I was quite excited when Pol Dodu told me that there was a new book about Felt that was soon to be released and was even more ecstatic to get my own copy of this new book by the legendary JC Brouchard, about a fan’s insight into the many recordings of Felt and more.
The press release begins “The British band Felt released over twenty records in the 80’s. Ballad of the fan tells both the story of the band, by reviewing their records, and that of one of their faithful French fans, JC Brouchard, …”. Felt had a huge impact on many fans of Pop music, with releases on Cherry Red and Creation Records, and singles and albums that graced the UK indie charts for most of the 80’s and a legacy in the song “Primitive Painters”. The Clientele along with other great bands has cited them as a key influence. Numerous influential and very talented musicians have played with Felt, including Martin Duffy, Maurice Deebank, Marco Thomas, Gary Ainge, John Mohan, Phil King (who assisted JC with the English translation of this book which was originally written in French) and others.
This book is an essential read for Felt fans and an excellent companion to last year’s Felt fanzine “Foxtrot Echo Lima Tango” (which was a compilation of articles and interviews by the many fans of Felt). This fanzine is sadly sold out now, but you can find out more about it here – http://foxtrotecholimatango.blogspot.com/ – and if you search you might still find a few copies. JC Brouchard had contributed a chapter to the fanzine and his book is a logical continuation of that chapter as he provides his very interesting comments, observations and descriptions of each of his Felt recordings (and the various offshoots like Supermarket, Denim and Go Kart Mozart) that he acquired. He also fills in some gaps and relates his stories of the encounters he had with the band when they asked him to join them for one of their mini tours. It’s very enjoyable to read, and also interesting to find out more tidbits about the characters behind the band and most important for me, it’s not too long so you finish up wanting more (a bit like listening to a single or a flexi).
JC Brouchard is a character of legendary proportions, an avid music fan from France (who still writes about his passion here – http://vivonzeureux.blogspot.com/), who happened to get hooked up with Alan McGee and Creation Records in the early days, and he assisted Creation Record’s establishment in France by helping promote several tours there and helping to spread the word. He was seen playing with several Creation bands and even had a song written in honour of him with Biff Bang Pow’s “The Whole World Is Turning Brouchard” as well as being advisor to Alan and running the Biff Bang Pow fanclub. Alan even writes in the intro to the book “J.C. you are the best Frenchman since Napoleon …” and having had the privilege of knowing JC for a few years now, I must echo Alan’s sentiments as JC has been extremely generous and kind, a treasure of knowledge and music trivia and always honest with his much sought for opinions. Thanks J.C.
It’s an exciting time for Felt fans, with so much renewed interest in their work (and a recent feature in the NME – http://www.felt-tribute.webs.com/images/nme_jan2011.jpg) and rumours of a new album by Lawrence. May Felt fans continue to unite and maybe someone will compile another musical tribute to them like the one Elefant Records did back in 1995 – it’s time for an update or a second volume. In the meantime, you may want to pick up a copy of this book before it’s sold out.
You can get your copy here – http://vivonzeureux.fr/felt/
You can watch Primitive Painters here – www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCRdY7ZH7xo
And here is a version of Penelope Tree by Phil Wilson and The Painted Word – www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQsOJ6FcczU