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Rock legends The Who top Paléo bill

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend gives it the windmill Keystone

The Who, Depeche Mode, The Pixies and Tracy Chapman are headlining this year's Paléo Festival, which is being billed as a "line-up of legends, past and future".

The six-day festival in Nyon, which runs from July 18-23, also boasts established and rising stars of the past decade including Ben Harper, Placebo and Goldfrapp.

Setting the pace at the top of the bill are British rock veterans The Who, led by singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend. Famed for their live performances, the band will be making their first appearance at the Paléo.

“The Who are a group that marked my teenage years,” said Paléo founder and president Daniel Rossellat at Tuesday’s festival launch in Nyon. “Equally, they marked the history of rock, and for us it’s a dream that they are coming.”

The 31st Paléo, as in previous years, also goes big on French chanson. This time around the spotlight is aimed at the new generation of French singers including Raphael, Bénabar and Cali.

French rockers are also much in evidence with Indochine, Dionysos and Louise Attaque rubbing shoulders with their Anglo-Saxon counterparts, the Dandy Warhols and Feeder.

The folk line-up is led by American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, who will be joined on the evening of July 21 by old newcomers Amadou and Mariam. Festival planner Jacques Monnier told swissinfo that booking the couple from Mali represented a real coup.

“I first saw them play six or seven years ago but we have never been able to get them until now,” he said. “Tracy Chapman says she really adores them and now they’re playing on the same stage at the same time.”

Placebo, Ben Harper

Fellow festival programmer Sébastien Vuignier highlighted the return of Placebo and Ben Harper, who made their debuts at the Paléo a decade ago.

But he reserved special mention for “emblematic figures” The Pixies, who are playing only eight dates this year – one of them in Nyon.

“The Pixies marked the transition between the 1980s and 1990s towards the grunge movement, paving the way for Nirvana and then later Muse and Placebo,” he said.

Vuignier also drew attention to some of the emerging talent that will be on display at the festival: Editors (Britain), DJ Zebra (France), Hell’s Kitchen (Switzerland) and The Spinto Band (United States).

The line-up also features a reggae beat, with Ziggy Marley and France’s Dub Incorporation on the bill. This year’s “Musiques du Monde” is given over to sounds from the Balkans and eastern Europe.

swissinfo, Adam Beaumont in Nyon

Paléo 2006 main acts:

Tuesday July 21: Ben Harper, The Pixies, Dionysos, Maxime Le Forestier, Katerine.

Wednesday July 22: Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, The Dandy Warhols, Ziggy Marley.

Thursday July 23: The Who, Louise Attaque.

Friday July 24: Tracy Chapman, Amadou and Mariam, Cali, Editors, The Rakes.

Saturday July 25: Placebo, Feeder, Bénabar, Diam’s.

Sunday July 26: Indochine, Joseph Arthur, Raphael.

Last year 222,000 people attended the six-day festival.
Tickets sold out within 11 days.
There were 104 shows on six stages.
This year’s festival budget is SFr18.5 million ($14.6 million).

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR