Oh, le French. Not to be cliché but in the top ten romantic things in the world surely both musicians and all things French have a place. An evening of listening to music while having wine and some brie, sign us up any time. Last weekend’s Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival wasn’t short on some really good French bands that caught our eye. Like Villejuif Underground, Juniore (more on that later) and Rendez-Vous.

Parisian post-punkers Rendez-Vous are a band that we’ve been listening to for a while now. They sound like the cooler, more vibrant younger brother of Joy Division, and definitely look the part too. But with song titles like ‘Sentimental Animal’, and the ever present french clichés of romance, we were mostly curious about the softer side of the band. So we planned to talk to the band-members about their most perfect romantic ‘rendez-vous’.  About an imaginary first date. We were expecting real pro’s from the city of light and love. Picturing candlelit convos about 60s literature over some shared cheese fondue. Or maybe a walk past the Seine with a bottle of red. But boy were we wrong. Turns out, if you really want to catch them doing that, you need to be a bit more invested than just a first date. Because, apparently, in France, they don’t really do first dates at all. The band told us a bit more about why that is. And in the end they even promised us a second date. A more in-depth, intensive meeting will follow at Grauzone Festival in a week. Maybe we’ll even ask them about their favorite records.

So we kept our first little rendez-vous with them light and funny, true french first-date style.

What would be your perfect first ‘rendez-vous’?
– all the guys start laughing –

”We don’t really like first dates…’’ they say with a face like they just confessed stealing a cookie from their moms kitchen.

‘’I don’t think any French guy does. Maybe we are a bit different in that than, for example, Americans are. It’s just too awkward to not know a person and already have to spend more than a couple of hours just with the two of you. It just doesn’t feel natural. It’s very oldschool to do that when you’ve just met.’’

How do you get to know a girl?
”You just invite them to hang out with your friends. So when the conversation starts to get awkward or less interesting you can turn to them. It’s safer and more fun in a group because you still have the option to talk to your friends too. You can also see if your friends approve of the girl and if they like each other, that is important too.”

So never too serious?
”It’s always better to be funny in the beginning, to charm someone. Being serious can always come later. A proper date with restaurant and everything is for serious relationships. For girlfriends and stuff.”

What about tinder?
”We all tried it once but it didn’t work out. The conversations where always the same and it is almost the same as an awkward one-on-one date. You need more fun in the beginning.”

– They all grin a bit and stare in one direction –

”One of us had a Tinder date in America once and that was super weird; She really wanted to go out together and do it all romantic. It ended very tame and awkwardly and the conversation was not very interesting at all. But after that she contacted me again, in the end it turned out that she just wanted to have sex but felt like she needed to have a date first to be able to do that. Why go through all the trouble for a date first when you can just be honest? Maybe the French are fucked up about that, sorry… It’s like kissing on the first date: if you want to, just do it. And that counts for the boy and the girl.”

No, we totally get it, there shouldn’t be so much rules in dating.
”Exactly. We don’t like all the fuzz and if you really like each other it will work out anyway. We don’t believe in too much rules. Not in dating and not in music either by the way. Making your own rules is way more fun and fun is what life should be about.”

So when a girl becomes your girlfriend, then it’s the time to take her out? 
”Of course! If you really know her you will want to be romantic.”

What are your favorite places to go on a real date after it gets serious enough? 
“That is pretty different for all of us. Partying is fun, going to a club and dance together. But also going out to eat is always good. Not that original but it really depends on the person.
But, especially in Paris, walking is the best thing to do with your date. It’s amazing to see all the different places and keep discovering new things you didn’t see before. Every neighborhood has its own culture and faces and smells. Montmartre is very romantic. And Belleville is very good because it is something else from the rest. Walking is also good for meeting someone new, because you will see what you like instantly by reaction on the various places. Discovering a city together is pretty romantic. Maybe that is the best first date french style.”


Come see Rendez-Vous play (and maybe catch us second dating) at Grauzone Festival in The Hague next weekend.

*click here to attend*

@rendezvousrendezvous ///// bandcamp