Zic Zazou Makes French Music With a Beat


Image from the Roundhouse

What is it about Europe and strange music? There was the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra, and the Norwegian Ice Orchestra and the British busker who played his bicycle... And now we've got the French.

Zic Zazou, a group of 9 French men (no women invited), is part music, part theatre, part comedy and part engineering. The 9 "mechaniciens" call their show "Brocante Sonore" which translates as tuneful bric-a-brac. They saw, bash, drill and blow their way through every conceivable variety of hardware in their performance.

The men use instruments created out of hammers, nails, drainpipes, axle grinders, power drills, frying pans, bottles, bricks, explosions, chair legs and the occasional trumpet.

They are not amateurs, they are trained musicians who have worked together for almost 30 years. They graduated from the conservatory and played in jazz bands, rock and roll and brass bands. But one day their leader had a brainstorm.... to play the entire show on everyday items and tools.

The music is a mix of sounds: Brazilian drumming, jazz, blues and folk. They pre-date Stomp and consider themselves to be less show business than that group. They are less novelty than the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra.

They play in the blue overalls of the French worker and one reviewer called them "blue-collar socialist folk songwriters of the industrial age", a title they are happy with. The show's finale is Ode to Work (sung in Esperanto ).

More on Off-Beat Music
Play With Your Food
Lost and Found Orchestra
Ice Orchestra Blows Hot and Cold

Tags: Artists