From Dublin Ireland… MONSIEUR POMPIER’S TRAVELLING FREAKSHOW

25 September 2021

MONSIEUR POMPIER’S TRAVELLING FREAKSHOW. Sounds kooky, right? Not only the band’s name is kooky, but also the orchestra conductor Monsieur Pompier, his new album, his video clips, and his freaking freaks are kooky. Expect bizzaro entertainment, synth-pop tunes, the French cancan, Kraftwerk bleeps, and sparkling sparks. Curious?
I thought so. Let’s start the Q & A show…

Who’s Monsieur Pompier? Is he for real or someone’s alter ego?

Monsieur Pompier is the leader and instigator of the Travelling Freakshow. He’s a
collector of oddballs and oddities and likes to present his madcap menagerie to the
world. Monsieur Pompier was at one time my alter ego, but over time the Pompier
side grew stronger and stronger by the day to the point where the “other” me faded
into obscurity. I’m pure Pompier now.”

And what about his Travelling Freakshow?

The Travelling Freakshow is my band of merry misfits, there’s ten of them so far but
soon there will be more. The Ear Fairy, for example, cleans your ears at night, takes the wax home with him and makes up small waxen sculptures depicting the people he visited. Guts The Cat is my fabulous feline who wears an onion for a hat, can turn herself inside out and occasionally, plays the fiddle. Micky Mould, by contrast, just wants to keep things clean and prevent anyone from enjoying their lives. He was created when I accidentally left a loaf of bread in my shed for several months.”

With song would you pick to introduce yourself to those who never heard of you?

“The Crabbit” is my current personal favourite and a good introduction to the demented universe of Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow. “The Crabbit” is a half-crab, half-rabbit hybrid who entices young people into various vices. Once you’ve seen The Crabbit, you know you’ve got the habit.”

What impact did that awful pandemic had on your artistic activity?

“It had no impact whatsoever. I have a feeling Doctor Moogle might be behind it all.”

Many artists started to cover other artists during the lockdown times.
Did you do that too? If not which song would you pick to cover?

“I have a real aversion to covering songs but I will say that at our first ever show we
performed a ramshackle rendition of “What’s New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones so maybe
we’ll bring that back one day.”

Your new album is called TEATIME TERRORS. Why and
what or who inspired the title?

“I wanted to bring to mind TV shows like Tales of the Unexpected and The Twilight Zone,
bad Stephen King stories and folk horror. I feel the alliterative title sums up the mood of the album well. Unsettling, bizarre, yet eerily mundane in both the topics and settings.”

I suppose it’s you on the LP’s striking artwork. What’s the story behind it?

“The cover is taken from a 1950s piece of packaging which was originally used to
hold a pair of plastic eyeballs which one could drop into an unsuspecting friend’s drink. I always knew this would somehow end up as the album artwork as the face bore a striking resemblance to my own. The scanned design was then edited and embellished with new eyeballs and typography by the supremely talented Kate Stuart resulting in the final artwork.”

What can we expect from a live Monsieur Pompier performance?

“What is unique about our live shows is that not only do you get to witness the performance of the songs themselves, you actually get to meet and interact with
the characters in the songs, whether you like it or not. The Ear Fairy will inspect your
ear, Doctor Moogle will give you his diagnosis, and Banana Boy will shoot live beetles
at you with his slingshot.”

Which movie would you show on a big screen
behind the band to visualize your music?

“The Abominable Dr. Phibes.”

What‘s the best and worst track you heard so far in 2021?

“I recently discovered the band Stump and I think that their song “Buffalo” might be both the best and worst song that I’ve heard this year. Other music highlights from recent times that I suggest your readers check out right away include The Gathering Doubt, Tirikilatops, Scunner and Rita Braga.”

Are any Monsieur Pompier mouth masks available?

“We aren’t currently making masks available to the public but there are plans for
all manner of Monsieur Pompier merchandise including t-shirts and toys in the not
too distant future.”

Sparks or Devo?

“I love both bands but whilst I’m particularly fond of the Freedom of Choice album by Devo
I think that overall there’s a lot more meat on the Sparks bone. Lyrically, stylistically and simply in terms of sheer quantity, Sparks are the superior band for me even if they can end up being like as sickeningly sugary sweet that you can only eat so much of in one sitting without throwing up. My favourite Sparks albums are the self-titled debut album (originally titled Halfnelson), Kimono My House, and Whomp That Sucker.

Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart?

“100% Captain Beefheart. For me, Frank Zappa was a great technical musician but Beefheart was a true creative weirdo. My favourite Beefheart tracks are “Brickbats”, “Tropical Hot Dog Night” and “Harry Irene“.”

Next step for Monsieur Pompier?

“I’ve already got most of the tunes for the second album written. I just need to record them now. We’re performing live again and with Halloween approaching, we’re sure to be busy badgers in the coming weeks. Keep your eyeballs peeled for more music videos also!”

Merci bien, Monsieur, pour votre cooperation
May the road rise with you

Buy/stream the new album here…


.
MONSIEUR POMPIER: Facebook

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 KNOCKOUT TRACKS Of The Month – JULY 2021

Turn Up The Volume‘s 15 Knockout Tracks for May 2021!
A storming stream of rattling rippers and jagged jams…

All together on Spotify…

.
One by one…

‘AMERICAN COCKROACH’ by DEAP VALLY (Los Angeles)
Deap Vally is back at their rock-blues meanest. Steaming,
intimidating, and totally fired-up. Touchdown!

The title track from their second EP of the year.

Drop the bomb on me
Drop the bomb on me
I got armor on me Feed me anarchy
I am perfect, Evolutionary
You can’t kill me,
The world belongs to me


.
‘GUIDED BY ANGELS’ by AMYL & THE SNIFFERS (Australia)
Amyl rants again like a riot-gun rap punkette on an all-conquering mission.
From the gunslingers’ new, second album Comfort To Me, out in September.

Make way, folks, here she comes…

‘HEAT’ by WHISPERING SONS (Belgium)
This is the best Whispering Sons crackerjack my ears ever heard. Haunting, chilling,
and catchy as hell. This is a mad motherrocker with frontwoman Fenne sounding like
a female Scott Walker. A speedy stomper. Bingo!

From their 2nd album Several Others.

Turn up the heat here…

‘ZOOM ZOOM’ by TOYAH (Birlingham, UK)
With beloved husband Robert Fripp, Toyah puts up a hilarious cover show every Sunday
for months now, but now she’s back in her own special way. Zoom Zoom rattles and rolls with funky flair, hip-shaking hooks, and glamorous gusto. This sticks all the way. Score!

From her upcoming album Posh Pop, out 27th August.

Start a revolution, talk like Andy Warhol and become a millionaire here…

‘OH!’ by THE LINDA LINDAS (Los Angeles)
After going viral with previous single Racist, Sexist Boy the young Riot grrls hit again with
a pithy pop-punk roller that thunders ahead from the flashy get-go and rushes to its hurrah finale.

Pretty cool, pretty wild, pretty Lindas…

‘I, MORON’ by LOVELY EGGS feat. Stooges icon Iggy Pop
The menacing way immortal icon Iggy Pop pronounces moron several times, makes
you desperately hope you’re not one, all the more so that a jackhammer is drilling
along Pop‘s intimidating tone. Bang-on stunner!

Moron, moron, moron…

‘COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN’ by REAL SICKIES (Edmonton, Canada)
No brakes. No special effects. Only red-hot-blooded hullabaloo. Louder than
the Ramones. Sickies don’t talk, they roar. Sickies don’t pretend, they are 4 real.
Real Sickies are for rockers, for punks, and for noisemakers. Hallelujah!

From their smoking new album Love Is For Lovers.

Play this loud, very loud…

‘BLAME IT’ by MARLOW (East Sussex, UK)
I have had this instant knockout on repeat since I discovered it last week.
A solid gold stormer “about the lack of communication in relationships and
how people try to avoid responsibility for their issues by shifting the blame onto
others and coming up with excuses.

Its sticky pop melodiousness, its hefty panache, its passionate vocals, and
its fiery chorus are simply irresistible. Don’t blame Marlow. They rock big time!
One of the best singles of 2021! Fact!

Here‘s why…

.
‘WHEN THE WHIP GOES CRACK’ by THE BATTERY FARM (UK)
This spine-chilling, self-flagellation outcry sizzles like a vicious serpent. Prepare yourself
for a demons-inflicted nervous breakdown, for a jagged jam that makes the hair in your neck stand up. Slowly but surely the intensity goes up and the insanity kicks in. Infuriating powers take over until the out-of-breath end. Goodness, gracious!

Get impressed right here…

‘DEFEND YOUR TEMPLE’ by TYPHOID ROSIE (Brooklyn)
Imagine imperishable rockers Green Day fronted by a rousing female fury.
A loud and clear feminist you better not mess with her. This punk ‘n slam
stonker will get you out of your lazy couch in a blink of an eye.

From the band’s upcoming LP Queen Of Swords.

Wham! Bloody bam…


.
‘OLD JOE’ by SEADOG (Brighton, UK)
Old Joe moves and grooves from the kick-off. Its ongoing Krautrock-like hypnotizing spell, its energizing synth mesmerism, its repetitive beat, its echoing vocals, all contribute to the psychedelic impact of this exciting trip. Once you’ve joined the ride, you won’t get off. Clear-cut crackerjack!

Experience the vibrant vibe…

‘MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND’ by SINGLE RUIN (Brighton, UK)
Swirling electro-pop with an unwavering ongoing bass beat à la Modest Mouse that gets under your skin before turning and twisting surprisingly towards the end. Fascinating piece! From the new 7-track EP Unique.

Tune in here…

.
‘TIME TRAVEL‘ by PARTEFACTS (Berlin, Germany)
Imagine: Hundreds of sweaty bodies dancing hyperkinetically in a shadowy Berlin discotheque on a feverish Saturday night. Everybody minds their own business,
everybody ignores the pandemic reality for a while. Funky shake-your-booty bangers
like these are ravishing and rapturous. Exactly what we need right now.

Get up and go gaga ..

‘THE EAR FAIRY’ by MONSIEUR POMPIER’S TRAVELLING FREAKSHOW (Dublin, Ireland)
Puzzling eccentricity by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Freaks Club Band. This town ain’t big enough for Sparks and Mister Pompier jumping out-t of-the-normality box with synth-asia pop. Don’t worry, be a weirdo and do the French cancan.

From the new bizarro album Teatime Terrors.

Start the show here…

‘HONEY I BELIEVE’ by TRICKSHOOTER SOCIAL CLUB (Chicago)
This first upbeat single made my fingers snap, my feet tap, and my head twist from the flaming get-go. This rollin’ ripper gets under your skin and in your veins without asking permission, and, trust me, you’ll love it. Clear your room and lose yourself.

Move here to the beat…

‘DIG ME UP’ by HANNAH ROBINSON (England)
The rock swagger of Sheryl Crow, the melodramatic richness of
Florence Welch, and a vivid voice as imposing as St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The combination of those envigorating elements leads to emotional
resurrection. Dig Me Up is Robinson’s sonorous and liberating triumph.

Press play here…


.
‘FRIENDLY IS BETTER’ by WOLF VANWYMEERSCH (Belgium)
Wolf could be the singer of Belgian top band Balthazar, Wolf could be the unknown
brother of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, but at the end of the day, Wolf is Wolf. After his wistful debut single Not To he continues his musing journey, on his horse, with this slo-mo meditation. Friendly is better, Wolf is better.

Catch the friendly mood here…

‘ALL THE LOVE YOU GIVE‘ by THE FOREIGN FILMS (Canada)
After a bang bang bang intro, you enter Beatles territory. Melodic splendor polyphonic harmonies and All You Need Is Love trumpets. This is 60s pop splendor at its sunlit finest. Feels like we’ll have new flowers in our hair this summer. The swinging sixties spirit. Lovely!

New album Starlight Serenade out today.

Enjoy the sun here…


.
‘THE LIONS DEN‘ by TMCF (UK)
A shadowy dream-tune with a rotating rhythm making you run to the first dance
floor you find around. Pirouette yourself dizzy, folks, and forget these viral lion’s
den times for 339 seconds. Trust me, it helps to activate your body’s movements.

Make your best moves here…

.
‘REMEMBER WE WHERE LOVERS’ by Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth
Surprising collaboration between the frontman of Primal Scream and front lady of Savages. They bring those 60s melancholia stars Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood back to life, and it works wonderfully. Dim the light and hit some candles. From the new album Utopian Ashes.

Time to relax…

See/hear you next month, music junkies…

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Freaks Club Band – MONSIEUR POMPIER Presents Debut Album ‘TEATIME TERRORS’

18 July 2021

Artist: MONSIEUR POMPIER’S TRAVELLING FREAKSHOW (Dublin, Ireland)
Who: Misfits making make music about inside-out cats, weird doctors and banana boys.

New album: TEATIME TERRORS
Released: 16 July 2021 via Cleopatra Records

Info: Inspired equally by Stephen King, folk horror and 80s B-movie soundtracks as it was by eccentric music acts like The Residents, Sparks and Devo, Teatime Terrors falls into a strange musical crevice between bizarro pop opera, a demented audiobook, and downright bonkers synth-punk chaos.

Turn Up The Volume: Puzzling eccentricity. 2021 madness. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Freaks Club Band. Psych-o-delic entertainment. This town ain’t big enough for Sparks and Mister Pompier. Synth-asia pop extravaganza. French cancan. Kraftwerk bleeps. Outlandish Frank Zappa & the mothers of invention orchestra. Toothbrush. Ne t’inquiète pas sois cinglé. Don’t worry be a weirdo .

Single: The Ear Fairy…

Stream/buy here…


.
MONSIEUR POPMIER: WebsiteFacebook


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Freaks Club Band

(photo by Stefan Evans)