Welcome to the Parisian sidewalk life of Les Clochards. Lead track Pride Prevents Pt 1 is a lovely tune, with a dark edge. Ian’s croon is very Richard Hawley, while Karen’s accordion delightfully directs the tune. Glad I Made You Laugh is French country, a new thing on me, but something that works rather well. With a shuffling drumbeat, Lavinia squirms along and feels like a black and white walk along the Seine. Tango Borracho takes a different turn with mainly female vocals and some male spoken word bits. It’s jazzy and mysterious, and suffice to say you can’t go wrong with the spoken word. Stone Angels is a gorgeous thing, like Roy Orbison with a touch of Elvis in the vocals, while Demode employs another cannot fail touch, singing in French with a lovely jaunty melody. Shallow is absolutely stunning, Karen sings, but imagine Lloyd Cole at his most bookish and you’ll be somewhere near this tune. It’s the highlight of the album. No Shame comes out much more upbeat, and Ian’s croon sounds Hawley like again, and the song’s a match for any of his output. In A Previous Life is gorgeous, a really slow meandering tune, strolling along at dawdling pace, while the accordion chirps away and life passes it by. Pride Prevents Pt 2 is a lovely maudlin duet, a lovely way to close the album.
Sweet Tableaux is out now on Big Red Sky Records
Les Clochards myspace is here