Posts Tagged ‘Alcest’

Hello, is anyone still out there? Alcest gig review

July 19, 2010

I’ve been away for quite a while, mainly due to having a baby.  As the cliche goes, it doesn’t leave much time for anything else.  I am now thoroughly out of the loop as far as current music is concerned.  I have managed to listen a couple of times to The Field’s second album (sounds marvellous but need to get more familiar with it), but otherwise have a small pile of CD’s that have been purchased then remained untouched.  I don’t think ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ is worthy of its own blog entry, to be frank.   And is Incy Wincy Spider meant to be a comment on the ultimate futility of existence?  

I have been to a gig fairly recently (woah, steady there!).  I went to see Alcest at The Purple Turtle in Camden.  Small venue, full of the sorts of goths and metal heads much beloved in the 1980’s.  I like to see people who wear what they like and listen to what they like despite it being resolutely unfashionable.  And I’ve always had a soft spot for a man in a long black coat.  Anyway, Alcest were splendid.  I was a bit worried about it beforehand, because there is a lot of melody and ethereal singing that has to be heard over death metal drumming and guitars.  No need to fear, Mr Alcest and his band were up to the job.  True, the second album is not quite as good as the first (there is a bit more actual screaming for starters), but it is pretty good with some outstanding tracks.  And my boyfriend purchased a very attractive t-shirt.  I enjoyed the evening – well worth the hassle of arranging for my mum to come and babysit.

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Alcest

March 28, 2008

Jeez, I am cooking on gas tonight with my blogging.  Could be something to do with the fact that I have a whole tonne of proper work to do – the only proper response to this fact is to become immediately immersed in something entirely unrelated. 

I want to write about Alcest because I totally and utterly love the album from 2007 – Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde.  It is french shoe-gaze, with some post-rock influences.  Alcest is basically a one-man band comprised of Neige – he is one of those chaps who appears to play every instrument thus making everyone else who can barely master one feel like a talentless imbecile.  They are everywhere these days.  He has crafted an album which is just lovely, lovely, lovely, and manages to be definitely shoegaze without trying to sound like MBV (a totally fantastic thing to aim for, but everyone just ends up falling short and sounding really second rate – i’m thinking of Asobi Seksu and Blonde Redhead for starters (the odd great track aside).  If you ever read an interview with him – well, my advice is just don’t, because he sounds like a great big pretentious pseudo-intellectual doofus – reminded me of an Ulrich Schnuass interview actually (highly recommended Germanic electronic shoegaze for the uninitiated among you).  Must be something about being from mainland Europe – maybe it is more acceptable for musicians there to talk about their music being about ‘half remembered words and unspoken dreams’ etcetera etcetera.  Apparently Neige used to do ‘black metal’ (not entirely sure what that is) but then moved onto shoegaze without having ever heard MBV et al.  I have ordered an earlier EP out of interest, so my knowledge of black metal will soon be immense.   

Anyway, none of that gubbins should detract from the sheer beauty of the album.  Very seriously recommended.  If only he would play in the UK – I may suggest to Club AC30 (who do very good post-shoegaze gig nights in north london) that they should invite him over.   

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