Monday, 10 September 2007

Les Lutins, The Imps of Quebec!

One of the finest garage acts that came out of the province of Quecbec in the 1960's were a group of guys who called themselves Les Lutins. Forming in 1963 in the town St-Hyacinthe (The Liverpool of Quebec!), the band began performing at various dance venues locally but due to their ages (11-12 at the time) they were unable to break into the industry. However the first grains of success were laid when the band appeared on the radio station CHRS as part as a radiothon along with other groups from the region in December 1964. The following summer the band made more headway, winning a large battle bands contest, in which 36 groups from across Quebec took part. Out of this came the chance to release a record with Laval Records, who sponsored the event. The release went no where and it was just under two years before fate took a positive step.

During this time the band developed their style into one that was influenced by the influx of British mod groups, such as The Who and The Kinks. As a result another release was put out (Je Cherche/Elle n'a rein compris), this time on the newly formed Carrousel records, owned by Roger Valley. Under the wing of Alain Blanchard's sister, Nicole, the group took on a plan to release a single around every three months. The increasing popularity and the constant releases of the group meant that a number of singles remained in high chart positions at the same time. These included Dany, dedicated to singer Dany Aube, and Laissez-nous vivrez.

A collaboration with artist Jacques Michel provided the group with their greatest hit, Monsieur le robot, while their self-titled first album proved a hit also. After a tour, and more singles, their second album Les Lutins en orbite was released with praise given to new guitarist Richard Guillemette, previously of Les Intendents, work on cuts Girl and Les yeux fermes. As 1968 came to a close Simon Brouillard, the singer of the group, left the band in pursuit of a solo career. The group continued on as a four piece, but by the end of the decade the band had parted company.

And there you go!

Band Members:

  • Alain Blanchard: bass (1964-1969)
  • Simon Brouillard: vocals
  • Normand Brouillard: drums
  • Serge Lambert: guitar
  • Richard Guillemette: guitar (1968-1969)

Additional Members:

  • Luc Dozois: drums (1963-1964)
  • André Richard: guitar (1963-1965)
  • Yvan Saint-Onge: guitar (1965-1968)
And!!! Here's an absolutely amazing clip from Youtube of the guys performing my favourite track Je suis du bois!!! C'est très merveilleux!! I really dig the dance moves!, (mental note to incorporate them into my own....)

As for the download I have uploaded some of my favourite tracks from these guys. Please do take a listen, you wont be disappointed!