Six albums and two decades spent criss-crossing the globe, playing to enthusiastic audiences from Sydney to San Francisco and Berlin to Beijing, have enabled Paris Combo to create its own unique world, establishing itself as one of the most piquant, intriguing groups on the international music scene. Fronted by the mischievous vocals of chanteuse Belle du Berry, the combo has struck a positive chord with critics and audiences alike with their signature blend of swinging gypsy jazz, cabaret, French pop, Latin and Middle Eastern rhythms. Seattle Times calls Paris Combo, “My favorite French cultural export of the past decade.”.
In February 2017 they will release their new album, "Tako Tsubo", in Australia, N.Z. and North America.
The mainstream success of their second album "Living Room" (2000) gave the group a unique status as a French indie band capable of drawing crowds not only in France, where the album went gold, but all over the world, and particularly in Australia and the USA where they have chalked up over twenty tours.
Returning to performing in 2011 after a five-year hiatus, the group made their US comeback at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and went on to release their fifth album, simply entitled "5", on the DRG/eOne label. Media response to "5" was enthusiastic and in 2013-14, they sold out venues across the country with their first US tours in a decade and a return to Australia in 2015.
The next Paris Combo opus will be recorded in June 2016 at Labomatic studios in Paris with star French producers Dominique Blanc-Francard & Bénédicte Schmitt (Gainsbourg, Françoise Hardy, Camille…). In the meantime, their busy touring schedule will take their seductive musical cocktail as far afield as Australia and China as well as to European capitals.
They have announced their next tour of the USA in February 2017, concurrent with the release of the new album.
Belle du Berry, guitarist Potzi and drummer François first performed together in Paris as members of a quirky retro revue, “Les Champêtres de Joie” which went on to collaborate at the closing ceremony of the Albertville Winter Olympic Games in 1992. Du Berry and Australian-born trumpeter-pianist David Lewis met while performing together at the “Cabaret Sauvage” and with the arrival of bassist Mano in 1995 the group began to hone their sound playing in cafés and barges along the Seine under the name “Paris Combo”.
Du Berry, whose musical roots go back to post-punk bands, cites influences such as Arletty, the French singer-actress of the ’30s, but also the Surrealists and a panoply of more recent artists including the B-52’s. Potzi’s Django-influenced guitar often mixes with François’ ska or Latin grooves to create a fascinating blend. Lewis, who had previously played with a wide variety of French bands including Manu Dibango and Arthur H, attributes the group’s approach to Paris’ cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Paris Combo’s eponymous 1997 debut disc arrived as the swing revival was in full bloom, yet the band’s wide-ranging mix of musical influences instantly set them apart from other groups in the genre, winning critical praise and appealing to international audiences. The momentum continued with the release of their second album, “Living Room,” which went gold in France in 2000, and confirmed the group’s international standing, with tours of the United States, Australia and Asia and a nomination at the French industry awards, Les Victoires de la Musique. The following year Paris Combo released their third set, “Attraction,” with a series of concerts at the prestigious Cité de la Musique in Paris. Their fourth album, “Motifs,” 2004, was supported by a tour that included Australasia, Brazil and the iconic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles where the group was accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
The troupe reunited in 2010 after a four-year hiatus and spent a year writing, rehearsing and rediscovering their hallmark sound. They returned to extensive touring , performing the new material that evolved into the album “5” . In September 2011, the group performed once again at the Hollywood Bowl, delivering a memorable come-back show.
- Paris Combo, Boucherie/Pias re-issued Polydor/Universal 1997
- Living Room, Boucherie/Pias re-issued Polydor/Universal 1999
- Attraction, Polydor/Universal 2001
- Live, Polydor/Universal, 2002
- Motifs, Polydor/Universal, 2004
- Lucien Barrière Prize for Songwriting (awarded to Belle du Berry) 2000
- Gold-record for the album "Living-Room" - 2000
- Nomination for a Victoire de la Musique - 2000