My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 17 June 2012

♫ Music Showcase: Memoires D'Automne ♫

Band Name: Memoires D'Automne
Genre: French Coldwave
Language: French and English
Active: 1992 - 2000
Origin: Roanne, France
Page: On MySpace

I'm not sure how many of the people who frequent my blog are going to be familiar with what French Coldwave is, but to be very brief and vague it is a similar style to what in the UK was termed Goth, but lasted longer, starting in the latter seventies (and influenced by UK acts such as early Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division, etc.) and lasting into the mid nineties. It is not to be confused with American Coldwave, which is more related to Industrial music.

I recently found a gem while perusing reasonably obscure Coldwave bands in stumbling across Memoires D'Automne. A lot of the smaller bands don't really compete with the well known bands of the era, but with Memoires D'Automne  their music is enjoyable (although not exactly joyful!), danceable, and actually rather good. According to their MySpace page, they cite The Cure, Joy Division, Clan of Xymox and And Also the Trees as their influences. I would add a dash of Bauhaus to what they actually sound like. Lead singer Denis Régnault does not do the eerily arch singing Peter Murphy does, but does have a very lamenting and haunting voice that conveys emotion well. Making music as a small independent band in the early to mid nineties rather than the early eighties meant that Memoires D'Automne had the ability to have a relatively good production quality despite not being signed to a major label.

Memoires D'Automne are relatively late in that genre, only forming in 1992 (which is still 20 years ago!). The band originally consisted of 3 members, previously of the band "The Joy Stream" (which I can't find anything about at all, not even a passing reference!), who were drummer Hervé Becouse, bassist Sandrine Cognet and guitarist and singer Denis Régnault. They then were joined by Marc Zottos as a second guitarist and by Laurent Marcoux as a second singer. Like many small bands, they first started with local gigs, and gathered the support of a local audience. Late in 1993, Marc and Laurent left the band, reducing it back to the original 3.

They produced a demo album called 'Gloria Victis', which attracted the attention of minor independent label Alea Jacta Est. They produced two studio releases; the single "Memoires D'Automne" titled after the band rather than either of the two songs, and the studio album Cliché. 200 copies of their first two releases were made, and 500 of their last, which I think indicates well how they really were a small operation. They toured around France and parts of French-speaking Europe through the nineties. Sabrine went on to be in French Post-Punk act Naked Man. Songs by Memoires D'Automne have also appeared on various genre compilations.

My favourite songs by them are "Trauma" and "Fatalité" I haven't found all of their songs available to listen to freely and legally online, nor anywhere I can buy their work, to say I like everything they have produced, but that which I have heard I have enjoyed.

I apologise for a lack of images, but I can't find who owns the copyright on what few images of them there are to ask permission.


  1. Hello we have published a vinyl lp of Mémoires D'Automne (end of 2012) it's still available on our shop.

    It's the release on vinyl of their demo-tape "Cliché" a masterpiece of french coldwave.

    Stanislas for Trinity/Meidosem Rds

    1. Oh! Excellent :) Thankyou for taking the time to tell me about this :D I will hopefully order a copy soon :)

  2. Memoires D'automne, grande banda! Beautiful! so good!


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