Hot Club de Paris - Audio 4th October

If I know one thing after Saturday night, I know to never expect the unexpected. That, and the Spanish Inquisition, no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition. Many months ago, fresh after a move to the bright lights of Brighton, I was keen to put my name down for every gig going. Hot Club de Paris you say? In Audio you say? Sounds like some kind of awesome feast of electronica I say. Mmmm…….glorious electronica on a Saturday night in a pretty cool venue as venues go.

Now, I am not one to go anywhere unprepared. I listen to bands before forming an opinion on them. A novel approach these days you understand. So, imagine my surprise when I was confronted with their myspace page. ‘How exciting’ I thought, ‘An evening of pingy guitars and androgynous haircuts. What better way to spend my Saturday evening?’.

Upon arrival, the sight of Heels Catch Fire on stage does nothing to alleviate any concerns I may have about the standard of the musical offerings. They are just terrible. A mish-mash of various plagiarised ideas, lost in their woeful delivery, personified best by their severely out of time, rather interesting looking bassist. The less said about Heels Catch Fire the better. Their closing song was good.

By the time Hot Club are ready to go on stage, I am at breaking point. It’s £3.45 a beer, it’s pissing down with rain outside, and the really hot lesbians at the bar turn out not to be and also a little on the under-age side. Not to mention some fresher has had way too much to drink and collapsed right in the middle of me chatting up (somewhat successfully at the time) the innocent looking barmaid.

I expect the night to continue in the disappointing manner that has past. I expect a bunch of skinny Scousers to take the stage and whine. I expect, in all honesty, nothing.

Instead, I am greeted with a big big sound. A sound that is far more deserving of the venue that is hosting it. I’ve been to a lot of indie gigs in my time, and I am always astounded at the feeble sound that generally accompanies them. Hot Club de Paris are anything but feeble. They jump up and grab you by the proverbials.

There is no whining. In fact there is little communication at all. The band seem happy to turn up, play their songs and then bugger off. No complaints here. Live performances are about the music. I couldn’t give a shit about any kind of vacuous statement that any band who are only half aware of where they are seem inclined to make. However, this particular neglect on their part does seem to leave the atmosphere somewhat lacking.

You cannot, make the same criticism of their delivery. I don’t particularly like the songs. They seem rather bland and lacking in any real inspiration, but this isn’t a CD review. People like Hot Club de Paris, or they wouldn’t go to their gigs. The absence of substantial numbers in the crowd perhaps reflect that this is a band that is still growing. However, you can see that the material is there. The cohesion and delivery is something that Heels Catch Fire could only dream of. Hot Club de Paris are perhaps not what I expected, but they have a long way to go yet.