Following the release of 2019’s conceptual album ”La Paix Ou Le Sable”, French melodic punk outfit Nightwatchers are back. The band just launched the new single ”White Fathers” a track criticizing the French state for its exploitation of occupied territories during France’s colonial era.
”White Fathers” tackles France’s colonisation of Algeria, and the French state's attempts of Christianizing the region to -as citing from the track- ”Make the Algerian land the cradle of a Christian nation, make it great and generous, In a word, another France.”
Julien Virgos from the band further explains the lyrics:
"Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, founding member of the White Fathers, played a central role in justifying French colonization in Africa in the name of the fight against "Muslim barbarism". This song is adapted from a speech he gave to the French army troops in the cathedral of Algiers (1867)."
”White Fathers” follows Nightwatchers’ single ”1905 and the Muslim Exception”, both taken from the band’s upcoming, sophomore album ”Common Crusades”. The album will be released on Lövely Records October 8, and will be available on vinyl and all streaming platforms.
Nightwatchers is a punk band from Toulouse, France. Formed in January 2016 by Freddy,
Kevin, Julien and David, the four piece offers a melodic, punchy and gloomy sound, powered by political subversiveness and social criticism.
Nightwatchers second album ”Common Crusades” was written and recorded during the Covid-19 crisis. Released in autumn 2021 on Lövely Records, the album is a musical and lyrical continuity of their 2019 debut ”La paix ou le sable”. A bit colder and more post punk oriented than before, the album tackles the French colonization and the still visible imprints of these violent actions in modern day France. The lyrics of "Common Crusades” are based on speeches or writings of personalities who played a role in the colonization process, as well as those who currently play a role in the perpetuation of colonial logic within the French society.
Nightwatchers' first album "La paix ou le sable" was released in 2019 on Lövely Records. All the lyrics deal with the abuses and acts of violence perpetrated by the French State within three of its Colonial Empires and territories: Indochina (1887-1954), Algeria (1830-1962), and Cameroon (1916-1960). These lyrics are adaptations of excerpts taken from two books: “Les crimes de l’armée française : Algérie 1954-1962” by Pierre Vidal-Naquet (2001), and “La guerre du Cameroun : l’invention de la Françafrique, 1948-1971,” by Thomas Deltombe, Manuel Domergue and Jacob Tatsitsa (2016). The writing is based on facts and academic works.
The lyrics were written with the objective of raising awareness about the reality of the occupation and colonial violence that were systematically perpetrated throughout all French colonial territories during several centuries, and this, officially, until 1962. Colonization was the experimental field of power systems that would end up by profoundly transforming European modern societies.
The band toured in mainland Europe in may 2019 to support their debut album. They also played a couple of shows in France and Basque Country before flying to Sweden and Norway for 10 Halloween shows in the fall of October 2019. Between 2016 and 2018, Nightwatchers toured Europe twice - mostly in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic; trying to spread their music and their aestetic vision of punk rock beyond the borders.