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La Rue Kétanou

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Biography

La Rue Kétanou are a French band whose eclectic style draws from chanson française, reggae, and Gypsy music as well as theater and performance art. Comprised of Florent Vintrigner (accordion, vocals), Olivier Leite (guitar), and Mourad Musset (guitar), the band originally came together as members of Théâtre du Fil, a community arts space on the outskirts of Paris, and first established themselves as street performers (hence the name La Rue Kétanou, which roughly translates to "the street that's ours"). The group's big break came when the bandmembers were befriended by Bibou of the French reggae band Tryo, who invited La Rue Kétanou to tour in support of his band, including some dates at L'Olympia. The Sony Music-affiliated label Yelen Musiques in turn offered La Rue Kétanou a recording contract, and the full-length debut album En Attendant les Caravanes (2001) resulted. The second Rue Kétanou album, Y'a des Cigales dans la Fourmilière (2002), proved more commercially successful, reaching number 32 on the French albums chart and spawning a popular concert tour. The live album Ouvert à Double Tour (2004) was released in commemoration of the band's seemingly nonstop touring, and it was also a big hit commercially, reaching number 22 on the albums chart. Following a five-year sabbatical during which time the bandmembers pursued side projects, La Rue Kétanou released their third studio album, À Contresens (2009), and embarked on an extensive French tour. Their most successful album to date, À Contresens reached number 12 on the albums chart.

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