APPLES & ORANGES
Psychedelic Pop Night
W/EUX AUTRES [SAN FRAN] + HONG KONG IN THE 60S
@ Bardens Boudoir, London
Thurs 30th July
Building dreamy noir-pop love songs like Alfred Hitchcock built suspense, Greenwich 4-piece Still Corners create a kaleidoscope world around them, full of wintry melody, swirling organ, and big drums. Inspired by French film and sixties sound production and influenced by a range of artists from Serge Gainsbourg to Ennio Morricone as well as contemporaries the Cocteau Twins, Broadcast, and Camera Obscura, Still Corners continue to delight audiences across London.
Remember Pepper EP review taken form the skatterbrain website
Now, I mean this as complimentary as I can possibly get across, but Remember Pepper? Sounds like Still Corners somehow uncovered six as-yet-unknown missing tracks from Broadcast's The Noise Made By People (perhaps one of my fav records ever) and went and made EP out of them – albeit, an astonishingly good one, and all their own, mind you. But still. Yeah. These six songs (Yep, all six of them lovely) couldn't possibly be more breezy and dreamy even if they were blowing on clothing line in outer space. Whoa! Favorites of mine include the lead track "History of Love" and oddly enough, closer "French Kiss." Reverb is good, friends, it is ALWAYS good. It's particularly good if you slather it all over some nice electric organ and sing like and angel over top of it. Remember that forever.
Eux Autres play pop music. The band originally consisted of brother and sister Heather and Nicholas Larimer. Heather played drums, Nicholas played guitar, and they both sang. Practices frequently devolved into shoving matches. In an effort to quell these outbursts (and expand their sound), Eux Autres added drummer Yoshi Nakamoto (The Aislers Set, Still Flyin') and multi-instrumentalist Nevada Jones to the lineup in 2008.
Eux Autres write compact songs with sparse instrumentation. Their music has been unfairly described as “fun.” But while the surface of the songs might seem nonchalant, the lyrics offer skewed observations and fierce barbs. Most of their songs are about a) military history b) being "done wrong" or c) sports. Sadly, Eux Autres are the only people who notice this. The band sounds like the unrequited love song Doug Martsch would have penned for Francoise Hardy, had the time/space continuum conveniently collapsed.
Eux Autres' debut 7", was released in 2003, and their first full-length CD, Hell Is Eux Autres, recorded by Jeff Stuart Saltzman and Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney/Quasi), was self-released in 2004 and re-released in 2006 by Grenadine Records (Montreal, QC). The band's second album, Cold City, was released in 2007 on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records (Athens, GA). The band have two singles and a compilation appearance slated for the first half of 2009.
HONG KONG IN THE 60S
Hong Kong In The 60s are Mei Yau Kan (vocals, keyboards, guitar); Christopher Greenberg (keyboards, vocals, guitar); and Tim Scullion (guitar, keyboards, vocals), a multilingual three-piece from London, who formed in 2007.
They are heavily influenced by early electronic pop, 1960s Chinese music and Italian film soundtracks. Using their collection of old Casio keyboards, the group combine bittersweet pop melodies and atmospheric electronics to create what Sean O’Hagan of The High Llamas describes as a “lovely, understated and quite beautiful sound”. In their hands, the cheap noises of old toy synths and outdated drum machines reveal hidden warmth and emotion.
Between them, the three band members have lived in Hong Kong, Japan, Africa, Brazil, Spain and the UK. Tim and Mei Yau met at school in Berkshire and the band came together, years later, after Christopher and Mei Yau chanced upon each other while working as librarians at Oxford University.
The band’s music has seen FM radio play in the USA, Australia, Canada, France, Belgium and the UK, and has appeared on compilations released in the UK, Japan and Brazil. 2008’s Botpop Vol. 1 (on Happy Robots) was given four stars by the Guardian, who called it a “lovely compilation which speaks much of the innocence and melancholy that props up perfect pop”. Cult music blog Pop ‘n Cherries described the Hong Kong In The 60s track as sounding “like Kraftwerk soundtracking a 60s spy thriller … utterly gorgeous”.
Willow Pattern Songs is the band’s debut EP, available as a digital download and as a limited edition CD. The EP is a capsule of melancholy synths, krautrock lullabies and soft-focus splendour.