Here at TWBITW, we have very strict criteria for weirdness. Start a fake French garage-rock band in New York? Not weird enough. Start a fake version of the fake French garage-rock band, using the same name? Now you’re talkin!
Details of what exactly went down are a bit sketchy, but we know this: at some point, various members of fake French band #1, Les Sans Culottes, got fed up with the band’s lead singer and ringleader, Clermont Ferrand, and decided to start their own fake French band instead. The problems arose when they decided to keep using the name Les Sans Culottes, even though Ferrand had already assembled a new band and was also performing around town as Les Sans Culottes. Ferrand (real name: Bill Carney) eventually took his old bandmates to court, where we can only imagine the judge was tempted to bitch-slap the whole fake French lot of them. The melee was ultimately resolved, however, with Ferrand able to keep calling his band Les Sans Culottes and the second crew of fake Frenchies rechristening themselves Nous Non Plus (which means something like “us no more”).
To make matters even more confusing, there’s also a NYC restaurant called Les Sans Culottes. The phrase, which literally translates to “those without underpants” or, more archaically, “those without knee-breeches,” was apparently originally coined to describe the poorly equipped conscripts of the French Revolutionary army in the late 1700’s.
Anyhoo, although we were bummed that the original incarnation of Les Sans Culottes broke up (we saw them live a few times and they were pretty great), it’s kinda nice to now have not one, but two fake French bands to choose from. Les Sans Culottes 2.0 still sounds like a cross between the B-52’s and a French Ramones; Nous Non Plus, for their part, have taken the music in more of a power-pop direction, but the silly Franglish lyrics still take center stage.
- Nous Non Plus official site
- Nous Non Plus MySpace
- Les Sans Culottes official site
- Les Sans Culottes MySpace