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Bruno Leys

Maintenant Je Suis Un Voyou

Born Bad

Released: 7th January 2021

7" ep£8.99Out of Stock


You heard him first on WIZZZ Vol. 2 (BORNBAD 013CD/LP) with the explosive "Maintenant je suis un voyou (Now I'm a hoodlum)." Here he is again, with his full EP never released before.

In early 1967, Bruno was attending medical school in Paris. Driving back to the university with a friend, Bruno sang along nonchalantly with the songs on the radio. His friend was surprised to discover his lovely voice and encouraged him to audition for a group composed of friends from the university who were looking for a singer. Bruno was not selected for the group, but became friends with one of its members, Emmanuel Pairault.

Emmanuel had been studying economics, but decided to enter the music conservatory instead, to learn the drums and the use of the illustrious “ondes Martenot,” a primitive electronic musical instrument.

He composed a few solo numbers, remarkable for their use of that instrument. Looking for someone to write lyrics to go with his instrumental tracks, he asked Bruno to try a few. Bruno and Emmanuel thereby put together a small repertoire, with no ambition other than to have fun. Although the details are now forgotten, they worked hard to bring their song to the attention of Nicole Croisille (a singer and actress), who suggested sending the demo to her friend Norbert Saada, who headed a label called La Compagnie.

This unprecedented use of the ondes Martenot in a pop song attracted Saada, who offered to make a record. Emmanuel quickly assembled a small team to make the recording. The sessions took place at Dominique Blanc Francart’s studio on rue de la Gaîté in Paris, with Bernard Lubat on percussion, François Rabath on stand-up bass, Jimenez and Jean-Pierre Dariscuren playing guitar, Emmanuel Pairault and Sylvain Gaudelette on the ondes Martenot, not to mention Bruno on vocals. Four tracks were recorded for the EP: “Maintenant je suis un voyou,” “Eve,” “Hallucinations” and “Galaxie.”

With the sessions completed, Bruno left for his obligatory military service and thus lost control over things. Saada pressed a promotional 45 in an attempt to find a licensing deal in Canada, to no avail. A real collector’s item, this 45 includes “Maintenant je suis un voyou” and “Galaxie.”

Back from his military service, Bruno learned that Saada had gone out of business and sold his catalog, putting an end to any hope of issuing the EP (1969). “Eve” has never before appeared on a record.