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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Au Revoir Simone at the Garage: Live Review

The Brooklyn trio’s European tour stops off for an appearance in London on Thursday 20th February 2014.

Written by Richard Pearmain

Au Revoir Simone by Rhi Pardoe

Au Revoir Simone by Rhi Pardoe

It’s that time of year when the NME Awards once again roll into town – a series of gigs showcasing the great and the good of the current and up-and-coming music scene at assorted venues around the capital. Tonight was the turn of Williamsburg’s finest, Au Revoir Simone, currently mid-tour promoting their new album, at the Garage on Highbury Corner.

The Garage was already pretty busy when I got there, darkened and swirling with enough dry ice to prompt flashbacks to student disco nights, but I was just in time to catch some of the opening set, from the intriguing Mariam The Believer.

Au Revoir Simone by Ruth Joyce

Au Revoir Simone by Ruth Joyce

In the decade since they first got together, the trio of Erika Forster, Annie Hart and Heather D’Angelo have produced some shimmering sounds with their keyboards, drum machines and vocal harmonies, picking up a lot of fans along the way including, somewhat improbably, cult film director David Lynch. Au Revoir Simone’s fourth album, Move In Spectrums, has given the band’s already lush synth pop sound an extra sheen, as witnessed on the LP’s lead single, the double A side of Crazy and Somebody Who.

Au Revoir Simone by Sylwia Szyszka

Au Revoir Simone by Sylwia Szyszka

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Tonight was the first time I’d seen Au Revoir Simone in a couple of years (I’d caught them play Union Chapel and the Scala a while ago, but missed the sold out show at XOYO last September). Backlit on a darkened stage, the band kicked off with the cascading keyboard riffs of Just Like A Tree, which was followed by another track from the new album, the eerily 80s sounding Gravitron. There were actually quite a few songs from Move In Spectrums dotted throughout the set, but also a number from 2009’s Still Night, Still Light as well – Only You Can Make You Happy made an appearance, as did Knight Of Wands and, amongst others, the insistent Anywhere You Looked. Still Night, Still Light is probably the album that sits best with the band’s new long player, and I’m pretty sure none of their earlier tracks got a look in tonight.

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Au Revoir Simone by Calamus YY Chan

Au Revoir Simone by Calamus YY Chan

With their keyboards arranged side by side, and assorted drum pads dotted around, there wasn’t too much room to move on the Garage’s reasonably small stage. Vocal duties were mainly lead by Erika Forster, though Annie Hart took over for a few songs. There was also a bit of bass guitar swapping between the two as well, and Hart also persuaded the lighting guy to brighten the room so she could get a photo of the crowd on her phone! The band finished off with another song from Still Night, Still Light, the crowd pleaser Shadows, before an inevitable encore to the cheers of the throng.

Au Revoir Simone now head off for the final leg of the tour with some North American shows, and we just hope it’s not too long before we see them over here again.

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