Video: Watch back-from-the-dead bank robber Gilles Bertin perform in his ’80s punk heyday
“We were very far from being the Sex Pistols,” says Gilles Bertin in DG #31, in which we ask him about the comparisons which have been attracted by his old band from the 1980s, Camera Silens. “We did not have their talent or their creativity; all we were doing was imitating English musicians,” he insists.
He might have a point – they were much more like a cross-channel Clash, though here too there were some subtle differences. While Joe Strummer sang about how Daddy Was a Bankrobber, Bertin actually was a bank robber, taking part in the dramatic armed heist of a Toulouse security firm, on 27th April 1988. And while The Clash famously Fought the Law and the Law Won, Camera Silens’s lead singer, following the robbery, successfully avoided the law for almost three decades, only handing himself in to the law in November 2016 after it had declared him dead six years previously.
In DG #31 we tell Bertin’s dramatic story – and what happened when he finally faced trial in France in June 2018. Below is some footage of Camera Silens on French TV in 1985 performing the gritty title track from their album Réalité – something Bertin would eventually spend 28 years running away from…
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