Tuesday 17 June 2014

Electro Deluxe - London optimism

James Copley
The first thing that slaps you in the face is the sheer charisma of Electro Deluxe's frontman James Copley. His clean lines and true voice make it almost impossible to look the other way. That is how I spent most of last Tuesday (10/06/2014), rubber necking at the Camden Barfly, as this 7-piece French import crash landed upon London's shores.

Thomas Faure - sax
Electro Deluxe are more than one man, with an impressive range of up-tempo dancefloor swingers that use both lyrical and instrumental hooks to pulse a crowd to life. This was a modest affair for their first visit to the UK and one that without doubt will spurn a longer and more ambitious run of gigs in the future. You could fill a venue 5 times the size just with the eager Francophiles who inhabit London's bedsits and house-shares.

There is very little that makes their brand of Beat, Brass and Class exclusive to Gaulish music lovers but there is a devil-may-care attitude that refreshingly makes our stiff upper lip feel like an irritation in such a buoyant atmosphere as this.
Bertrand Luzignant - Trombone

Mathieu Gramoli - drums
James Copley wore a healthy sheen of sweat within seconds of Electro Deluxe's first tune along with a bow tie and blue silver 'Gump' suit that like it's most famous exponent, Norman Wisdom, was held together by one solitary button that strained under it's owner's excesses. It was the instrumental 'Ground' that was an early 'tour de force', horn led, with Bertrand Luzignant's trombone pumping in the verve. It epitomised the group's high energy brand of authentic bone-shaking funk.

Gael Cadoux - Keys
Going against the grain with the gentle and soulful 'Comin Home' James Copley illustrated why he is worth his weight in blue-eyed twinkles. Amongst the more high octane tunes in their repertoire you would imagine this tune would be a damp squib, but in Copley's hands it is an opportunity for interaction with his audience. His voice was gentle and soft like the fur on a peach but as you bit deeper into Copley's richness you couldn't help but feel his sweet juice roll down your chin.

Vincent Payen - Trumpet
Not all that Electro Deluxe served us was as well balanced, there were moments of pastiche that caught in the throat but they served their purpose amongst more complex dishes. 'Play' gave us a high moment in both fluidity and intelligence. Led by the horn section that included both Vincent Payen (trumpet) and Thomas Faure (Saxophone). It soon showcased the dexterity of Gael Cadoux on keys and it was a welcome diversion, a melodic voyage and at its peak the tune was a runaway train.

The engine of Electro Deluxe's locomotive is powered by the bass of Jeremie Coke and evident in 'Showdown', another cut from their 4th studio album 'HOME' that was released at the end of last year. Coke is one of the original pioneers of the Deluxe sound and a qualified engineer in his own right so it is no surprise he lays the foundation for the group as a whole.

Jeremie Coke - Bass
With a healthy tour ahead of them it will not be long before their infectious beats spread further than the French motherland and into the European continent. It doesn't take a genius either to examine the evidence from this night's performance. They are an upbeat and talented group that rouse the crowd and appeal to their optimistic inclinations. This sentiment as you might know can sometimes be slow to rise in the heart of London's metropolitan set, but now their cups runneth over.


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