French music scene: Paris rocks – June 2012

Are you an expat or traveler looking for something different to do in Paris beyond the usual tourist destinations? Fortunately, Paris offers a lively music scene for all budgets and tastes. 

Welcome to your monthly French music guide, ‘Paris Rocks’ for June 2012 – your backstage pass for the ‘must-see’ concerts in Paris.


June is the best month for music in Paris. Not only is there an entire day dedicated to filling the streets with music of all sorts, but France joins the rest of the world in celebrating live shows with summer concerts. Of the wide mélange of live music choices to see this month, here are the top five I’m most excited to see.

Hanni El Khatib, Tuesday 5 June – French music scene: Top gigs

San Franciscan, Palestinian and Filipino, Hanni El Khatib was once a creative director at a skateboard company before launching his heartbroken bad-boy music onto the indie scene. It’s a little bluesy, a little rockabilly, and a lot catchy. Hanni El Khatib’s music has been described as both “knife fight music” and good “for anyone who has ever been shot or hit by a train.” Slick your hair back, tuck a pack of Marlboros into your sleeve and go see what all the fuss is about when he plays with The Virgins on June 5.

Citizens!, Thursday 7 June – French music scene: Top gigs

This London quintet sounds a bit like a more effeminate Franz Ferdinand, which makes sense because FF singer Alex Kapranos produced their debut album. Their light and fun pop style throws in a bit of ‘80s twinkle to top off the sound, the combination of which makes for some supremely danceable tunes.

M83, Tuesday 12 June – French music scene: Top gigs

The biggest little electropop group on the indie scene today, you might know M83 from their music featured in everything from episodes of CSI: Miami and Gossip Girl to Victoria’s Secret commercials. Their music, a shimmering blend of the electronic and shoegaze genres, was made for the lonely communal experience of a live show.

Fête de la Musique, Thursday 21 June – French music scene: Top gigs

The annual worldwide ‘music day’ originally began in France in 1982 when American musician Joel Coen suggested an ‘all-night music celebration in Paris at the moment of summer solstice.’ The event, the name of which is a play on the term faites de la musique, encourages musicians of every caliber and discipline to make music in the streets, anywhere, and fill the city with their songs. One can find a group of trumpet players here, a banjo band there, perhaps a stray piano player outside of Galeries Lafayette. Check the schedule here for more info.

Solidays Festival, 22-24 June – French music scene: Top gigs

The annual Paris Solidays Festival is a 3-day music fest in solidarity with the fight against AIDS. All proceeds go to the prevention of AIDS and care for the sick. This year’s lineup includes Garbage, Metronomy and Skip The Use… I’m excited to see Brigitte, the sultry-sweet French female duo seen in the video above.

Also useful to know… French music scene: Top gigs

Guns ‘N’ Roses will perform at Bercy on Tuesday 5 June
Because somebody still likes these goofballs, right?

Image credits:
1. Solidarity Festival 2011, Never Not Blog.

About the Contributor

Jenna-Marie Warnecke

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  1. Elisabeth Donato Jun 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM - Reply

    Sweet item, Jenna-Marie. I am in Paris from today to the 30th of June!

  2. Judy MacMahon Jun 1, 2012 at 8:40 PM - Reply

    Welcome to our writer team Jenna-Marie! Your monthly top live gigs in Paris column is bound to be a hit. For seasoned travellers who know and still love the tourist sites… its more important to be savvy and know what not to miss, and the live gig scene is on such must! Rock on Paris!

  3. Miriam Allen Jun 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM - Reply

    The Fête de la Musique sounds like a fantastic event Jenna-Marie. I love that you’ve told us about the play on words. I always like hearing about the etymology of things.

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