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About:

Danny Mommens: 20 april 1973 (vocals/guitar)
Els Pynoo: ? (vocals).

Vive La Fête emerged in 1997 when Mommens (at the time guitarist for dEUS) started to record some demo’s with his girlfriend Pynoo on an eight-track recorder. Pynoo sang in French because she found it to sound more sexy. The demo’s were released as the EP ‘Paris’ on the Gent-based label Kinky Star. The combination of eighties-electro and pop attracted the attention of the clubbing public which had a strong basis in the Belgian city of Gent (renowned for the yearly ‘ten days of techno’ festival). The track ‘Je ne veux pas’ got some airplay but the big break came when Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck asked them to accompany him on his Paris fashion show. In 1999 the combo started to work on their debut album ‘Attaque Surprise’ that appeared in 2000. For the labum they also switched recordlabel going from Kinky Star to Lowlands. According to Mommens because Kinky Star tried to pursue them to take the more guitar orientated Kinky Star bands on tour through France with them. The electro music of  Vive La Fête was way to diferent to combine with that catalogue.

The debut was a surprising success in Belgium but more so in other European countries. Fir instance in 2001 they did a succesfull Spanish tour under the name ‘Eviva El Fiesta’. The albums ‘Republique Populaire’ (2001) and ‘Nuit Blanche’ (2003) followed soon. The success of the albums is also thanks to the unstoppable tour scheme and live act the duo displayed. The fact that Mommens and Pynoo are in a relationship is often displayed in their stage act and Pynoo tends to wear daring and eccentric outfits on stage. Due to this Vive La Fête also attracted the attention of the fashion industry where they can count several top designers (like Karl Lagerfeld) as their fans. In 2004 a remix compilation album ‘Attaque Populaire’ was release don vinyl only. The idea was to release it in a limited edition of 500 pieces only but over the years the record label made re-releases of the album.

The 2005 album ‘Grand Prix’ didn’t get the enthusiastic reception the precious albums did and forced the band to take a check of their formula wasn’t getting worn out. Therefore the 2007 album ‘Jour de Chance’ sees them moving away from their electro style to a more universal popsound. They return to their more rudimentary sound in 2012 with the somewhat disappointing album called 'Produit de Belgique' but the convincing sinister single 'Titi'.

On the web:

- Vive la Fête's website: http://www.vivelafete.be

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Fangoria (Spain)

Lio (Belgium)

What do we think:

DB: Actually it took me a while before a discovered the albums of Vive La Fête. I knew the band of the funny electro covers of ‘Child in time’ or Gainsbourg’s ’69 annee erotique’ and ‘Lemon incest’. I thought them a bit of a gimmick. Until I heard ‘Nuit Blanche’ in a record store in Antwerp and found out that they wrote their own material as well and did a very good job doing it. OK, Pynoo's use of the French language isn't probably garmmatically correct but it sounds charming. So if you look beyond the outrageous stage act you’ll find a duo that gives an original and very Belgian twist to electropop music. In fact this kind of electromusic could only have originated in Belgium.

Albums:

- Attaque Surprise - 2000

♪♪♪ - Nuit Blanche - 2003

♪♪♪ - Grand Prix - 2005

- Jour de chance - 2007

♪♪♪ - Disque d'or - 2009

♪♪ - Produit de Belgique - 2012

Further listening:

Republique Populaire - 2001; Attaque Populaire (remixes) - 2004

------------------------------------------------------------------------
♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


 

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