As loyal readers will know, in recent months my musical project Slowrush has possibly taken precedence over Invisible Bordeaux in terms...

[Musical interlude] A little bit of Invisible Bordeaux in the latest E.P. released by Slowrush


As loyal readers will know, in recent months my musical project Slowrush has possibly taken precedence over Invisible Bordeaux in terms of time and energy levels. But that doesn’t mean the two ventures don’t feed off each other. In fact, two songs on the latest E.P. to have been released by Slowrush are directly inspired by subjects covered on the blog in the past! 


For yes, Slowrush, the band formed by myself with my bassist friend Olivier and drummer son Dorian, have recently unveiled ‘The Neighbourhood E.P.’ and its four new tunes, available now on a streaming platform near you. The two songs which may be of particular significance to Invisible Bordeaux readers are Secret Garden and See The Neighbourhood. And this is why!


The lyrics of Secret Garden are inspired by the story of the silent movie star Max Linder, who was born in Saint-Loubès and educated in Bordeaux. His career and tragic demise (he killed his young wife before taking his own life) was covered in a twin set of articles published simultaneously on Invisible Bordeaux and partner website Invisible Paris. Much of the information shared then was made possible by the tireless research of his daughter Maud Linder, who was still a baby when her parents died. 


Given that the unsavoury end had resulted in Max Linder being airbrushed out of much of the history of cinematography, she had to rebuild the story piece by piece. The quest even involved digging up canisters of film that had been buried in the grounds of the family residence, the “secret garden” of the song’s title. Her findings, how she went about it all, and her own story are brilliantly detailed in Maud Linder’s book “Max Linder était mon père”, and the song also draws heavily on those writings. Maud Linder died in 2017 aged 93. At the time of the Invisible Bordeaux/Paris feature we enjoyed a brief email exchange in which she thanked us for the articles, I like to think she’d approve of the song too!


As for See The Neighbourhood, the song takes the shape of a message from a visually-impaired person to the artist who conceived the bronze 3D maps that can be found at four locations around Bordeaux. These popular pieces of public art have often appeared on Invisible Bordeaux, and the artist responsible for them, François Didier, has become a bit of a friend of the blog over the years.  


The message conveyed by the song is rooted in reality. In early 2020, I was invited to attend the official unveiling of the fourth sculpture, positioned near the Cité du Vin in the Bassins à Flots quarter. Listening to the various testimonies, and talking with people who were familiar with François Didier’s work, there really was a sense that the pieces were very much appreciated by the visually-impaired, as they really did offer them a means to “see the neighbourhood” which surrounds them. We naturally wanted to translate that appreciation and gratitude into song! Oh, and François Didier has been made aware of the piece and was delighted to know his handiwork had also been immortalised in the form of music. 


The Neighbourhood E.P. doesn’t end there, as there are two other songs to enjoy, although they possibly have a little less of a Bordeaux flavour about them… You can work out for yourself what they might be about! And if you’d like to hear the songs in a live setting, we will be performing at Le Steady in Saint-Loubès on July 24, Le Mira in La Teste-de-Buch on August 21, and in Saint-Aubin-de-Médoc town centre on September 18!  


> You’ll find ‘The Neighbourhood E.P.’ on the streaming platform of your choice here:

> You can also listen to the songs on Slowrush’s Bandcamp page here:

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