Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hot Sketch Presents L’Amour Des Rêves & The Bell Peppers @ The Salutation, 15.09.12.

“Love is…warm sweat on a time machine”

“All you need for a love story is Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy gets her back again. The rest is detail,” a Mills & Boon writer told me once (long story). So agrees John Lewis’ new ad campaign, showing a time travel love affair between a Flapper and an Indie Kid. “The important things never change,” goes the tagline.

Time passes, but love stays the same. Lust is the locomotive of history, plunging like a Hitchcockian innuendo into the tunnels of time while empires rise and fall around it. Love & hate are a speedball burning through the veins of forever, base-jumping from synapses into new formations of being.

Time, then, is immutable but ever changing. The two bands here today, Sheffield lovers L’Amour Des Rêves, and Manchester’s The Bell Peppers, play out this paradox with a sound both old & new, borrowed & blue.

L’Amour Des Rêves are the “Love Is…” cartoons made flesh, playing Paradox Pop, a copy of a copy of a future classic. Drummer/singer Jess is a tropicalia glamourpuss with a Bardot up-do and a vintage reporter’s mic, streamlined for thrusting in the pursuit of truth. Guitarist/singer Thomas’ cherub face is framed by ‘The Hair’, a blonde bowlcut so iconic even Rotherham chavs treat him like a star.

They are in love, and their songs are an Escher staircase, ascending and descending the arpeggios of devotion, from the in-out of the hokey-cokey to the give & take of compromise. The first 2 songs sum up this bipolar mood: 'I Couldn’t Live Without'/'You Hate My Guts I Can Tell'.

“There were 27 mistakes in that song,” Thomas admits at one point. In a tweeted world, oversharing is both brave and expected, while choosing a French name is downright dangerous. “You heard that ‘Lammo Des’ree’ band? They’ve got that Dennis Quaid,” you may hear (translation: ‘You heard that L’Amour Des Reves? They’ve got that je ne sais quai’).

“Lean over,” demands my girl when I alight back in Sheffield. “Why?” I ask, expecting a cheeky kiss. “You’ve got travel sweat,” she says, rasping a tissue across my forehead. Love hurts. If passing through space gives you perspiration, what effect does time travel have?
The time sweat L’Amour Des Rêves’ 60s-plundering futurism generates is a sheen of dreams, passing in waves over the audience, a soft focus bubble into which surf pop headliners The Bell Peppers plunge gently at first and then insatiably like a long lost lover.

The Bell Peppers already had a place in my heart for their 90s referencing EP, Saved by The Bell Peppers. They are a Bill & Ted supergroup culled from music history: 50s beatnik, 60s mod and 90s jock. This is Paradox Pop eating itself, wild goose-chasing the provenance of a sound from noughties to 60s to 90s, drenching us in time sweat, gorging on genres and trampling them underfoot. The effect is dizzying but danceable, frenetic grunge with surf finesse.

I meet an old schoolfriend at the gig. While I still live the irresponsible life of a student, he has two kids and a mortgage. “You haven’t changed,” he tells me, “but I think I have.” Truth be told, he always was more adapted to adult life than me. We’ve both changed and stayed the same. And that’s just the way it should be.

Words: Vienna Famous
Image: Hot Sketch Poster

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff! Laugh at loud - and not at me for a change!
    No, but this great stuff!
    And it really and twooly does make you wanna know these bands. Which is what s'all about.