La Femme – Old styles tweaked for a new age

French band La Femme brought their blend of self described synthetic and hypnotic rhythms to the Rockhal on Wednesday night.

With a debut album called “Psycho Tropical Berlin” you can’t be surprised this band are a hard one to pin down to any particular genre. They sail from surf pop to coldwave from Beach Boys to The Velvet Underground, which makes them all that bit more alluring.

Having only just finished mixing their new album, La Femme will be looking to build on the critical acclaim of their debut “Psycho Tropical Berlin”, released back in 2013.

With the new album expected this September, they kicked off the evening with the sultry lead single “Sphynx”. The slow meandering synths had the unmistakable breathy dreamlike vocals of Clémence Quélennec bounding along to create the infectious groove that served them so well on their debut. If this is anything to go by they could be onto another great record come the end of the year.

Their blend of 60s style American surf pop guitar and twee indie keys mixed with some electro synths made for an irresistible head bobbing, feet shuffling start to the evening.

As ambitious as their sound is there is also a real sense of lo-fi DIY to the band, which makes them that bit more accessible as they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. They were clearly having fun on stage which translated to the audience as pockets of dancing broke out throughout the venue.

For some of us non French folk, there is a certain unattainable air of cool that they can possess and to which we can only aspire, La Femme were oozing of it last night. The band themselves were all dressed in their own unique style which only went to highlight the varying array of musical genres on offer. They look like a band of individuals that came together to create a cohesive musical force.

Although as much as their style is important, for a couple of the band their clothes wouldn’t last the whole show, as some lucky member of the audience got a sweaty sock off guitarist and keyboard player Sacha Got, as he slowly stripped down to his boxers. Whilst frontman Marlon Magnée decided to part with his t-shirt launching it into the crowd, before taking the keyboard from it’s stand and playing it like a keytar, basically an 80s strap keyboard (I always wanted one as a child) this once more reaffirming that they are not taking themselves too seriously.

By the encore they had taken us to an electro synth disco which had the crowd all dancing around and letting loose. Having described their new album as being more pop, more underground and more spontaneous they have certainly left it open to wide interpretation but if last night is anything to go by it certainly won’t be boring.

20.04.16 – Rockhal


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