Nights at the Roundtable with Les Fantomes, The French answer to The Shadows in the Instrumental department or The Ventures in the laid-back department, with Cafard, recorded in 1962.
March 1, 2012

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Riding on the International wave of Twang.


Les Fantomes were France's answer to Britain's Shadows or America's Ventures, with a liberal sprinkling of Sweden's Jorgen "Apache" Ingmann for good measure. They were, between the years 1961 and 1964, the biggest thing to hit the French charts in a long time and were the epitome of Twang Francaise.

Although they made no dent here or in the UK, they released a string of ep's and albums before their eventual breakup. Tonight it's a track off an ep culled from their "Big Sound Guitars" album for Disques Vogue in Paris. Cafard isn't high voltage and doesn't move along at a quasi-frantic surf pace. It's a slow, broody number recorded in 1962 right around their peak in popularity.

For all intents and purposes, the popular success of Les Fantomes spawned a whole genre of French Twang instrumental bands, before jamming on the brakes and facing the British Invasion and re-invention.

Twangy guitars were big stuff in Europe, and everywhere else it seemed in the early 60's.

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