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Speakeasy's Jean-Louis Schell has teamed with Paris rock venue Supersonic on the new company, with a focus on breaking fresh talent
By James Hanley on 07 Feb 2022
French concert organiser Speakeasy has joined forces with Paris rock club Supersonic to launch new national promoter, Take Me Out, with a focus on breaking emerging artists.
Run by live music industry veteran Jean-Louis Schell, Speakeasy worked with acts such as The Libertines and Kasabian, while the 300-cap Supersonic in Bastille has welcomed the likes of Yungblud, The Warlocks, Nick Olivieri and Soccer Mommy, along with DJ sets by Peter Hook, Anton Newcombe and Carl Barat, among others.
“The idea behind Take Me out is to build on the strengths of both companies to spot talent early on and book their gigs on French territory,” Schell tells IQ.
“The Supersonic has been attracting crowds for the past six years with three free shows a night, a strong programme of up and coming international acts and indie nights. The next step for them was obvious – to become a concert promoter – but they needed the skills and a team. I know how to contribute to an artist’s career and I have a strong network of agents, festivals and venues.
“Supersonic wanted to team up with Speakeasy because before the pandemic they would book an artist with Speakeasy at least once a month, and also appreciated the fact that I went to the shows to see the artist play. I began to know the team quite well and value their dedication to live music.”
“Business is coming back and things are looking good, but more difficult than in the past”
Schell explains the idea to launch Take Me Out was formulated last summer.
“It all came together very quickly, at a time when standing shows were allowed but problems with international tours would still arise because of travelling difficulties,” he recalls. “As far as the organisation goes, it was mostly administrative issues since I just moved my roster from my own company to the new one.
“We want to take the artists as far as we can while remaining independent. We believe there is a lot of potential for international rock and pop artists in France.”
Take Me Out plans to run venues of all sizes, with upcoming dates already in the diary at Supersonic, Maroquinerie, Trianon and Elysée Montmartre, with shows at Zénith also set to be confirmed soon.
“The plan is to take artists way beyond small-sized venues such as the Supersonic,” he notes.
France has announced a gradual easing of restrictions on live events, with audience capacity limits for seated events already lifted and standing events permitted from 16 February.
“Business is coming back and things are looking good, but more difficult than in the past,” adds Schell. “The pandemic crisis has turned into a systemic one. So the only way for us is to find how to bring people back in small and medium venues, which are the core of our business. Let’s say it’s a bet on a brighter future.”
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