31 March 2011

Gig Review: Yelle

Hey guys! Sorry for the slight delay in spoon-feeding you up-to-date information on the latest music sensation. I managed to go to a gig that I have personally been waiting a long time for. The band in question is Yelle. To quickly fill you in on some background of this cute little band, Yelle have been knocking about now for around 6 years. In their native France they are a highly revered and much loved alternative band. Even in the usually self-contained North American market and in mainland Europe they have a steadfast presence. Forming in 2005, they signed to Source Records and have made notable headway over the coming years, performing at Coachella and remixing for a certain Katy Perry. However in the UK there sadly seems to be an underlying frostiness towards these guys. A lack of understanding for some part perhaps. Regardless of the uphill struggle, Yelle are doing their best to melt the icy hearts of us channel neighbours by wooing us with joyous, uptempo electropop infused with avantgarde French spontaneity and cheeky European fun.

The gig was performed at The Haunt, after the club had a recent refit and name change and tonight was the launch of a new club night, so expectations and anticipation definitely enhanced the mood. The night was a sellout and several hundred loyal and eager new music fans crammed themselves onto the tiny dancefloor to grab a slice of the Yelle pie. Support came in the form of London's very own Cocknbullkid, who excellently warmed the crowd up with a sophisticated and hardy stage presence and confident performance; conjuring up visual similarities to VV Brown or a post-Gossip, more mellowed Beth Ditto.

Then, after a short interval riddled with heavy-bass interlude music the stage goes dark and this swamp-like green monster waddles onto the stage. True to form, singer Julie Budet opts for visual Gallic flair and extrovert styling that could easily give Marina Diamondis a run for her "I am not a Robot" generated money. Sweeping the costume aside, Yelle and her musical comrades light up the stage and blaze forth into a forceful and infectious performance heavy with steady beats, a lung-vibrating bass and 'Francais Discotheque' nonchalance. Each song flowed superbly into the other; silky and sublime. A barrage of one glittery song to the next ensured that the full Yelle experience was bestowed upon us all.

Treating us to the likes of "La Musique"; a spacious electro journey of twitchy synths and ghostly echoes, both steady yet compositionally maleable. Laced with Budet's Franco-infused dialectic it created a mesmeric, starry effect upon the audience. "Qui Est Cette Fille" started off juvenile and bubbly yet ploughs through into a stomping anthemic chorus filled with steady beats, voluminous synths, competent staccato keying and the serene, yet direct voice of Budet. The more mature songs were excellently complimented by the brazen and anarchic "Je Veux Te Voir", which I couldn't help be reminded of that Daphne and Celeste car crash "Oh stick you, your mamma too and your daddy".

Insulting comparisons aside, Yelle execute ostentatious bubblegum electro-pop with acquired skill and a certain 'Joie de vivre'. Rolling off one credible piece of music genius after another is not hard for this lot, and with their latest hit "Safari Disco Club" they pack a mighty overseas talented punch aimed straight at the English face of obnoxiousness. In "Safari Disco Club", Yelle possess a uniqueness that could stir the imaginations of an ever so slightly stagnant UK electro-pop scene. The tune is catchy, bold and childish in a way. Percussion instrumentation mixed with warbling synths and a whomping intermittent bass with the always voluptuous vocals of Budet gel in a way that makes the whole Yelle package rather charming and overtly colourful. So come on Yelle, inject some of your magic into the comatose UK scene, "OUI OUI OUI!"

Check out the excellent music video for "Safari Disco Club" and it's lovely B-Side "Que Veux-tu"; the video is constructed perfectly to compliment the Yelle way of thinking; a bit crazy, obsurd, fun and above all, enjoyable.

As always check out the Facebook/Myspace/Twitter pages of Yelle and show them some love. The album is now available to download online and in various record stores so get a hurry on, it's mega.

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