Paris (Ohh La La) – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

Most rock and roll is about sex. People pretend it isn’t and find new ways to say ‘let’s do it’ without always sounding like Steel Panther. Back in the early days when Miss Lizzie’s were making boys dizzy and requests were made to play with Ding-A-Lings it seemed blatant. What we were dealing with was a bunch of hairy palmed lads making their moves on the bobby soxers of the day.

In the sixties while The Beatles wanted to hold your hand, The Stones were more direct with Let’s Spend The Night Together. Then James Brown wanted to get into ‘Like A Sex Machine’. When the girls were finally allowed to have a go, many of the best euphemisms had been taken.

By the time Dusty had learned from the Son of a Preacher Man it was clear, Girls didn’t get to demand a good seeing to. And Yet, they could sing about it afterwards. Dreamily, in hindsight. Preferably with broken hearts because of it.

So the breathless panting of the Disco era and the empowerment through rebellion of Punk pushed women in rock and roll away from doing a heartfelt booty call. When they did it was seen as the work of exploitative Svengali’s in slick suits pimping out the artists they manage.

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals have a classic rock feel. Their raw blues driven rock and soul show wouldn’t sound out of place with Big Brother and The Holding Co. Nor on tour with Bad Company.

To choose an almost entirely out of context Arctic Monkeys quote to illustrate my point ‘It doesn’t take no Sherlock Holmes’ to work out what Grace Potter is driving at on Paris (Ohh La La). She’s in a good mood. She’s a fun lady! She… She’s talking about doing the deed.

“You got me down on the floor, So what you bring me down here for?”

I’m guessing she’s not interested in inspecting the pile of the carpet. We aren’t looking for contact lenses and This isn’t about yoga.

“If I was a man I’d make my move, If I was a blade I’d shave you smooth”

OK, all pretence is gone. Even the most naïve of would be suitors would get the hint.

“If I was a judge I’d break the law and if I was from Paris, if I was from Paris, I would say ooh la la la la la la la”

National Stereotypes aside, this song is basically a fantastically attractive woman with a show stopping voice demanding some full on action.

What’s not to like?

 

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