Posts Tagged ‘Narcotic Daffodils’

If you were around in the mid-80’s and picked up the free magazine Rock This Town, you might have heard about a hairy blond guy named Simon Rigot. He was active in the underground Belgian scene and was connected to almost every act who had their names cited in RTT, like a mad professor who’d taken the lead of a crime organization.
Years have passed, and bored of living on his main asset “My Suitor”, Rigot came back on the scene with a low-key surf band, the Lunar Tiki’s, gradually evolving into a psychedelic revival act, the Narcotic Daffodils.

Summer Love

An unlikely line-up made of three young rebels and two reformed blokes (Rigot and ex-punk bassist Flupke), the Daffodils released two more than decent albums, before finding themselves in the usual turmoil of any band, rock or not: the holy line-up change. Doors slammed, and while almost anyone would have betted the three rebels would have fired the two old farts, it’s quite the opposite that happened.
Rigot and Flupke had to find three new young boys’n’girls to keep the legend alive. The struggled paid off under the shape of a third album, “Summer Love”, released almost 50 years after the Summer of Love of 1967. Just on time to have something new to listen to on the beach next summer.

“Summer love” has a cool artwork, which is a trademark of the Narcotic Daffodils that contrasts with their usual lack of mystery in promotion time. Another good surprise is the timing of the album, just enough to compete with a vinyl record. This is a happy reversal tendency to the over packed CD’s of the 90’s – 2000’s that were at best unmemorable.

The Daffodils 2017 starts with a very cool, riff-driven and well-arranged “Summer Love”, setting the tone for the whole LP. This great piece is followed by “Naturally High”, musically above average but lyrically stupid. Although sounding more 67 than any 1967 act, the Narcotic Daffodils are a product of their time. The sea, sex and sun ideology has been replaced by the eco-friendly bore of index 50 sunscreen, condoms and solar panels. “Natural High”, the naïve story of a boy who gets high without drugs or alcohol (gosh poor guy), is the sad reminder of the times we’re living in. If the Narcotic Daffodils want to become the Ed Sheeran of psychedelism, they’re on the right track.

Ritchie Blackmore has been known for a blunt honesty about the origins of most of the riffs he created, I hope he won’t hold any grudge to the Narcotic Daffodils for ripping off note-for-note his “Rat Bat Blue” for their “Guardians”. This embarrassing plagiarism doesn’t make the song bad however.

“Hypnotized” is a bit like “Riding The Drag” part II, with a good efficient riff without being a piece of art, and it’s with “You Can’t Get” that you can reach some heights of the talent provided by the 5 Belgians. It has a stunning mood, a funny 9/8 break and a superb organ solo. The Daffodils’ best song ever? Yeah.

Unfortunately it is followed by “Bruxelles”, without a doubt one of the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard in my life. It makes Céline Dion sound like a poet and 1-Direction like a bunch of dirty punks. The ridiculously sissy lyrics, sung (quite badly) in French and Flemish (to show the ahem… unity of Brussels…) makes it sound like a joke, but not a funny one. And the problem is: it’s not even a joke. It’s meant to be serious. When the band tells you genuinely that the song is a love declaration to the city of Brussels, you start to think that being naturally high might be destructive for mental health. As if wasn’t enough, “Bruxelles” is coloured by samples of the announcements made on the public transports company, the lousy STIB –one of the most ridiculous  public transports company in the whole world. It makes the listening a really painful experience. And although the song had been written before the attacks of March 22, its release afterwards gives me the bitter feeling that it belongs to the pinnacle of the mediatic bullshit that arose since then: politically correct banter, calls to unity with a white-teeth smile, “we don’t have hate, we love everybody” lies and the usual ostrich policy. Nice guys seems to forget that on March 22, families were shattered, destroyed, innocent were killed or worse mutilated for life, some lost a limb or two, some their vision, other their hearing, some now spend their life recluse and jobless, all that for absolutely no good reason. Songs like that are like turning the other cheek and ask for more terror, more blood and more drama.

Phew, a breath of fresh air is needed. “Atomic 53” is the savior, its 9 minutes of a throbbing groove sounding like a redemption after the previous faux-pas.
How to conclude? Even if we may be repelled by the un-rock, band-next-door attitude of the Daffodils, they provide truly great songs, full of substance and melodies, with great playing and energy that goes straight to the guts of the listener. Are the Daffodils too respectful to their masters? Maybe. But who cares, after all? My eras tell me to play it again. By skipping a track, of course.

“Summer Love” is an it’s Oh! MUSIC release. Available at too.

Let’s play the regret game. Let’s be old farts. Let’s miss the old days, when showbiz was magic, when cars were cars, when stars were stars.

Daf Daffodil

Yep, while the stars of the 70’s and 80’s were actually stars –understand: when they had the talent of raising a new question to answer yours-, the social network-born bands of the 2000’s are desperately behaving like your next door neighbour, yeah the one who asked you for some salt and talks about his new Facebook picture every now and then.

The tickling Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone? belongs to an era where stars were stars (I already said it? Yeah, but I’m an old fart, so I’m allowed to quote myself) and starfuckers weren’t bridled by the blandness of rubber yet.


The sad fact that a high percentage of nowadays bands run their image like would a second-zone cover band do (call to language teachers: second-zone cover band is a typical example of pleonasm), is a sign of the times or –more wisely noticed- the result of a desperate lack of hunger in a spoilt society. Fame is just a click of ‘like’ away now. Would you let your daughter ‘like’ a Narcotic Daffodil on Facebook?

The band on their way to the market

Because, like it or not, the Narcotic Daffodils are no exception to the transparency rule. They belong to the no-mystery period of those modern times and swim into it with the joy of an obese kid suddenly pushed in a pool of warm chocolate: they explain everything clearly, are nice to the fans, leave nothing to mist and politely thank everyone for the wonderful accordion part, the oh wow extraordinary concert on that big stage or the friend that drew that superb artwork thank you we love you all. Sign of the times, nothing else. Nowadays music business has the boring rules of the condom-driven society: shhh, play safe or die trying.

As clear as mineral water: nothing to hide. Absolutely nothing.

As clear as mineral water: nothing to hide. Absolutely nothing.

However, although too clear and obvious to really deserve the misty ‘narcotic’ label, the Daffodils have an indisputable argument in their luggage: their strong, tasty and inspired songs. It was pregnant on their 2011 self-titled opus, and even more on the brand new thing called “Cellex”.


Music itself may not be what makes a musician a star, but to that point who cares? The Narcotic Daffodils at least know how to use their instrument and how to write, arrange and play a bunch of very decent tracks. “Cellex” has the elegance of not sounding overly nostalgic and avoids the trap of the 70’s-sound-a-like parody where the overrated Machiavel ridiculously failed year after year.

It's a long way to the top...

It’s a long way to the top…

Instead, the Daffodils deliver a rock-solid, timeless effort that still has the freshness and spark and most of all inspiration of what a more regular band would have released as a third, even fourth album. Unsurprisingly, the band seems tighter after 5 years of live performances, and what comes out is a pleasant album that contains little if no filler at all.

Although not as diverse in style as the band claims (so there’s a punk song here? WHERE?!), the songs of “Cellex” are smartly coloured in various palettes that makes the listen an enjoyable trip in a world where music lost most of its meaning.

Still, the Daffodils didn’t launch a new punk revolution, but after all, who did? Not even the Sex Pistols. Not even.

Sex Pistols

Related links:
The Narcotic Daffodils: to buy “Cellex” and other stuff
Irène & Hakim on Gilles Snowcat’s “Mokomoko Collection”
Irène & Hakim on Awaken’s “How Many ‘L’ Were In Your Name?

Something like 100 years ago, composer Hervé Gilles and Gilles Snowcat not only created the longest lasting confusion of the Awaken world (“how come Gilles can be a first and a last name? Who is who? Are they the same person?”), but also recorded a tune that would be on the then-new now-collector “Party In Lyceum’s Toilets”.

The news of today is that Hervé Gilles just released a LP, “First Day”, on the might CD Baby shop.

First Day (Hervé Gilles)
If you want to hear what good a real composer is able to do to your ears, “First Day” is obviously for you.

Hakim Rahmouni and Irène Csordas, the lads you hear every morning when you play your copy of “Mokomoko Collection”, also have a serious job: they co-lead the Narcotic Daffodils with a bunch of more or less grumpy instrumentists.

And that band just left the cosy studio with a brand new thing called “Cellex”, which is not related to the famous anti-aging skin care company, as far as we know.

Franck Carducci hasn’t played with Gilles Snowcat yet, and may never do so, but both have a common ground under the name of Nicolas ‘Nicozark’ Leroy, who plays on both “Mokomoko Collection” from GS and “Oddity” from FC.

Franck Carducci

The news here is that Carducci will stop in Belgium with his band to perform “Oddity” and other oddities on Saturday the 22nd of February. Here are the tour dates:

21/02/2014 (20:00): L’Antipode, Paris [France]. Info.

22/02/2014 (20:30): La Chapelle, Mons [Belgium]. Info.

23/02/2014 (15:00): ‘t Blok, Rotterdam [Netherlands]. Info.

13/03/2014 (21:00): Le Brin de Zinc, Chambery [France]. Info.

12/06/2014 (21:00): Satellit cafe, Roanne [France]

And last but surely not least, the volume 21 of the Video News from it’s Oh! MUSIC has just been released, featuring Ayaka, Armelle LC, Narcotic Daffodils and yours truly.

it's Oh! Video News 2/2014

You know, if you click on the lady up there, she wil tell you some interesting news. Some cherry trees, a report from Holland by yours truly, a sushinterview of two Narcotic Daffodils, Mr Ko Sherman and MC MISAKI are on this special bangumi. 桜、桜!