Plastic Bertrand was the alias of new wave prankster Roger Allen François Jouret, a native of Belgium who appropriated the sound and style of the new wave movement in order to give it a gently satirical poke in the ribs while scoring several European hits in the process.
Jouret began his musical career as a drummer for the Belgian punk trio Hubble Bubble, which recorded one unsuccessful album.
When Jouret met producer/songwriter Lou Deprijck, the two struck up a recording partnership and Jouret emphasised his pretty-boy looks and punkish fashion sense.
Their first effort, Ça Plane Pour Moi (“This Life’s for Me”), is widely regarded as a new wave classic for its gleefully deranged stupidity, with Jouret singing French nonsense lyrics in a cartoonish voice over basic three-chord rock & roll complete with saxophones and a falsetto vocal hook straight out of The Beach Boys or Four Seasons.
The song was a smash in Europe and became a cult favourite in America.
Plastic Bertrand continued to release records in Europe, including a hit UK remake of The Small Faces‘ Sha-La-La-La-Lee. Bertrand experimented with seemingly every new wave fashion, including spacy electronics, disco, bubblegum pop, reggae, and spoken word rap, all with the same naggingly entertaining stupidity.
He remained popular on the European continent and in Canada for several years, where audiences were more attuned to his largely French lyrics, but the novelty eventually wore off.