticed the drum set you're using. What's that?
It is a custom accumulation of rejected drum garbage, created by coincidence and the strong will of it's creator. Even the bass drum is kind of a trash can. We call it "road drums".