Bikini machine

In the grip of sound

Picture 1 Bikini machine Picture 2 Bikini machine

So is it the string guitars that give the group Bikini Machine its name? The fact remains that the band, formed in 2001 from the ashes of another Rennes legend called Skippies, regularly turns Brittany’s capital on its head.

So, a bikini… will it be a Brazilian? Nope – a Breton, as this sixties garage rock combo has always been a rising star of the Rennes scene, ever since the Skippies years. Like many local movers and shakers, this group (founded in 2001) owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Transmusicales festival. Seeing their talent, the festival supported them from the very beginning, when they had no album but were as happy with a microphone as a baby with a bottle. It was obvious from the outset that Bikini Machine could keep building castles in the air, and this inescapable musical missile from Rennes went on to an exotic tour of the island of Réunion. 

A machine to lift the crowds

In 2003, still without a record to their name, Bikini Machine set the crowd alight at the Vieilles Charrues (Old ploughs) Festival. Essentially a stage band, they decided to immortalise this performance as a first album, An Introduction to Bikini. Next came a homage to Jacques Dutronc, showing a real taste for the serial crooner’s boom bang ‘yé-yé’ style. What else can you do, when, as Dutronc says, some people are tight-fisted, and others get off on ignoring Dutronc’s advice and using cacti as chairs…?

At the epic Chinese Transmusicales spectacular in 2005 the group proved that they truly are a machine to lift the crowds, and they kept the heat on right up until Daily Music Cooking, their second album cooked up in a sixties style – and once again with a sprinkling of yé-yé madness. They kept it cooking with 2009’s The Full Album, lovingly simmered in pop and electro style, with John Spencer’s explosive signature shining through. ‘Where do dirty boxers go when they die?’ The rag box, of course! When Bikini are old and past it, they can still feel proud when they listen to these magnificent covers that will remind them of their former glory. ‘Cos there’s plenty going on around here, with this group in the grip of sound.