Zic Zazou Makes French Music With a Beat
Image from the Roundhouse
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 ).