Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cirque du Punk

I'm not French, despite growing up in a French town named St. Norbert, teaching in a French Immersion school and currently residing in St. Boniface (the largest French-Canadian community outside of Quebec) with a truly Francophone wife.

So while I love and admire much about French culture, their reputation as musical schlockmesiters is well founded. An old friend from St.Norbert recoiled in horror when I asked him if the song he was singing was a French song. "Just because I'm French doesn't mean I listen to French music!" (Funnily enough the song in question turned out to be "Autobahn" by German electro-rockers, Kraftwerk.)

So with all the French musical mediocrity, what to make of Bérurier Noir - masked anarchists surrounded by fire-eating back-up singers and dancing clowns driven by the clinkiest drum machine in music history?

Well, despite all these discordant elements, Bérurier Noir's songs are all dead-simple sing-alongs led by staccato punk riffs. It's as if the Sex Pistols' with Fellini and Malcolm McLaren as their Svengalis, created their own little Cirque du Punk.

This single, L'Empereur de Tomato-Ketchup, from 1986, lays the blueprint for the band from which they steadily built upon without ever abandoning the basic design.

Download "L' Empereur de Tomato-Ketchup


  1. I still have chills listening to that version of "Porcherie"even 20 years later. Les Beru were "le cri de la jeunesse" in the 80's, like Assassin in the 90's.

  2. I wish I could've seen the band live back then. They did play in Canada more than once but of course only in Quebec. Needless to say during my one late 80's foray to La Belle Province they were not playing but I consoled myself by buying a Berueir Noir pin.


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