Lumiere are a band with an ideology, and part of that ideology involves treating their fans to as much audio and visual delight as possible. As though gracing London venues virtually every month with their atmospheric, '80s-influenced gothic, dreamy pop isn't enough, the band have produced this - an enhanced CD featuring live video footage, the entire Lumiere website for offline perusal, and - perhaps best of all - demo versions of some as yet unreleased songs.
What this provides is a comprehensive guide to the band's career so far. While the three RealAudio songs ('Faith', 'Thirteen' and 'Breathe'), featuring original singer Shelley, pay homage to what the band used to be, the live videos (all recorded at a recent gig at Islington's Hope & Anchor) serve as a strong reminder of what Lumiere are capable of now. Although viewed on a tiny computer screen, this footage can never live up to the powerful message that the band convey live, one gets at least an echo of the haunting effect of Lumiere's stage show - three musicians in black, pouring all of the colour of their souls into their common passion. Which reminds me that the best thing of all about this CD is the fact that fans now have something that they can listen to at home whilst waiting for the 'official' follow-up to the band's debut release, the 'Faith EP'. 'Thirteen', when recorded properly, will be a masterpiece, possibly the best song ever written - simple as it is, it is a chillingly dark pop song which somehow grabs at me from inside without having to worm its way in.
But this song is just the jewel at the top of a rapidly growing pile of gems that will one day - if there is any justice in the world - get Lumiere the recognition that their honest, passionate and creative approach to their work has led them to deserve.