Tuesday, 29 January 2008

moshi moshi mystery weekend

Last weekend, I went to Fleche D’Or twice as some of the brightest British talent crossed the Channel for a weekend in Paris.

First up was the takeover of Fleche D’Or by Moshi Moshi Records, one of London’s finest independent record labels. They have been quietly bubbling away for a few years now, bringing early releases for the likes of Hot Chip, The Rakes and then adding to it with further releases by Au Revoir Simone, Mates of State, Hot Club de Paris. It’s over the last year though, with the start of their Moshi Moshi Singles Club allied to some high-quality signings that you really start to see the strength of this label….

The Singles Club is a series of Ltd Edition 7”’s, usually by artists not on their roster that then seem to go on to ink large deals – Kate Nash’s Caroline’s A Victim / Birds preceded her deal with Fiction, and Late of the Pier’s Bathroom Gurgle came before their signing to Parlophone. Friendly Fires, Elle S’Appelle and Dananakroyd look set to follow in their footsteps this year and achieve big things. Michael Moshi is also described as Emmy the Great’s svengali on the sleeve notes for her recent single, Gabriel. Make of that what you will.

The signings on their roster that look set to impress with albums this year were on show in Paris last Friday. Due to the weirdness of French listings information, it’s really hard to tell the running order as the headliners aren’t always at the top. I got confused and missed half, if not slightly more of The Wave Pictures.

I was really impressed with the songs I’d heard off their Myspace and off Transparent. Collaboration is a key word for them, having recorded with the likes of Andre Herman Dune, whilst they were joined on stage at the gig by Slow Club’s Laura.

The most striking thing about them is their singer’s voice, which takes a bit of getting used to. It has a certain quality to it that I don’t whether to pity or praise, it fits suitably with the lyrics which are mostly about desperate pleas and regrets. The music is not especially complex, but they have a certain charm which draws you in. They have released quite a few CDs and you can download a few of them off their website. A full length album on Moshi Moshi is to follow later this year. It’s a pity I didn’t see more of them.

The Wave Pictures – Leave The Mirror Alone (Herman Dune cover)

The curtains close. I drink most of my hipflask. Slow Club emerge on stage, singer Charles looks pretty swish with a nice quiff. Their music is undeniably cute/adorable/lovely/insert cuddly adjective here and even on the more energetic numbers they still sound sweet like cupcakes and home-made lemonade, even if the quiff disintegrated into a droopy, sweaty mess. The set was a bit of a shambles with the band having to restart songs a couple of times. I felt for them as they just got the giggles, which is pretty unstoppable at times. Rebecca plays a kick drum and a chair standing up and still sounds better than Meg White. Their album will soundtrack a lot of summers lying on the grass, or something like that. Their best song was their first, possibly entitled When I'm 22 - please correct me if I'm wrong.

The next night I returned to the Fleche D’Or for Mystery Jets, who were due to play songs from their second album, entitled Twenty One, which should be out this spring. It’s taken me a while to make my mind up about Mystery Jets, I first saw them way back in 2004 supporting Bloc Party and was impressed by their ramshackle harmony laden performance. I’ve seen them about ten times since and for a while, I got a bit bored of them.

The Erol Alkan produced version of Diamonds in the Dark got me very excited though, as it seemed to capture the eccentric nature of Mystery Jets better. It just had something that the live show didn’t, which I think can be important. I bought the US album, Zootime, which had a few more Alkan produced tracks and it hasn’t really left my MP3 player since. Their new album had Alkan behind the decks and the set they played at Fleche D’Or was filled with some absolute gems. Shorn of Henry, Blaine's dad, the new look Jets look incredibly tight and had the confidence to only play two songs from their first album, which is refreshing. Check out the video footage of Young Love below also. Go to myspace to listen to the whole thing, it's their next single featuring Laura Marling and it's amazing.

Mystery Jets – Diamonds in the Dark
Mystery Jets – Scarecrows in the Rain

EDIT: Have decided Young Love is too good. Will have another post just for itself soon.

I must admit I’m a bit out of blogging practice. I’ve been meaning to write more on here but have found myself hindered by my temporary laptop, which isn’t very 2008 – it doesn’t even have a CD drive. It cries for more virtual memory every time I play a song and I have to hold the internet cable in the socket at times to keep everything going. It’s like swimming in treacle. I’m really hungover too, but I just needed to post something. These technical issues really haven’t aided my quest for continuity. I can barely think straight. Should be a singles of the year for 2007, soonish but I’m not going overboard with all the end of year stuff.

I’m back in London this weekend for a few days and will be going to some gigs. Most likely Noah and the Whale on Sunday at Blue Flowers and DURRR on Monday. The below video is also genius.

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