Patrice Lemoine

Born : April 15th, 1953 - Marigny (France)
Past Bands : Vertige (1970-71), Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes (1971-74, 1978-80), Arc (1974-75), Gong (1975-76), Isaac Guillory Band (1976-77), Valérie Lagrange (1983)

A Short Bio:

Patrice (Abel Léo) Lemoine was born in Marigny in 1953. Developing an early interest for the piano, and later organ, he joined his first band at age 15 (the Hendrix-influenced Following Marks). Having relocated to Strasbourg in 1970, he formed the band Vertige with his brother Jean-Sébastien on bass, a local fanfare drummer and a singer, Cookie Dingler, who later had a major hit single in the Eighties.

It was during this period (1970-71) that the Lemoine brothers first met Pierre Moerlen, then drummer in Hasm Congélateur, alongside guitarist Gabriel Fédérow (later in Magma) and percussionist Mireille Bauer. Although he was offered the opportunity of becoming a professional musician several times, Patrice refused, preferring to work in a factory rather than playing music he didn't like.

In December 1971, Lemoine was hired as organist in Alpes, the band led by singer Catherine Ribeiro with composer/guitarist Patrice Moulet. He remained in the band nearly two years, and was very soon joined by his brother Jean-Sebastien (on bass). He recorded two albums with Alpes : Ame Debout (1972) and Paix (1973). Meanwhile, in January 1973, when Alpes supported Gong (who had just returned from the Flying Teapot sessions) for a couple of gigs in Lyon, he heard they were looking for a drummer, and when he met Pierre Moerlen by chance in a train station a couple of days later, he advised him to contact them. In 1974, Lemoine jammed with members of Gong after the band's concert in Strasbourg.

Following his departure from Alpes, Lemoine relocated to Strasbourg and formed the band Arc with drummer Ronny Schott, a former student of the Percussions de Strasbourg. Arc played progressive rock in the vein of Camel, and was later based in Nancy (involving members of local band Atoll) but never made it to the recording studio. In the summer of 1975, soon after the break-up of Arc, he joined Gong after a chance meeting with Didier Malherbe in London. He toured with the band for one year, including a major European tour in the spring of 1976. He was a major contributor, both as a player and composer, to the Shamal album, produced by Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason and acknowledged by many as a masterpiece of progressive rock.

After the tour, disagreements on the band's musical direction resulted in the departures of Lemoine and Mike Howlett, which left Pierre Moerlen free to continue in the percussion-based vein he would later develop with his PMG band. Lemoine stayed in England for a while, auditioning (unsuccessfully) for Curved Air after Darryl Way's departure, recording contributions for Mick Taylor's solo album (which weren't used) and, more successfully, touring with guitarist Isaac Guillory and an 'ethnic' trio with Didier Malherbe and percussionist Sam Gopal (they played a few gigs in England as well as the Gong reunion in Paris, in May 1977).

Returning to France in 1978, he rejoined Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes, for two further albums and extensive touring in France and abroad (including twice in North Africa). After that, he worked with singer/actress Valérie Lagrange, and former Malicorne bassist/vocalist Olivier Kowalski. By the mid-Eighties, however, he'd stopped live work in favour of film and library music.

In 1987, he became involved in a youth centre in Colombes, near Paris, where he has been working with teenagers on various workshops, some musical, others not. One of them was computer-assisted musical creation, and through this, Lemoine kept himself up-to-date on the latest musical trends. By the mid-Nineties he found himself in tune with the current musical scene again, and dusted off his keyboards and machines.

A new solo album, his first, "Riding My Rocking Clock", was released in October 2000, and was conceived and recorded between 1995-98. It presented a very modern mixture of his current interest in "drum'n'bass" music, and the heritage of his musical past, with nods to old influences like Soft Machine and Terry Riley.

Another CD, "Livre de Bord", was also released in September 2000, on the Diem label. It consisted of music composed and recorded between 1990-95, in a more 'atmospheric' vein. In addition to these solo projects, Patrice was involved with Alpes again in 1999 (now the solo project of Patrice Moullet) for a couple of gigs/multimedia events.